Although taking a insurance policy out of a crystal ball is a bit risky, it appears that the future will be even brighter for Ensworth’s team this year than last.
The Tigers clearly appear to be Nashville’s best team — but they are hoping this year that avoiding injuries will propel them to be the best in the state.
Ensworth handed MBA its worst loss since the ‘05 Clinic Bowl Kickoff Classic (a 62-14 loss to Byrne, S.C.). It was the Big Red’s worst loss to a Nashville team since a 48-7 loss to Overton and a 50-21 loss (same score) to Ryan, both in 1976.
A lightning quick back like Orleans Darkwa, a lights-out defense and a mammoth line all makes the Tigers a DII state DII title threat. Roadblocks against Ryan and Brentwood Academy await, but both are at home. With continued success, a possible finals playoff matchup with defending champ MUS looms.
But avoiding injuries, something that has already hit MBA and also hit Ensworth hard last year, is unpredictable.
Perhaps the one that hurt the most was to versatile senior Jacob Carter, who missed the last part of the season and all of the playoffs with a broken collarbone.
“It happened in the Ryan game (a 38-25 Ensworth win in Week 8),’’ said the 6-0, 175-pound Carter, who caught three passes for 43 yards and a TD vs. MBA. “This season, hopefully everyone will stay healthy.’’
Carter is a standout wide receiver/defensive back, kicks extra points, and returns punts.
Asked what he liked to do best, he said, “return punts, that’s something I really like.’’
Numbers don’t matter: When one took a look at the sidelines of teams of Ensworth and Montgomery Bell Academy, it looked like a mis-match. MBA had 81 players dress out, about twice as much as the 42 for Ensworth – it was a mismatch, but the lower numbers team rolled.
“With smaller numbers like we have, a lot of guys go both ways,’’ said defensive end/tight end Sam Cooper, a Clemson signee. “We had two weeks to prepare (for MBA), and we were well-rested. The coaches had us ready.’’
Darkwa rushed for an incredible 342 yards and five TDs, running around, through and sometimes over MBA’s defense and even improved on his game of last year vs. MBA.
“The line blocked great, and everyone played well,’’ Darkwa said.
Linebacker Myers Beard and defensive back Quinn Hamilton were instrumental in limiting the MBA offense.
“The coaches had us well-prepared,’’ said Beard, a senior. “If we keep improving and working hard, we should be OK.’’
Ryan stays in contention
Father Ryan (2-1) upended Brentwood Academy for the second straight year, coming from behind last Friday for a 35-34 win to stay alongside Ensworth for the DII East/Middle lead. QB Trey McPhail engineered a dramatic 94-yard last-ditch drive, scoring the winner with 1:03 left on a six-yard run.
East Lit surprise
One of the big surprises in Nashville after three games is East Literature (2-0). The Eagles stunned CPA 35-34 in overtime as Troy Boseman rushed for 195 yards and a TD.
“We just kept fighting and never gave up,’’ said Coach Bubba Spears. “We told them to leave it all on the field, and if everyone did, we’d help carry them back to the bus.’’
It appears East Lit, a first-year varsity program, will land a 3A playoff berth with a region win at Pearl Cohn Sept. 18. The Eagles visit Hillwood Friday.