Coach Speak Round 1

Coach Speak Round 1

Coach Speak



Gallatin High School  Gallatin Green Wave (5A) at Independence Eagles (5A)  Independence High School

Friday at 7:00 pm

Gallatin (6-4, Region 6 #4) lost a tough battle to Cane Ridge 54-28 after giving up 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.  Quarterback, Collin Minor, went 20-37 for 287 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.  Dezmond Chambers led all wide receivers with 96 yards on seven receptions and a touchdown.  Gallatin will feature multiple packages out of the I/Spread formations and show various looks out of the 3-4 defense.

3 Keys for Gallatin
1. Find a way to get the passing game going early to loosen up the defense & open holes for Mr. Mason
2. Win the line of scrimmage battle & physically dominate the Eagles
3. Rally to the football on defense & be great tacklers in space

(10-0, Region 5 #1)
put together 49 unanswered points after a slow start to defeat LaVergne 56-12 and extend their winning streak to 25 straight games.  Athlete, Landon Guidry, did a little of everything on the night for the Eagles, rushing for 113 yards and a touchdown, catching three passes for 40 yards and a touchdown, returning a kickoff 30 yards, and making two tackles on defense.  Independence likes to strike quick with its no huddle, Spread attack on offense and will feature a fast and aggressive 4-3 defense.

3 Keys for Independence
1. Play gap control defense; do not allow cut back lanes for Mr. Mason
2. Continue to spread the ball around to multiple play-makers on offense
3. Win on early downs defensively, force Gallatin to beat them through the air on 3rd & long situations

“Coach Speak”
This is not your typical one seed versus four seed ballgame.  We have the Independence Eagles entering the playoffs with a 25-game winning streak and a Gallatin team that features Jordan Mason, who holds the all-time rushing record in school history, and one of the most exciting players to watch in the state possibly playing in his final high school football game.  Gallatin needs to find a way to loosen up the Eagles defense with a solid passing game, find creative ways to get Jordan Mason the ball, and force Independence to drive the length of the field for their points.  Independence needs to slow down Mason to force Gallatin to win through the air, avoid a slow start, and continue to be balanced on offense with multiple athletes sharing the ball.  Gallatin played in one of the most competitive Regions in the state regardless of classification and should be ready to give Independence a good battle early.  However, Independence is loaded with great skill players, a tough offensive line, and a fast and aggressive defense.  Look for Independence to slow down Jordan Mason, make a big play on special teams, and show off a plethora of offensive play-makers to advance Friday night!

Prediction: Independence 35, Gallatin 20

Players Worth the Price of Admission
1. Jordan Mason – #27 – RB – Gallatin  (3 Star, 2017 #38 prospect TN, 247Sports)
2. Dezmond Chambers – #11 – CB/WR – Gallatin
3. Marcus DeVault – #3 – WR/DB – Gallatin
4. Johnny Waters – #5 – LB/RB  – Gallatin
5. Landon Guidry – #7 – S/WR – Independence  –  (3 star 2017 #26 prospect TN, 247Sports)  –  Miss. St. Commit
6. Troy Henderson – #21 – RB – Independence
7. Hunter Dupree – #43 – ILB – Independence
8. Kendrell Scurry – #11 – WR – Independence  –   (4 star 2019 #5 prospect TN, 247Sports)  –  Tenn. Commit
9. Alan Waston – #15 – CB/WR – Independence
10. TJ Sheffield
– #2 – WR/RB/KR/DB – Independence


harpeth  Harpeth Indians (3A) at Goodpasture Christian Cougars (3A)  Goodpasture

Friday at 7:00 pm

Harpeth (8-2, Region 6 #3) lost to Fairview 46-11 Friday night and, in the process, dropped to the number three seed out of Region 6.  Drake Fullum led the Indians offense with 139 yards on four receptions and a touchdown.  Linebacker, Connor Barber, led the defense with eight solo tackles and one tackle for a loss.  Harpeth is an I formation team that will show multiple formations out of Pro/Twins on offense and line up in a 4-3 on defense.

3 Keys for Harpeth
1. Eliminate the Cougars ability to score on special teams
2. Establish a running game & keep the Cougars offense off the field
3. Tackle well in space & keep the Cougars from scoring quickly on big plays

(8-2, Region 5 #2)
broke open a close game at halftime with 21 third quarter points to defeat White House-Heritage 56-36.  Running back, Jermaine Mason, led the Cougars offense with 107 yards rushing on 14 carries and three touchdowns.  Do-it-All athlete, Kody Crider, threw a touchdown pass and added 122 yards on three receptions with a touchdown.  Linebacker, Kevon Benson, led the Cougars defense with seven total tackles and one and half tackles for a loss.  Goodpasture will show multiple formations out of the Spread on offense and use a 3-4 defense to blitz from everywhere on the field.

