Antioch High School played host to the opening night of the 50th Metro Nashville Football Jamboree on Thursday night. The jamboree provides teams with a valuable opportunity to fine tune their squads before beginning the regular season next week. It also provides Metro teams a chance to match up against their neighboring schools for bragging rights across classifications. Defending 6A state runner-up Cane Ridge squared off against 3A Stratford in the first game of the evening. Each game lasted 2 quarters with the ball starting at the 30 yard line in lieu of kickoffs.
The Stratford Spartans showed good physicality against the Ravens early. Running back James Moore ran well all night and especially looked good on the opening drive of the game as he quickly hit two large runs up the middle to move Stratford into Cane Ridge territory. However, penalties stunted the Spartan momentum and would prove to be a problem for Stratford all game. The Spartan defense also started the game aggressively and shut down the high powered Raven offense in the first quarter. DL Jaalon Gupton and linebacker Tomory Stephens helped lead the Stratford defense that showed signs of being a solid unit this season.
Cane Ridge has consistently fielded a big play offense over the course of the last few seasons. The Raven playmakers started to flash that big play ability in the 2nd quarter. Senior running back Devon Starling opened the scoring by taking a screen pass from quarterback Korey Andrews 62 yards for an electric touchdown. The PAT was missed and put the score at 6-0. Starling and Andrews connected again a few minutes later on a 28 yard TD pass to extend the lead to 13-0. Milan transfer running back Jaquez Norman got in on the act with 5 minutes to go in the game by taking an off tackle run 73 yards for the touchdown. Stratford scored late when strong armed quarterback Jacob Webb found WR Drequan Gills across the middle for a 55 yard touchdown reception but it was too late to impact the outcome of the game as Cane Ridge secured the victory 20-6.
The second matchup of the night pitted the host Antioch Bears against the Hillwood Hilltoppers. Hillwood returns a veteran quarterback in Hale Page this season and the Topper offense started out strong by moving the ball deep into Antioch territory through intermediate passes to TE Miller Baker. With the ball at the Bear 22 yard line, Page was slightly high on a pass that was intercepted by Antioch DB Malik Nance. Nance also plays running back on the Bear offense and demonstrated that running ability by returning the interception 85 yards to put Antioch up 6-0. This was a tightly contested ballgame and Hillwood bounced back late in the first quarter when Page connected with Baker for a 33 yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 6-6 with a missed PAT.
Antioch ground down Hillwood in the 2nd quarter and used bruising FB Lashamus Kennedy as the battering ram. Kennedy appeared to get stronger as the game went on and broke multiple tackles on both of his late touchdown runs to extend Antioch’s lead to 18-6. Hillwood was unable to move the ball late and the 18-6 score would hold up as the final. All four teams involved in the scrimmage tonight appeared to exit the game relatively healthy and will now turn their focus towards their Week 1 opponents next Friday.