The Pope John Paul II football team took a big step toward success last week, picking up its first win of the season.
Now the Knights are looking to carry that momentum over to tonight’s game when they travel to Father Ryan in hopes of ending a five year losing streak to the Irish.
“We had a much better game last week, but we’re still committing far too many mistakes,” said JPII Coach Jeff Rutledge. “I think we may match up better with Father Ryan than we have with most other teams we’ve faced this season, but unless we can go out and execute on both sides of the ball that won’t mean much.”
Over the last four seasons the Middle School Football County Championship has come down to White House and Hunter with both teams ending with two championships a piece.
Tuesday night the Buccaneers again took the lead in the series with a 20-12 victory to end with their second undefeated season in three years, and go to an overall 34-4 record over the past five seasons.
“It’s a battle any time these two teams get together,” said Hunter Coach Ronnie Helton. “(White House) is always so well coached and prepared for every game they come into, and tonight was no different.
“They took some things away from us that we liked to do, and I think we were able to do the same thing to them, but we both made adjustments and it came down to us just making a few more plays than they did.”
Nick Fechino set a record of his own in the win eclipsing 1,500 yards in just seven games ending with 1,513 yards for an average of 216 yards a game.
Tuesday night Fechino may have ended with fewer yards than in any contest this season, finishing with 129 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner, and he did it while playing with a strained lower back and a groin injury.
Last season Hendersonville had its hands full when it traveled to Wilson Central.
The Commandos escaped with a 3-0 win in overtime, but the Wildcats were able to hold Hendersonville to only 78 total yards on offense, so both teams have redemption on their minds when they square off tonight.
“Last year was a battle, but it seems like it always is when these two teams get together,” said Hendersonville Coach Bruce Hatfield. “Wilson Central started off the year with two win, but have dropped the past four, but they’ve been against some pretty good teams in Beech, Siegel, and McGavock, so they are going to come over here very hungry for a win, and I’m sure they have payback on their minds.”
Beech’s football team realizes the dangers in facing a winless team in Portland, and add to that the county rivalry, and district implications, and it’s a recipe for a trap game for the high flying Buccaneers.
“This is the reason we kick it off every Friday night, because any team can beat the other on any given night,” said Beech Coach Anthony Crabtree. “Portland is a good team, they have just had some things that didn’t go their way, and at time they tend to shoot themselves in the foot, but if they get that straightened out we’re going to have a game on our hands.
Beech High School Head Coach Anthony Crabtree accredited his football teams’ start to the bye week they experienced a week ago. Once the Buccaneers shook off the cobwebs and the second half began, Beech had little trouble in securing their third win of the season over a young Station Camp, 31-11.
“The slow start was a big part of us being off for a week. It gives you an opportunity to get over some bumps and bruises, but when you don’t play you lose your game shape and a little bit of your tempo,” said Crabtree.
Though Beech had a slow start, the Buccaneer offense still managed to place the first points on the board. With Travis Haymer on the sidelines as a part of a disciplinary move by Crabtree and staff, the Beech offense turned to senior running back Justin Cherry. Cherry took the bulk of the handoffs on the Buccaneer opening drive. On the first drive, Cherry finished with five carries and 12 yards.
The Hendersonville gameplan for its football team is a simple one; offensively the Commandos want to control the clock with its running attack, and then play good hard-nosed defense.
That defense was tested early when the Golden Bears from Mt. Juliet broke a pair of runs of over 60 yards, and the Bears went to their All-State receiver Vaughn Cornelia leaving the Commando defense shaking their heads in Mt. Juliet’s 23-6 victory.
“Mt. Juliet is an outstanding team that had a great gameplan tonight, and they executed that gameplan to perfection,” said Hendersonville Coach Bruce Hatfield. “We knew what they were going to do tonight, we just didn’t make the plays we needed to make, and they made us pay for it.”
Mt. Juliet (3-1, 1-1 9-AAA) racked up 326 total yards offensively, including 244 yards on the ground on 36 rushes, and 82 receiving yards, all to Cornelia on three plays.
Hendersonville (2-2, 1-1) had its share of offense, running for 230 yards on 42 carries to end with 254 total yards, but most of those came in the second half.
The Knox Doss Middle School football team came into the season with a simple yet lofty goal for its second year in existence; the Mustangs wanted to end the season with a winning record.
While Knox Doss’ season isn’t over yet, the Mustangs secured that goal with a 26-3 victory over Ellis.
“After we finished with a 2-6 record last season we were all focused on making this season better,” said Michael King, who finished the night as the game’s leading rusher.
“We all worked hard in the off season in weight room and on the field, and the result of all that worked showed up on the scoreboard tonight.”
