x Donovan Stewart’s Semifinal Victory Formation - TN High School Football

November 27, 2020

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Donovan Stewart’s Semifinal Victory Formation

Donovan Stewart’s Semifinal Victory Formation

It has been an up and down year for the Riverside football team.


The Panthers started the season by losing the first two games to Lewis County and Lexington.


They went on a four game winning streak but then lost three of their last four to finish the regular season and limp into the playoffs as the number three seed from region 6-2A with a 5-5 record.


Now a month later, the Panthers (8-5) are making history by making the semifinal round for the first time in school history as they host defending 2A state champion Peabody Friday night with the winner heading to Cookeville next week to play for the 2A state title.


The first two weeks of the playoffs were revenge games for Riverside as the Panthers went on the road and beat Lewis County 14-9 and then went to region rival Waverly and shut out the Tigers 34-0.


Riverside then went on the road for the third straight week last Friday night and nipped previously undefeated Forrest 21-15 as running back Rylan Kennedy rushed for 172 yards and scored two touchdowns in the monumental win.


So what changed?


“After losing to Houston County we were heading into an off week and the coaches and players had a meeting and we looked in the mirror and took stock of the program and everyone in the room wanted to get better,” Riverside head coach Johnnie Frost said.


“The kids weren’t ready to end the season and wanted to get better so we started watching a ton of film and they started to see how the little things meant so much to be successful, like a block here or there and to lay it on the line for each other.”


The Panthers also have gotten healthy at the right time as well as starters that missed during the losing streak have gotten back in tine for the playoff boost.


Kennedy has led the way on offense as he has rushed for 1,411 yards and scored 16 touchdowns while Colton Smith (119 tackles), Nazario Juarez (117 tackles, 17 tackles for loss),  Alec Beasley (85 tackles, six for loss) and Luke Lewis (82 tackles, 16 for loss, 6.5 sacks) have led the way on defense.


Riverside is not the only team making semifinal history as Nolensville (4A) and Summit (5A) two Williamson county schools are making their first semifinal appearances as well.


Dyer County who is the opponent for Summit are making their first semifinal appearance since losing 3-0 in overtime  in the 1976 Class A title game to Rockwood.



Semifinal Capsules

Here’s all the information you need to know on all 12 Semifinal games as your go to the stadiums across the state to support your teams.


Class 1A

South Pittsburg Pirates (12-0) at Greenback Cherokees (11-2)

Head Coaches-  South Pittsburg- Vic Grider (219-52 overall, 57-9 in five years at South Pittsburg); Greenback- Greg Ryan (62-8 in five years at Greenback)

Offense/Defense-  South Pittsburg- Wing T/4-3; Greenback- Pro/4-3

Last Meeting- Greenback 31, South Pittsburg 21 in 2017 1A Semifinals

Playoff Scoring Average- South Pittsburg- 48.3/6.7; Greenback- 47.3/7.3

Playoff Appearances- South Pittsburg- 37; Greenback- 28

Playoff Records- South Pittsburg- 81-31; Greenback- 47-25

Semifinal Round Record- South Pittsburg- 11-7;  Greenback- 4-2

Last Semifinal Appearance- South Pittsburg- 2017; Greenback- 2018, made five consecutive semifinals (2015-19)

Players To Watch- South Pittsburg-  Jaylyn Hubbard (RB, Sr.), Ronto Tipton (RB, Sr.), Dakota Blevins (OL/DL, Sr.), Blaine Pittman (DL, Sr.), Brayden Sanders (QB, Jr.), Hunter Frame (RB, Jr.), De’Andre Kelly (RB, Soph.), Curtavian Whisnant (WR/DB, Sr.), Tucker Kelley (DB, Sr.), Javien Beene (RB/DB, Jr.), Jared Stone (OL/LB, Jr.), Coale Gamble (OL/DL, Sr.), Cameron Trussell (FB/LB, Sr.), Brydon Mabry (TE/LB, Sr.)

Greenback- Derrell Bailey (OL/DL, Sr., Virginia Tech commitment), Colton Alexander (OL, Jr.), Holden Willis (WR/FS, Sr.), Duke Stinnett (WR/DB, Sr.), Alex Belcher (TE/LB, Sr.), Hazen Carleton (OL/LB, Sr.), Bubba Jeffries (OL/DL, Fr.), Braden Carnes (QB, Sr.)


