Preps: Nashville Christian looks to pull another playoff upset

Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 7:09pm

Nashville Christian School has taken a young turn into the Class 1A playoffs — literally and figuratively.

It comes in the form of sophomore quarterback Ryan Young, who engineered the Eagles (5-6) to a stunning 28-24 first-round upset of Moore County last week in Lynchburg.

“He was the starter early on, then fell behind a little and lost the job, but late in the season we thought he was the best guy for the job,” second-year coach Jeff Brothers said.

Young scored three touchdowns, two (one was the game-winner) in the second half. He combined for 212 yards, hitting 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards, rushed 70 more as the Eagles, seeded sixth in the quadrant, upended No. 3 Moore County.

The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Young, who also plays free safety, was his team’s leading tackler as well.

“He has adapted well to what we’re trying to do on offense, he’s a very good passer, and he can pull it down and run it, too,” Brothers said. “And he’s great kid.

“Before the game, we emphasized not to get down if things didn’t go our way at first, and that’s pretty much what happened. We got behind early, then we missed a field goal attempt on the last play of the half (when NCS trailed 16-15), which would have given us the lead.”

Young then took over in the second half.

“He’s quite an athlete, he’s an excellent receiver, defensive back and kickoff and punt return man,” Brothers said.

Young compares favorably to versatile Thomas Knoblach, who was a receiver/defensive back and do-everything type player for the Eagles last year.

Next up: A trip down I-40 East to play Gordonsville (8-2), the No. 2 seed in the quadrant.

“They [Gordonsville] have excellent size, speed and athleticism, especially on the perimeter,” Brothers said. “They got the week off [due to a first round bye], they can get everyone healed up, they’re confident, and they’re playing at home where they have terrific support from their community.

“The last time I was in Gordonsville, I was an assistant at CPA, and remember the great support and tradition they have there.”

CPA signings: Christ Presbyterian Academy star guard Craig Bradshaw signed to play basketball at Belmont University, and Peyton Deming signed to play golf at UT-Martin on Thursday.

Both are signing Thursday at noon at a ceremony at CPA.

As a junior, Bradshaw averaged 18.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists. Deming was a four-time state tournament finalist in Class A/AA.

FRA signings: Franklin Road Academy has announced that Andrea Cropper (girls golf) will sign with Memphis, and Brett Ravener (baseball) will sign with Harding (Ark.) at 10 a.m. Friday.

Cropper led FRA to the state team DII-A runner-up and championship her final two seasons. Ravener, an outfielder, was all-region as a junior.

Former Nashville coach passes away: Garland Russell, a long-time head football coach in Nashville, died Monday night at 86 following complications with Alzheimer’s disease.

Russell served as head coach at old Central High, old Two Rivers High, then McGavock, Davidson Academy before winding up his career as an assistant at Donelson Christian Academy after 50 years of coaching.

After serving in the Army during World War II, Russell played football for two years at both Vanderbilt, then MTSU.

Visitation is Thursday night at Woodlawn Memorial Park on Thompson Lane and Friday morning, prior to the funeral service at 2:30 p.m.

FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS

Friday’s games

DIVISION I
(Second round)

Class 6A
Brentwood High at Franklin

Class 5A
Lenoir City at Centennial

Class 4A
Liberty at Maplewood

Class 3A
Pearl-Cohn at Harpeth
CPA at Goodpasture

Class 1A
Nashville Christian School at Gordonsville

DIVISION II
(quarterfinals)

Class AA
Father Ryan at Ensworth
Montgomery Bell Academy at Baylor
Brentwood Academy at Christian Brothers

Class A
Davidson Academy at Harding Academy
St. George’s at Donelson Christian Academy