Knox Doss (4-2) achieved the goal because of its play on both sides of the ball, finishing the night with 338 total yards of offense, and forced five fumbles, coming up with four of the loose balls, and also had an interception.
“I felt like we got off to a rocky start tonight,” said Knox Doss Coach Bryan Dupree. “It may have been because it was eighth grade recognition night before the game, but for whatever reason we were just not in our comfort zone.
“We came out and played much better after halftime, and took control from there.”
The Hendersonville football team goes on the road tonight to face Hunters Lane, and hopes to get back on track during the trip.
“Hunters Lane is one of our oldest rivalries that we have on our schedule because before there was a Hunters Lane we had both Goodlettsville High and Dupont High Schools on our schedule,” said Hendersonville Coach Bruce Hatfield. “We’ve always had good close contest with them, but this is one that we need to win because non-district games are so pivotal in the seeding process for the end of the season.”
Hendersonville (2-2) is not only preparing for the Warriors tonight, the Commandos are also trying to fix several problems they had after last week’s loss to Mt. Juliet.
No team wants to be a homecoming opponent, but that’s the position Beech finds itself in tonight when the Buccaneers travel to White House to take on the Blue Devils.
“Typically I don’t think any team likes to be invited for another team’s homecoming because the homecoming team usually invites a team they think they can beat to that game,” said Beech Coach Anthony Crabtree. “This may be because of scheduling, or because we’re a non-district opponent, but it’s been a rallying cry for our team.
“We have had a 3-2 record against White House under my time here with us holding the slight edge, but we’re expecting another close, physical game like it always is.”
No one has ever questioned Hendersonville girl’s soccer team’s strength of schedule, but that scheduling may have come back to haunt the Lady Commandos after losing their second match in as many days to a pair of top ranked teams in the state.
Wednesday night Hendersonville took on Battle Ground Academy, the fourth ranked team in Division II, and fell short 3-1, and then was blanked by the number one ranked team in A-AA, Christ Presbyterian Academy 2-0 in the Adidas Cup Challenge.
“Right now we’re in the process of still trying to get better as a team,” said Hendersonville Coach Russ Plummer. “We want to continue to improve, and I think we showed improvement from Wednesday night’s match to tonight’s match, and that’s what we were looking for.”
Several players on the Station Camp girl’s soccer team had never tasted defeat in a District 9-AAA game.
That all changed Thursday night when Beech took advantage of three Lady Bison fouls to come up with a 2-1 victory.
“This was a good win for our girls for a couple of the different reasons,” said Beech Coach Mario Sanchez. “First and most important because it was a district win against one of the best teams in our district, and secondly, because the girls just needed it so badly for them.”
The loss to the Lady Buccaneers was the first for Station Camp since it entered into District 9-AAA over a year and a half ago.
If the soccer match between Hendersonville and Beech had only been 68 minutes long the Lady Buccaneers would’ve come away with a 1-0 victory over their county rivals, but the Lady Commandos scored twice in the final 12 minutes to gain the 2-1 win.
“I think we panicked out there tonight,” said Beech Coach Mario Sanchez. “We got away from playing our game that had us dominating most of the match, and instead we let them back in the game because we didn’t finish when we had the opportunity.”
Beech (2-5-1, 2-1 9-AAA) took the lead in the first half when freshman Lauren Winters took the ball and beat a Lady Commando defender, cutting inside into the box and put it through for the Lady Buccaneers only score of the night, giving Beech a 1-0 lead at the half.
That’s where things would stand until Hendersonville freshman Caitlin Chandler hit a laser from outside the box over the Lady Buccaneers goalkeeper Beech’s Bethany Carroll closed in to tie the game 1-1 with 12:09 left in the game.
Both teams went into a frantic mode with less than two minutes left in the game as each had shots on goal that went over the goal, and it looked as if the game might end in a tie.
If fans from Station Camp and Ellis Middle school came to Tuesday night’s football game expecting an offensive shootout they were sorely disappointed.
The Bison defense ruled the night, forcing eight fumbles, and only allowed 33 total yards to the Cougars in their 20-0 victory to remain perfect on the season.
“Our kids practice tackling every day in practice, so they’ll hit you,” said Station Camp Coach Gary Hannah. “Because of that we take great pride in making teams put the ball on the ground, and the boys did a good job of that tonight.”
It did not take long for Knox Doss to put their first points on the board Tuesday night against the home standing Shafer Green Wave. After Michael King cross the end zone strip with 5:34 left to play in the opening quarter, the route was on. By the time the final buzzer sounded, the Mustangs had secured a 46-8 win over the struggling 1-4 Green and Gold. Doss racked up 193 yards on the ground on 21 attempts, while completing one of three passes for 37 yards.
