By John Thornton:
West TN Game of the Week- Week 12 Crockett County vs. Fayette-Ware
The 2020 Tennessee High School Football regular season has come to a close, and the postseason beckons. Many programs enter the playoffs with high expectations, others are just happy to have gotten this far. However, the goal for each team is the same: winning one game at a time to stay alive and win a state championship. As the legendary College Basketball Coach Jim Valvano once said, “Survive and advance”.
Most teams in West Tennessee have a 1st round bye this season due to a large number of schools from the Memphis area that are not playing this season due to the decision by the Shelby County School System. However, not every team in West Tennessee received the week off. In Class 4A, Fayette-Ware, the region champions of Region 8 of Class 4A, gets set to host Crockett County, who finished in 4th in Region 7.
With just 8 winning seasons, 5 all-time playoff wins, and a 65 game losing streak spanning 6 years between 2008 and 2014, Fayette-Ware is not a program you would say has an illustrious history. Coach Woodrow Lowe is laying the framework to change that culture at Fayette-Ware. With the Wildcats currently sit at 8-2 on the season in their first year under Coach Lowe, there is certainly reason for optimism. The next challenge approaches Friday, as Fayette-Ware will look to win their first playoff game since 2007. This will be the 5th straight postseason appearance for the Wildcats, who have bowed out in the 1st round each of the last 4 seasons. Last year’s 21-20 loss to Ripley was the most painful, but Coach Lowe and company will look to erase that pain with a win Friday.
On the flip side, Crockett County enters Friday’s 1st Round Playoff matchup after a roller coaster 4-4 season. A crushing 47-14 loss to Dyersburg last Friday sealed the Cavaliers 4th place spot in Region 7 of Class 4A. While Fayette-Ware is a program that has struggled in the postseason, under Head Coach Kevin Ward, Crockett County has won at least 1 playoff game each of the last 3 seasons, and 2 postseason games in 2 of the last 3. Crockett County hopes this is the season they will get over their 3rd Round hump and progress deeper into the playoffs.
Neither team has seen much action in the past month as Crockett County played twice (the loss to Dyersburg and an October 2 win over Obion County) and Fayette-Ware hasn’t played at all since an October 9 loss to Brighton, due to several COVID cancellations.
This will be the 6th all-time meeting between the schools, with Crockett County holding a 5-0 advantage and winning all 5 by double digits. The last time the teams met was in the 1st round of the 2017 playoffs where the Cavaliers won 56-18. The Wildcats hope to end that skid by picking up a huge win for the program at Fayette-Ware High School on Friday night.