3 Keys for Goodpasture
1. Make plays & score on special teams
2. Win the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball & impose their will on the Indians
3. Force the Indians into 3rd & long situations & make the Indians prove they can throw the ball with success

“Coach Speak”
Two 8-2 teams squaring off in round one is what the playoffs are all about.  Goodpasture, one of the mid-state’s better programs historically, is back after falling on hard times the last couple of seasons, and Harpeth has doubled its win total from a year ago coming into this contest.  Harpeth must slow down the Cougars running attack, find a way to keep the Cougars special teams off the score board, and score touchdowns instead of kicking field goals to pull out the victory.  Goodpasture needs to impose their will on both lines of scrimmage, avoid turnovers and costly penalties, and continue to find ways to make big plays on special teams to survive and advance.  Look for Goodpasture to have too much offensive firepower, a hard hitting defense, and an uncanny knack to make plays on special teams to lead them to victory Friday night over the Harpeth Indians!

Prediction: Goodpasture 34, Harpeth 13

Players Worth the Price of Admission
1. Connor Barber – #24 – RB/LB – Harpeth
2. Walker Weatherly – #3 – QB/DB – Harpeth
3. Drake Fullum – #22 – WR/RB/DB – Harpeth
4. Kody Crider – #2 – OLB/WR – Goodpasture
5. Jermaine Mason – #6 – CB/WR – Goodpasture
6. Julius Elders
– #4 – RB/LB – Goodpasture
7. Cameron Tompkins – #53 – DT/FB/G  – Goodpasture
8. Ke’Von Benson – #1 – LB/RB – Goodpasture

Summit High School  Summit Spartans (5A) at Cane Ridge Ravens (5A)  Cane Ridge

Friday at 7:00 pm

Summit (7-3, Region 5 #4) jumped out to a 43-0 halftime lead and cruised to victory over Columbia Central 57-6.  The Spartans offense rushed for a total of 505 yards and eight touchdowns.  Tai Carter (4 carries, 130 yards, 2 TDs), Payton Craig (10 carries, 110 yards, 2 TDs), and Tyler Palmer (4 carries, 106 yards, 1 TD) all rushed for over 100 yards to lead the Spartans offense.  The Spartans will look to control the tempo of the game with their Wing-T offense and line up in a 3-4 on defense.

3 Keys for Summit
1. Control the clock & time of possession with a solid running game & 3rd down execution
2. Do not get caught looking in the backfield on defense & keep the Ravens WRs in front of them
3. Force 3 or more turnovers

Cane Ridge
(10-0, Region 6 #1)
blew open a close contest with 21 unanswered fourth quarter points to route Gallatin 54-28.  The Ravens offense was led by their two-headed monster at running back, Jordan Bell (14 carries, 154 yards, 3 TDs) and Emari Barton (12 carries, 100 yards, 2 TDs).  Quarterback, DJ Thorpe, added 161 yards through the air on 11 completions and a touchdown.  The Ravens will feature a Spread attack on offense with multiple playmakers and line up in a 3-4 on defense.

3 Keys for Cane Ridge
1. Establish the running game early, force the Spartans to load the box, then hit play-action passes over the top
2. Protect DJ Thorpe in the pocket
3. Play solid special teams & avoid turnovers

“Coach Speak” Forecast:
This is as solid a match-up between a one seed and a four seed as there is in the entire state Friday night.  Cane Ridge is entering the playoffs after posting their best regular season in program history.  Summit fell to the four seed after tie breakers took effect, even with a 5-2 region record and a victory over the number two seed Shelbyville on their resume.  Summit is a nightmare to prepare for with multiple play-makers touching the ball out of their Wing-T offense.  The good news for Cane Ridge is they have seen multiple Wing-T offenses this season, and Summit should not be able to surprise them come Friday night.  Summit has to convert 3rd downs on offense, slow down the Ravens running attack, and tackle well in space against the Ravens talented receiver core to pull the upset.  Cane Ridge needs to protect the football, avoid double digit penalties, and play with eye discipline on defense to continue their historic season.  Cane Ridge and Summit have both re-written the record books for their programs and have been great stories in the Mid-State this year.  However, Cane Ridge is on a different level than the Spartans.  Look for the Ravens to play suffocating defense, feature a solid running game, and hit big plays over the top of the Spartans defense to advance to the second round of the playoffs!

Prediction: Cane Ridge 31, Summit 17

Players Worth the Price of Admission
1. Tai Carter – #13 – CB/RB/PR – Summit
2. Dalton Fisher – #11 – CB/RB – Summit
3. Tyler Palmer – #3 – S/RB – Summit
4. DJ Thorpe – #5 – QB – Cane Ridge
5. Dewayne Johnson – #33 – OLB/DE – Cane Ridge
6. Christian Lancaster – #12 – WR/CB – Cane Ridge
7. Noah Bayless – #44 – LB – Cane Ridge


“Coach Speak” Season Record: 21-12 (64%)


Contact Kevin at and follow him on Twitter @K_Smith33

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