Of the six plays to open the contest, King handled each with his last capitalizing the drive from one yard away to give the Mustangs an early 6-0 advantage. Jace Alford collected the two-point attempt from quarterback Kyle Anderton to push the lead to 8-0.
Teams don’t often need extra motivation to get a victory, but Pope John Paul II girl’s soccer team had one Thursday when the Lady Knights hosted Siegel.
Before the season started at a soccer camp, the Lady Stars handed JPII one of its only losses, so the 3-2 victory over Siegel had special meaning for several Lady Knights.
“We knew the game with Siegel was going to be a tough contest because we had played them not long ago and they beat us,” said Cailin Harris, JPII’s leading scorer. “We’re usually kind of a slow starting team, but we knew that we’d have to come out hard and fast because they’re a team that jumps on people in the first few minutes.
“We knew that if we could do that then we’d get opportunities later and luckily that pretty much the way it happened.”
Not only did the Lady Knights prevent a quick start by Siegel, they got off to a fast start themselves when Harris got them on the board less than 10 minutes into the match, taking it outside the box and beating a defender, dribbling within eight yards from the goal and putting it into the left corner for the score.
Coming off a 7-1 win over Lebanon, the Lady Wave soccer team faced another District 9-AAA opponent in the Beech High School Lady Buccaneers last Thursday evening. Beech had been in a slump throughout the beginning of the year, having the talent, but not putting forth the combined effort to result in the types of wins Head Coach Mario Sanchez would like to see on a regular basis.
Fortunate for the Lady Buccaneer faithful, Beech was able to get back on track against the visiting Lady Wave. Contrary to Beech playing well, the Lady Wave fell victim to a 8-0 shellacking on the road.
It had been six years since the Hendersonville freshman football squad tasted victory against the Green Wave of Gallatin, but all that changed last Thursday night when the Commandos handed the Green Wave their first loss of the season 28-15.
“We have other rivalries, but Gallatin is our oldest rivalry by far, so that’s the game that we really put emphasis on every year,” said Hendersonville Coach Mike Raper. “It’s been a while since we’ve been able to chalk up a win against them, so we all felt like this was a long time coming.”
Hendersonville tailback Corey Jones did a little bit of everything Thursday night, finishing with just one less rushing yard than the Green Wave’s offense as a whole.
Jones had 161 yards on 21 carries, and scored all four Commando scores, and he had two sacks, and two forced fumbles on defense to help lead Hendersonville to the win.
“All the credit for what I was able to do tonight goes to our line because they never get the kind of credit they deserve,” said Jones. “These guys are the best out there in my opinion and all they do is just show up every day and do their job; they’re just a really awesome group.”
Hendersonville’s football team came out focused Friday night and didn’t let rain, sloppy field conditions, or homecoming festivities stand in its way as the Commandos handed the Wolverines from La Vergne a 28-21 loss to get a level of redemption from last year’s loss.
“I’m not really sure you can consider this redemption or not, but it was a good win for us because (LaVergne) is a very good football team,” said Hendersonville Coach Bruce Hatfield. “We were able to come out and start fast tonight, and even though our offense sputtered there a little our defense kept us in the game until we could get back on track offensively.”
Hendersonville quarterback Elijah Howell did a little of everything on the offensive end, going 9-for-15 for 100 yards and a touchdown, hitting his first five passes, and rushed for 28 yards on 10 carries.
Howell’s favorite target for the second week in a row was Nigel Jones, who caught seven passes for 69 yards, and Jarrell Adams wasn’t just the leading rusher, finishing with 83 yards on four carries with a touchdown, he also had one reception for 29 yards for a touchdown.
“This was an important win for us tonight,” said Adams. “We didn’t play well against them last year at all, so we had something to prove tonight, and I think we did that.”
The Commandos defense was also active all night, finishing with seven sacks one each by Cayman Russell, Chris Moore, Brady Kelly, and Taylor Bozeman, and two by Whit Gray, a forced fumble, and a blocked punt.
“We worked hard all week in preparation for this game and the coaches had them gameplaned perfectly,” said Bozeman, who had the blocked punt, a recovery, and a sack for the Commandos. “We pretty much knew what they were going to do all night, and we only had to make one real correction at halftime; it was just up to us to go out and execute.”
Pope John Paul II and Station Camp girl’s soccer teams made history Wednesday night in the 2010 Ladies Soccer Tournament.
The meeting was the first time the Lady Knights have ever had the opportunity to play a Sumner County team and they made the most of their opportunity with a 3-1 victory over the Lady Bison.