Lake County Falcons (13-0) at Huntingdon Mustangs (13-0)

Head Coaches-  Lake County- Josh Puckett (59-26 in seven years at Lake County); Huntingdon- Eric Swenson (128-42 overall, 111-37 in 12 years at Huntingdon)

Offense/Defense-  Lake County- Pro/3-4; Huntingdon- Wing T/3-4

Last Meeting-  Huntingdon 50, Lake County 15 in 2012 1A first round

Playoff Scoring Average- Lake County- 50.7/6.7; Huntingdon- 50.7/5.7

Playoff Appearances- Lake County- 36; Huntingdon- 29

Playoff Records- Lake County-49-33;  Huntingdon- 47-27

Semifinal Round Record- Lake County- 5-4; Huntingdon- 5-5

Last Semifinal Appearance- Lake County- 2018, made three straight semifinals (2017-19); Huntingdon- 2012

Players To Watch- Lake County- Campbell Puckett (LB/TE, Sr.),  Izaiah Matheny (SS/WR, Sr.), Jamarion Higgins (DL/OL, Sr.), Larry Tubbs (FS/RB, Sr.), Tanner Snyder (LB/QB, Sr.), Keyshon Gross (LB/FB, SR.), Malachi Taylor (DB/WR, Sr.)

Huntingdon-Brandon Lawton (RB, Sr.), Hunter Ensley (QB/RB, Sr.), Konner Pearson (LB, Sr.), Drake Butler (OL/DL, Sr.), Bo McLemore (LB, Sr.), Devin McClerkin (FB/LB, Sr.), Steven Rich (LB, Sr.), Quinton Williams (LB, Sr.)




Trousdale County Yellow Jackets (11-1) at Meigs County Tigers (12-1)

Head Coaches-  Trousdale County- Blake Satterfield (11-1 in first year at Trousdale);  Meigs County- Jason Fitzpatrick (139-72 overall; 57-16 in six years at Meigs)

Offense/Defense-  Trousdale County- Wing T/Hybrid 3-4; Meigs County- Twins Open Two Back/3-4

Last Meeting-  Trousdale County 32, Meigs County 29 in 2018 2A Semifinals

Playoff Scoring Average- Trousdale County- 30.7/8.7;  Meigs County- 43.0/11.3

Playoff Appearances- Trousdale County-39; Meigs County- 24

Playoff Records- Trousdale County- 85-29; Meigs County- 24-23

Semifinal Round Record- Trousdale County- 12-4; Meigs County- 2-3

Last Semifinal Appearance- Trousdale County- 2018, made two straight semifinals (2018-19); Meigs County- 2018, made two straight semifinals (2018-19)

Players To Watch- Trousdale County- Tarvaris Claiborne (TE/LB, Sr.), Jay’Dynn Hayward (RB/OLB, Sr.), Ben Chumley (WR/DB, Sr.), Will Holder (TE/OLB, Sr.), Kobe Ford (RB/DB, Sr.), Mason Basford (OL/DL, Jr.), Jayden Hicks (QB/DB, Jr.), Cameron Rankins (RB/LB, Jr.), Sebastian Linarez (RB/FS, Jr.), Heath Chasse (K, Jr.)

Meigs County- Aaron Swafford (QB/FS, Sr., Navy commitment),  Jon Jon Beeler (WR/DB, Sr.), Gage Gardner (OL, Sr.), Malachi Hayden (OL, Jr.), Will Meadows (RB, Jr.), Canyon Grant (LB, Sr.), Gabriel Maldonado (WR/DB, Sr.), Jackson Fritts (RB/LB, Sr.), Brady Blevins (LB, Jr.), Logan Carroll (QB/WR/DB, Jr.), Cameron Huckabey (WR/DB, Soph.), Austin Andrews (OL, Soph.), Ja’ir Beeler (LB, Sr.), Hagen Lowe (LB, Jr.), Chris Wood (OL/DL, Sr.)



