PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Ravenwood faces crucial test, Nolensville tries to settle score


PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Ravenwood faces crucial test, Nolensville tries to settle score

BY CORY WOODROOF | PHOTO BY DEB SCALLY 

The playoffs continue on here in Williamson County, with a good bunch of local teams still climbing up the mountain for the treasures of Cookeville.

We’ll have more on Brentwood’s big home rematch with Independence later in the week. For now, a look at a few key matchups as we head into the playoffs’ second week.

Ravenwood to take complete Raptors to undefeated Cane Ridge 

The Raptors might be the most complete team in the county right now.

Led by star QB Brian Garcia on offense, we all know what the team can do on the ground and in the air. The defense is no different. We know what Matt Daniels’ team is capable of. It’s just a matter of if they can overcome what held them back last year in the same scenario.

The team is coming off a surprise bye week and now will head on the road to an undefeated Cane Ridge, who kept it close against Franklin last week before blowing the top off the visiting team to get what looked to be a blowout victory. But make no mistake, not until the floodgates flew open in the third quarter was that lopsided. Franklin hung in there, and Ravenwood can, too.

The best way the Raptors can win this one is just to lean on what they’re good at. They beat Cane Ridge by being the best version of themselves and seeing if that’s good enough. Sometimes, in a situation like this, it’s not. But Ravenwood’s got a good shot here. It’ll be fun to see how Raptors DC Ryan Fowler tries to slow down this prolific Ravens offense, led by Mr. Football semifinalist Devon Starling.

Plus, if you’ll recall, it was Cane Ridge who took down Ravenwood at home last season in dramatic fashion to advance into the playoffs in the semifinals. The Raptors would no doubt enjoy leaving Cane Ridge with a different result.

How this one ends up will matter a ton for the rest of the future of the 2018 county playoffs.

The winner gets the victor of Brentwood/Indy.

Nolensville will try to get even with Maplewood 

Nolensville nearly came close to pulling off a comeback win against region rival Maplewood in October.

Now, the Knights will square off with the Panthers once more, with the winner set to take on the victor of Tullahoma/Marshall Co.

Young QB Ryder Galardi continues to lead the team under center, and he’s always had a great group of weapons to rely on. Where the Knights will win and lose this will be on the ground with Colton Dooley.

Dooley has had a wonderful season for the Knights to close out his career and could be headed to one of the United States service academies once his career is over. Galardi can only do so much this early in his career; it’ll be up to Dooley and that Knights offensive line to set the tone against a tough Maplewood defense.

The last game was 20-13. How will this one turn out?

Look to the run game. That’s where the Knights will look to thrive to get this road win and keep going in further into the playoffs.

The rest of the slate: 

CPA will host St. George’s…Page will host Beech…FRA will take a trip to Notre Dame…BGA will head out to Knoxville to take on Webb…BA will face Christian Brothers on the road.

The Lions and Patriots feel like major favorites at home to advance on to next Friday’s action, while the Wildcats have a good chance to land a road win in Knoxville. BA’s tilt with Christian Brothers feels like a tossup, and the Panthers will be in for a hard road fight against a high-level Notre Dame team, though they’ve got the talent to pull it off.

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