“This was a historic event for us,” said JPII Coach Mike McLaren. “This was a game that full of passion on both sides, and the atmosphere was great to play in.
“The crowd was great on both sides, and I can only hope it was as great an experience for Station Camp as it was for us.”
“We have some of the best soccer talent right here in our own backyard, and it was wonderful to finally get to play a team the caliber of Station Camp; they’re a very talented and well coached team.”
Station Camp Coach Chris Thurman said they play the highest caliber of teams they can during the season to get ready for postseason play, and JPII fell into that category.
“We got into this tournament at the highest level because we wanted to play teams like JPII,” said Thurman. “They happened to be the team we drew, so that’s who we got ready to play.
The Beech football team is hoping a week off to rest its players and heal some bumps and bruises will pay dividends tonight, but Station Camp is hoping keep its momentum and extend its current winning streak.
“There’s a couple of different schools of thought I guess on having a week off once the season has started,” said Beech Coach Anthony Crabtree. “On one hand, it’s always good when you can let your players have a week to heal some minor things that just come with the game of football, but on the other hand I think every coach out there wants to keep a regular schedule when everything’s going good.
“I don’t think a team is ever going to get better without playing every week, but I guess we’ll see which way things go after we play on Friday.”
The Hendersonville football team goes from one emotional game straight to another tonight when the Commandos travel to Wilson County to take on district foe Mt. Juliet.
Last season the Bears topped the Commandos at Hendersonville in overtime, so the Commandos feel they have a score to settle with Mt. Juliet.
“Last year’s game was back and fourth from the outset and we just felt fortunate to come away with the win,” said Mt. Juliet Coach Roger Perry. “As always, Hendersonville came into the game well prepared we just made one more play than they did.
The Hendersonville boys and girls golf team both picked up wins Tuesday over Mt. Juliet at the Windtree Golf course, a course the Commandos hope to spend a lot of time on once the regular season is over.
“It was good for both our boys and girls to get the win, especially since this is the course that we’re going to have to play the district and region tournaments this year,” said Hendersonville Golf Coach Andy Gilley. “It’s always good when you can pick up a win at someone else’s home course, not to mention that it was a district win.”
A 28 point first quarter, coupled with a late second and third quarter McCallie touchdown prevented the Pope John Paul II Knights from capturing their first win under the direction of Head Coach Jeff Rutledge last Friday night. When the final buzzer sounded, the Knights dropped to 0-2 on the season but Rutledge says that it was a much closer ballgame than the 42-28 score would indicate.
“A couple of penalties and a few fumbles lost us the game. Our offense played as well as they could have played given the mistakes that we made. When you make those types of errors, you get beat,” said Rutledge.
Pope John Paul mounted a second quarter comeback after seeing the opening stanza go in favor of McCallie, 28-7. McCallie’s Daniel McClure had three touchdown rushes in the first period of 52, 34 and three yards. The seven JPII points came with a Jordan Adams 95-yard kickoff return.
An opportunistic Hendersonville squad cashed in on five Lebanon turnovers Friday, Sept. 3 en route to a lopsided 47-7 victory in the home-opener at Paul Decker Field.
Hendersonville tallied four touchdowns in the first nine minutes of the first quarter as Lebanon couldn’t get out of its’ own way -- turning the ball over three times deep in their own territory.
Trailing 7-0, Lebanon’s Patrick Maynard badly overthrew his intended receiver -- a ball that Elijah Howell was more than happy to intercept and return nine yards down to the Blue Devil 33.
Every coach wants a balanced offense backed up by a dominant defense; Beech had both Friday night taking out visiting Wilson Central 40-0 on homecoming.
“Ideally you want to be as balanced as you can be, so we were happy with that part of our game tonight,” said Beech Coach Anthony Crabtree. “I think we surprised them a little when we came out throwing, but that opened up our running game, so the two complement each other.”
Jarod Neal went 11-for-15 for 238 yard with touchdowns, and also added a rushing touchdown, hitting hit first seven attempts, and Travis Haymer had 15 carries for 229 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers victory.
“This was awesome tonight,” said Neal. “Every quarterback is going to have more fun when they kind of turn you loose, but tonight I got to make some suggestions and luckily they worked.
“A lot of credit for that goes to the line for doing such a great job of blocking, but having Travis in the backfield is also a big help. He’s a threat to break it every time he touches it, so they have to respect him and that opens things up for the passing game.”
Haymer agreed saying, “Being successful in the running game or in the passing game just helps the other out. Tonight the line did a great job, and I just came out focus on the job at hand.”
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