A spot in the 3A playoff quarterfinals was on the line Friday night as the Fairview Yellow Jackets hosted the East Nashville Eagles on a cold and wet evening. Fairview is a difficult team to beat at home and their star players came through against the Eagles. Dynamic RB/WR Kameron Harris-Lusk found the endzone three times and DB Blake Russell added three interceptions to help propel Fairview to the 33-22 victory.
The first quarter was largely uneventful as both teams adjusted to the cold and wet conditions. No rain fell during the game but the ground was saturated with moisture from earlier rain showers. East Nashville finally opened up the scoring on the final play of the opening quarter when QB Arondai Thompson found Yukari Blanchard over the middle for an 11 yard touchdown pass and catch. RB Rondarius Gregory added the two point conversion for East Nashville and the Eagles took the 8-0 lead into the second quarter.
Fairview responded to the early deficit with a 15 yard screen pass touchdown from QB Brock Harris to Kameron Harris-Lusk to cut the lead to 8-7. It was a great play call from head coach Chris Hughes that took advantage of the aggressive nature of the East Nashville defenders. However, East Nashville extended the lead again three plays later following a long Rondarius Gregory kick return. Gregory finished the drive himself by scoring on a direct snap keeper from the Wildcat formation and again adding a two point conversion to put the lead at 16-7 in favor of East Nashville. The momentum pendulum continued to swing rapidly back and forth as Fairview scored on their possession on a 31 yard touchdown by Harris-Lusk. Fairview then recorded their first of four interceptions on the evening and quickly cashed in on a 30 yard touchdown reception by Blake Russell to take the 20-16 lead. East Nashville attempted a late scoring drive just before the half but were stopped at the half yard line as time expired in the 2nd quarter and they entered the break trailing 20-16 to the Yellow Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets continued their offensive success in the third quarter. QB Brock Harris carried the ball into the endzone on a quarterback sneak after a long reverse run from Blake Russell set Fairview up deep in East Nashville territory. East Nashville responded again, however, by scoring on another Gregory rushing touchdown from the Wildcat formation just two minutes later. The third quarter came to a close with Fairview leading 26-22 and the outcome still very much undecided. Spectacular plays in the passing game on both sides of the ball by the Yellow Jackets were about to seal the victory, though. First, Brock Harris hit Harris-Lusk on a 77 yard bomb of a touchdown pass early in the final frame to extend the Fairview lead to 33-22. The Yellow Jacket defense then came down with their final two interceptions to halt any chance of an Eagle comeback. Russell hauled in three interceptions and Harris-Lusk caught the final pick on East Nashville’s final offensive drive to secure the 33-22 victory for Fairview. Fairview advances to the quarterfinals and will host the Stratford Spartans after Stratford pulled off a shocking upset of Pearl Cohn in round two.