Peabody Golden Tide (13-0) at Riverside Panthers (8-5)

Head Coaches-  Peabody- Shane Jacobs (56-11 in five years at Peabody); Riverside- Johnnie Frost (42-46 overall, 33-15 in four years at Riverside)

Offense/Defense-  Peabody- Spread/4-3; Riverside- Multiple Wing/3-4

Last Meeting-  Peabody 21, Riverside 7  in 1994 Regular Season

Playoff Scoring Average- Peabody- 38.3/9.3; Riverside- 23.0/8.0

Playoff Appearances- Peabody-24;  Riverside- 17

Playoff Records- Peabody- 35-21;  Riverside- 12-16

Semifinal Round Record- Peabody-3-2; Riverside- 0-0

Last Semifinal Appearance- Peabody- 2018, made two straight semifinals; Riverside- first semifinal appearance

Players To Watch- Peabody– Jarel Dickson (RB/LB, Sr., Army commitment), Cooper Baugus (QB, Sr.), Noah Halbrook (WR/DB, Sr.), Jacquez Wilkins (LB/RB, Sr.), Eli Hammonds (DB, Sr.), Rafe Hannah (OL,DL, Sr.), Tony Walters (OL, Sr.), Braxton Johnson (Nose, Jr.), Bryce Franks (TE, LB, Sr.)

Riverside– Hayden Hayes (TE/DL, Sr.), Luke Lewis (OL/DL, Jr.), Colton Smith (RB/S, Sr.), Austin Heath (OL/LB, Sr.), Nazario Juarez (OL/LB, Sr.), Carson Hehe (WR/QB/S, Sr.), Johnathan Bowman (WR/DB, Sr.), Trent Smith (WR/S, Soph.), Rylan Kennedy (RB/DB, Sr.), Kyler Hall (RB,LB, Sr.), Weston Ward (WR/QB/DB, Jr.), Levi Kapp (K, Sr.), Bryce Hernandez (QB, Soph.), Alec Beasley (LB, Jr.)


Loudon Redskins (13-0) at Alcoa Tornadoes (12-1)

Head Coaches- Loudon- Jeff Harig (115-70 overall, 24-12 in three years at Loudon); Alcoa- Gary Rankin (437-76 overall, 185-18 in 14 years at Alcoa)

Offense/Defense-  Loudon- Spread/4-2-5; Alcoa- Pro I/4-3

Last Meeting-  Alcoa 42, Loudon 17 in 2010 3A second round

Playoff Scoring Average- Loudon- 41.0/11.7; Alcoa- 56.7/11.3

Playoff Appearances- Loudon- 26; Alcoa- 33

Playoff Records- Loudon- 39-22; Alcoa- 114-15

Semifinal Round Record- Loudon- 3-4;  Alcoa- 19-4

Last Semifinal Appearance- Loudon- 2014; Alcoa- 2018, made seven straight semifinals (2013-19)

Players To Watch- Loudon– Drew Jackson (RB/DB, Sr.), JD Thaxton (WR/DB, Sr.), Keaton Harig (QB, Soph.), Kaylob Wolever (OL/DL, Jr.), Max Marcum (OL/DL, Jr.), Noah Burnette (DE/TE, Sr.), Emerson Tripp (DE/OL, Sr.), Kyle Smallen (DB/WR, Sr.), Tyler Whitfield (DL/OL, Sr.), Mark Ridenour (DB/WR, Sr.)


Alcoa– Zeke Rankin (K, Sr.), Ty Boyd (WR/DB, Sr.), Brackston Alford (OL, Sr., Memphis commitment), Eli Mitchell (OL, Sr.), Grey Carroll (DE, Jr.), Isiah Cox (WR/DB, Jr.), Ahmaudd Sankey (WR/DB, Jr.), Malik Hall (OL/DL, Sr.), J.R. Jones (RB/DB, Jr.), Caden Tollett (WR/S, Sr.), C.J. Armstrong (WR/DB, Sr.), Tristen Blankenship (RB/DB, Jr.), Taharin Sudderth (DL, Jr.), Luke Summerall (LB, Jr.), Solomon Tyson (DL, Jr.), Sam Vaulton (QB, Jr.)



