Of all the scores from last Friday’s second round, Class 3A football playoff games, one in particular jumped off the page.
Pearl-Cohn 40, Smith County 0 – at Carthage, no less -- which on the surface one would think was a mistake from what was reported on the radio or placed in print. Most observers would have predicted a close game.
No mistake at all – the Firebirds (9-3) won their sixth straight game by scoring the 40 points in the last three quarters. They are as hot a team from Nashville as any as they head to Madison on Friday to meet another hot team – Goodpasture – in the 3A quarterfinals.
“We took advantage of some fumbles and mistakes, and got ahead and that kind of set the tone,” Firebirds coach Tony Brunetti said.
Ever the critic, Brunetti added, “but there were still some things we need to work on to become a good football team.”
Then he added an ominous comment: “We haven’t peaked yet. We’ve yet to play a complete game. We play hard most of the time, then we have lapses here and there.”
Three times in the six-game streak, Pearl-Cohn has scored at least 40 points. Another time, it scored 28 (a 28-24 victory over Lipscomb). In the opening round, the Firebirds put 32 points on Grundy County.
Against Smith County, showcase backs D’Anthony Hall and Michael Murray both scored two touchdowns and the defense recovered two fumbles. The Owls had but eight first downs.
About the game at Goodpasture, Brunetti said, “We’re definitely the underdogs. They (Goodpasture) do everything well, they are a complete team.”
Like Pearl-Cohn, Goodpasture (11-1) has won six straight since a mid-season 21-20 loss to rival David Lipscomb.
The Cougars are also scoring a lot of points. Seven times in their 12 games, they have put 40 or more.
“Pearl-Cohn has so much speed and athleticism,’’ veteran Goodpasture coach David Martin said. “They have many talented players.
“And their defense forces turnovers. They get to ball so quickly.”
Goodpasture may have put together its best offensive game of the season in a 54-17 win over Sequatchie County. The Cougars racked up 432 yards of total offense and also used an interception return by Cody Jones for another touchdown.
“We’re playing pretty good lately,” Martin whose team hasn’t played Pearl-Cohn since the late 1990s, said. “We’ve had a lot of people contribute.”
Carter Thompson scored three touchdowns in last Friday’s win. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds engineers a balanced attack, passing for more than 1,500 yards. John Thomas Lynn is the leading receiver with more than 500 receiving yards.
• In Class 4A, David Lipscomb (9-3) returns to the scene of a Week 2 loss at Maplewood when the Mustangs take on the No. 2 Panthers (11-1) whose only loss is to MBA.
Maplewood blew open a close game with a three-touchdown fourth quarter and went on to a 31-13 romp over Lipscomb Sept. 3. That game ignited a 10-game Panther win streak.
• In the DII-AA semifinals, Ensworth (8-2) will host Brentwood Academy (10-2) in a rematch of a thriller the teams had at BA Sept. 30.
Ensworth, seeking its first finals appearance, has won eight straight since starting 0-2, including a 21-14 victory at BA. That win was clinched when Corn Elder intercepted a pass in the end zone on the final play.
• Hume finalists named: The five finalists for the annual Hume Award have been announced. They include: Tez Vestal (Hillsboro), Steven Lillard (Hunters Lane), Kody McKinley (McGavock), Andrew Montgomery (Overton), and Jestin Williams (Pearl-Cohn).
The award is for Metro Nashville football players who excel in ability, leadership, sportsmanship and academics. Winner will be announced Dec. 6 at the Wildhorse Saloon.
• Long-time coach Johnson passes away: Long-time Nashville area football/basketball/baseball coach Gerald Johnson, who coached Nashville area prep sports for 40 years, died Sunday at age 79 after a long bout with Alzheimer’s Disease.
A three-sport letterman at BGA, Johnson coached sports at old Nashville Central (1956-57, 1960-70), Antioch (1958-60), Maplewood (1970-82), Brentwood (1982-85), Ryan (1985-92) and Cheatham County (1992-96).
Johnson’s 1980 Maplewood baseball team won the state, and his 1975 Maplewood football team got to the AAA finals before falling to Oak Ridge.
Funeral services are Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Funeral Home.
Blackman at Smyrna
Lipscomb at Maplewood
Pearl-Cohn at Goodpasture
BGA at Baylor
Brentwood Academy at Ensworth
ECS at Knoxville Webb
Davidson Academy at St. George’s