Covington Chargers (11-2) at Pearl Cohn Firebirds (13-0)

Head Coaches-  Covington- J.R. Kirby (26-9 overall, 11-2 in first year at Covington); Pearl Cohn- Tony Brunetti (122-57 in 14 years at Pearl Cohn)

Offense/Defense- Covington- Wing T/3-5-3; Pearl Cohn- Spread/4-2-5   

Last Meeting-  Covington 31, Pearl Cohn 28 in 2017 3A Semifinals

Playoff Scoring Average- Covington- 29.7/5.3;  Pearl Cohn-32.7/13.3

Playoff Appearances- Covington- 23; Pearl Cohn- 22

Playoff Records- Covington- 46-22; Pearl Cohn- 43-19

Semifinal Round Record- Covington- 5-5; Pearl Cohn- 3-5

Last Semifinal Appearance- Covington- 2018, made three straight semifinals (2017-19); Pearl Cohn- 2017

Players To Watch- Covington– Marcus Hayes (RB/DB, Jr.), Andrew Scott (LB, Sr.), Eli Patrick (OL, Sr.), Caleb Winfrey (LB, Sr.), Breshun Dyson (RB/DB, Jr.), Lareko Burton (LB, Jr.), Jaylen Fayne (RB/DB, Soph.), Mylian Sherrill (DT/DE, Jr.), Josh McGarity (WR/FS, Sr.), Kevin Earwood (OL, Jr.), Blake Jackett (DT, Sr.)  

Pearl Cohn- Desean Wade (DE, Sr.), Jahan Beal (OL/DT, Sr.), Cedric Watkins (WR/DB, Sr.), William Griffin (OT/DT, Jr.), Wesley Schelling (OL/DL, Sr., Vanderbilt commitment), Dammion Allen (WR/FS, Sr.), Iven Dayton (RB/WR, Jr.), Kyndrich Breedlove (RB/DB, Jr.), Erion Jordan (LB, Jr.), Jamontae Parker (OG/DT, Sr.)


Nolensville Knights (11-2) at Elizabethton Cyclones (13-0)

Head Coaches- Nolensville- Paul Derrick (18-7 in two years at Nolensville); Elizabethton- Shawn Witten (119-41 in 13 years at Elizabethton)

Offense/Defense-  Nolensville- Spread/3-4; Elizabethton- Spread/3-4

Last Meeting-  First ever meeting

Playoff Scoring Average- Nolensville- 40.7/6.7;  Elizabethton- 39.0/9.3

Playoff Appearances- Nolensville- 3;  Elizabethton- 30

Playoff Records- Nolensville- 5-2;  Elizabethton- 37-28

Semifinal Round Record- Nolensville- 0-0;  Elizabethton- 1-5

Last Semifinal Appearance- Nolensville- first ever semifinal; Elizabethton- 2012

Players To Watch- Nolensville– Tim Coutras (WR/DB, Sr., Liberty commitment), Ryan Pistulka (RB, Sr.), Dan Rickert (OL/DL, Sr.), Grant Reeder (OL/DL, Jr.), C.J. Ware (LB, Sr., Miami (OH) commitment), Jeffery Weisel (TE/ILB, Sr.), Brayden Clark (OL/DL, Sr.),Gabe Baumen (OL/ILB, Sr.), Ryder Galardi (QB, Jr.), Zack Larkin (OL/DL, Jr.), Mike McWilliams (TE/OLB, Soph.)

Elizabethton– Parker Hughes (WR/DB, Jr.), Conner Johnson (OL, Soph.), Cole Morganstern (OL, Jr.), Alex Conley (DE, Sr.), Joseph Kechter (DL, Sr.), Remington Tyree (TE, Sr.), Zach Hartley (WR/DB, Sr.), Jordan Haynes (LB, Sr.), Bryson Rollins (QB, Soph.)

Haywood Tomcats (12-1) at Springfield Yellow Jackets (10-3)

Head Coaches- Haywood- Chris Smith (43-17 overall, 12-1 in first year at Haywood); Springfield- Dustin Wilson (61-39 in eight years at Springfield)

Offense/Defense- Haywood- Spread/3-4; Springfield- Spread/4-4

Last Meeting-  Haywood 49, Springfield 14 in 2018 4A Semifinals

Playoff Scoring Average- Haywood- 40.0/14.3; Springfield- 33.7/16.3

Playoff Appearances- Haywood- 29; Springfield- 21

Playoff Records- Haywood- 30-28; Springfield- 35-19

Semifinal Round Record- Haywood- 3-1; Springfield- 2-3

Last Semifinal Appearance- Haywood- 2018, made three straight semifinals (2017-19); Springfield- 2018, made three straight semifinals (2017-19)

Players To Watch- Haywood– Kendall Bond (OL, Sr.), Marquis Pugh (LB/WR, Sr.), Andrew Reed (S, Sr.), Benard McDowell (DE/TE, Sr.), Jaiden Stewart (WR/FS, Jr.), Andre Robertson (RB, Sr.), Markeston Dauglass (TE, Sr.)

Springfield– Kevontay White (DB, Sr.), Mikie Neal (FB/LB, Sr.), Austin Stiltner (OL/DL, Sr.), Cale Jones, (ATH, Sr.), Tres Haley (OL, Jr.), Christian Trujillo (OLB, Sr.), Yonel Rodriguez (MLB/FB, Sr.), Kevontez Hudson (OLB, Jr.)




Knoxville West Rebels (12-1) at Knoxville Central Bobcats (11-2)

Head Coaches- Knox. West- Lamar Brown (94-48 overall, 23-13 in three years at West); Knox. Central- Bryson Rosser (58-22 in six years at Central)

Offense/Defense- Knox. West- Power Spread/3-4; Knox. Central- Spread/4-3

Last Meeting-  Knox. West 46, Knox. Central 0 in 2014 5A first round

Playoff Scoring Average- Knox. West-36.7/11.7;  Knox. Central- 31.0/12.3

Playoff Appearances- Knox. West- 17; Knox. Central- 25

Playoff Records- Knox. West- 28-15; Knox. Central- 40-23

Semifinal Round Record- Knox. West-2-3;  Knox. Central- 3-3

Last Semifinal Appearance- Knox. West- 2014; Knox. Central- 2018, made four consecutive semifinals (2016-19)

Players To Watch- Knox. West- Drew Francis (LB, Sr., Arkansas commitment), Tyrece Edwards (DE, Sr., Arkansas commitment),  Tyrell Ragland (OL, Sr.), Sebatian Latorre (P, Sr.), Isaiah Mattress (RB, Jr.), Omarian Wright (WR/DB, Sr.)


Knox. Central- Dakota Fawver (QB, Sr.), Eli Sharp (QB, Sr.), Braden Gaston (WR/DB, Sr.), Malik Robinson (LB, Sr.), Tyler Bost (LB, Sr.), Jason Merritts (RB/DB, Sr.), Makhi Anderson (RB/DB, Sr.), Kalib Fortner (LB, Jr.), Liam Fortner (WR/DB, Jr.), Zac Ridner (OL, Sr.), Noah Parker (OL/DL, Sr.)




Dyer County Choctaws (11-2) at Summit Spartans (11-2)

Head Coaches- Dyer County- David Whittle (27-18 in four years at Dyer); Summit- Brian Coleman (46-34 overall, 38-30 in six years at Summit)

Offense/Defense-  Dyer County- Spread/4-2-5; Summit- Multiple/3-4

Last Meeting- First ever meeting

Playoff Scoring Average- Dyer County- 32.3/13.7; Summit- 25.0/9.7

Playoff Appearances- Dyer County-18;  Summit- 4

Playoff Records- Dyer County-13-16;  Summit- 5-3

Semifinal Round Record- Dyer County-2-1;  Summit- 0-0

Last Semifinal Appearance- Dyer County- 1976; Summit- first ever semifinal

Players To Watch- Dyer County- Jake Willis (LB, Sr.), Dain Patterson (QB, Sr.), Remi Halliburton (DE, Sr.), Garrett Sawyer (WR/DB, Sr.), Josh Stewart (QB/S, Jr.), Ethan Evans (LB, Sr.), Andrew Roberts (OL, Jr.), LaQuinton Wells (RB, Sr.)

Summit– George Odimegwu (WR, Sr., ETSU commitment), Destin Wade (QB, Soph.), Keaten Wade (RB/LB, Soph.), John Casey (WR/DB, Sr.), Will Bond (OL, Sr.), Kiston Arnold (DL, Sr.), Jaylen Herrud (LB, Sr.)


Oakland Patriots (13-0) at Maryville Rebels (13-0)

Head Coaches-  Oakland- Kevin Creasy (145-17 overall, 66-5 in five years at Oakland); Maryville- Derek Hunt (39-3 in three years at Maryville)

Offense/Defense-  Oakland- Wing T/3-4; Maryville- Multiple/4-3

Last Meeting-  Oakland 38, Maryville 0 in 2018 6A Semifinals

Playoff Scoring Average- Oakland-29.7/9.3;  Maryville- 43.0/3.3

Playoff Appearances- Oakland-26; Maryville- 40

Playoff Records- Oakland- 53-21; Maryville- 126-23

Semifinal Round Record- Oakland- 7-4; Maryville- 23-9

Last Semifinal Appearance- Oakland- 2018, made six straight semifinals (2014-19); Maryville- 2018, made 20 straight semifinals (2000-19)

Players To Watch- Oakland– Aaron Moore (DE, Sr.), Jackson Riley (OL/DL, Sr.), De’Arre McDonald (DB/WR, Sr., Ole Miss commitment), Dorian Anderson (DB/WR, Sr.), Mikhael Holman (DE, Sr.), BJ Connard (RB/LB, Soph.), Tim Pannell (RB/LB, Sr.), Graham Keating (OL, Jr.), Kody Sparks (QB, Sr.)

Maryville– A.J. Davis (WR, Sr.), Seth Orren (LB, Sr.), Ashton Maples (WR, Sr., Liberty commitment), Cade Chambers (QB, Sr., Indiana State commitment), Tommy Ledford (OL, Sr.), Tee Hodge (RB, Sr., Tennessee commitment), Mason Shelton (LB, Sr., Coastal Carolina commitment), Ethan Ensley (DL, Sr.)



Houston Mustangs (13-0) at Ravenwood Raptors (12-1)

Head Coaches-  Houston- James Thomas (23-2 in two years at Houston); Ravenwood- Matt Daniels (32-7 in three years at Ravenwood)

Offense/Defense-  Houston- Multiple/3-3 Stack; Ravenwood- Multiple Spread/4-3

Last Meeting-  Ravenwood 45, Houston 14 in 2016 6A first round

Playoff Scoring Average- Houston- 46.0/12.7; Ravenwood- 34.7/2.0

Playoff Appearances- Houston- 17; Ravenwood- 11

Playoff Records- Houston- 16-16; Ravenwood- 29-8

Semifinal Round Record- Houston- 0-2; Ravenwood- 4-1

Last Semifinal Appearance- Houston- 2001;  Ravenwood- 2018, made two straight semifinals (2018-19)

Players To Watch- Houston– Grayson Hitt (WR/DB, Sr.), Ethan Burns (QB/LB, Sr.), Lincoln Pare (RB/DB, Sr.), Nathan Havrda (OL/DL, Sr.), Morgan Scott (OL, Sr.), Deion Harris (DL, Sr.), Harrison Wilkes (OL/DL, Jr.), RH Frankland (WR/LB, Jr.), Ben Stegall (RB/LB, Soph.), Will Stegall (QB/DB, Soph.)

Ravenwood– Brian Garcia (QB, Sr.), Gabriel Sleenhof (OL/DL, Sr., Yale commitment),  Graham Barton (OL/DL, Sr., Duke commitment), Luke Shouse (OL/DL, Sr., Ole Miss commitment), Bryan Rice (DL, Sr.), Andrew Mason (WR, Sr., Rice commitment), Jordan Smith (LB, Sr.), Avery Miller (LS/LB, Sr.), Myles Dawson (DL/LB, Sr.), Tony Rice (RB, Sr.), Jake Briningstool (TE, Jr.), Junior Colson (LB, Jr.), Shane Craig (FS/WR, Sr.), Garrett Moorman (DB, Sr.), Reggie Grimes Jr. (RB/DE, Sr.), Luke Ayers (K, UCLA commitment)


Contact Donovan at donovans1222@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew



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