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Blue Devils to officially unveil Tribble Field
Aug 24, 2012 12:00 am
By ANDY REED
Lebanon will complete its move from Nokes-Lasater Field to Clifton Tribble Field/Danny Watkins Stadium when Franklin County visits for the Blue Devils' 2012 home opener.
Fans will be greeted by a brand-new Jumbotron which was being installed Tuesday. The game ball will be relayed from Nokes-Lasater to Tribble Field.
"A lot of people have been calling and wanting to know about parking and wanting to know where tailgate's going to be," Lebanon coach Troy Crane said of the opening-night logistics. "Nobody really knows it don't seem like right now. Here it is a few days away from kickoff and there are still a ton of questions. But I believe it will all come together.
"I know the Blue Devil alumni group has a lot of festivities planned. There will be a relay from the old stadium to the new stadium bringing the game ball. We had the Jumbotron installed this week. That will be something really neat to add to the game-night atmosphere."
Jason Partlow, Lebanon's starting quarterback from 1983-85, will take a snap from his former Blue Devil center Tony Davis at Nokes-Lasater to begin the relay.
Franklin County at Lebanon
The Blue Devils have been working to make their home debut look better on the field than their season opener, a 44-0 loss at Mt. Juliet last Friday.
"We've had a good week of practice and really look forward to get back on the game field to get that bad taste out of our mouth from last week," Crane said.
Lebanon has been decimated by injuries since the preseason. Missed tackles haunted the Blue Devils at Mt. Juliet.
"Every week we're going to be healthier as it goes," Crane said. [Running back] Taye Davis is further along this week than he was last week, so I think we'll be able to get more out of him than we did. From a backfield standpoint, we're still missing a lot of weapons. A lot of our younger guys are getting more and more experience and as we go along, we're getting better each day.
"One of the telling stats, we had three missed tackles in the first quarter and we had 18 in the second quarter, so there's no coincidence why they scored 28 points in the second quarter. They're a really good football team. I can assure you we're not going to be the only ones they score 40 points on. But still, unacceptable for the amount of missed tackles that we had. All we've done is come back; it's been a point of emphasis in every defensive period this week. We've done it in our individual stations and in our team stations."
Franklin County is coming off a 35-16 win at Chattanooga Howard last week. Interestingly, Lebanon was the Rebels' final opponent at the old James Douglas Memorial Stadium in the 2003 playoffs. The Rebs will be the Blue Devils opponent in their Tribble Field debut.
"Franklin County is a very physical, hard-nosed football team on both sides of the ball," Crane said, noting the Rebels run the wing-T, just as Mt. Juliet does. "It's very quick when you start studying their film. Their offensive and defensive lines catch your attention, they're very physical.
"They're a power football team. They run the G, they run the buck sweep, they run the bootleg. They find ways to get their playmakers touches."
Wilson Central at LaVergne
The Wildcats have been flying high since opening the season with a 35-13 win at Gallatin last Friday.
That was then. LaVergne is now, though Wildcats coach Brad Dedman is not so sure.
"We've had to try to bring them down from Cloud 9 a little bit," Dedman said Wednesday. "We've done a decent job of that, but I'm still worried a little bit."
LaVergne's crash came during last Friday's game when the Wolverines saw a 13-0 lead disintegrate into a 20-13 loss to Antioch. But Dedman said the 'Rines are talented.
"Big, fast, athletic all the way across the field," Dedman said of the Wolverines. "Offensive line is big, athletic and fast. They've got two really good running backs.
"Receiving-wise, they're pretty good on the edges. They block well and they catch well. Their quarterback does a good job of throwing the ball, good job play-action."
Dedman said running back D.J. Majors will be out this week while outside linebacker/wide receiver Chase Hobbs and cornerback/running back Eric Simmons are questionable.
White House Heritage at Friendship Christian
The Commanders used a big, physical power game to win the Class 2A state championship last fall. With most of their linemen back, they will face a big White House Heritage team in a battle of brute force at Pirtle Field, the first of six Friendship regular-season home games this fall.
"They're big," Commander coach John McNeal said of the Patriots, coming off a 20-14 overtime win over Davidson Academy last week. "I watched them in a jamboree and, to be honest, I knew they lost a lot of seniors like we did, and when I pulled up, I was amazed at how big they were. Their fullback and tailback are huge. I told [Defensive Coordinator Duane] Lowe they're both bigger than [FCS' star fullback/linebacker from last year] Kyle Wood. Quarterback's back with good speed and they have a little tailback/wingback who has good speed.
"They're big up front... They played well in the preseason... It was a real physical game for us last year and I figure it's going to be the same way this Friday."
Friendship is coming off a 41-7 win at Donelson Christian last week.
"Defensively, we gave early and held on," McNeal said of the opening victory. "We finally got a stop and got the ball. It was 21-0 right before the half and they got it down to the 3-, 2-yard line on fourth down and we stopped them. That was huge. Then we came out the second half and had a little trick play we ran right after halftime that got us down to about the 10 and the next play we ran it in and made it 28-0.
"I thought that was the two key plays of the game."
McNeal said Parker Pinnell and Jeff Cherry, who did not play last week, will be game-time decisions. Freshman Gene Carman, a backup and special teams player who would have played last week due to cramping issues, played in the junior-varsity game earlier this week and will be available. Adam Neal is back, but maybe not to full speed.
"We're better, but not where we want to be," McNeal said. "Maybe we'll be there by next week."
McGavock at Mt. Juliet
These old rivals are coming off big Week 0 wins. While Mt. Juliet was rolling past Lebanon 44-0, McGavock went to Tullahoma and whipped the Wildcats 34-13.
"Very athletic," Mt. Juliet coach Roger Perry said of the Raiders, noting their two key players are their quarterback and running back. "They will spread the field. They like to throw the football. They'll run it. They got the running backs to do it.
"They have good size in the offensive and defensive front and one of their linebackers has good size."
As for Mt. Juliet, the old axiom that the most improvement comes between the first and second game applies to the Golden Bears, even after a lopsided opening win.
"We felt good about our opener," Perry said. "They're always some mistakes you try to correct and try to get better at. Offensively, there are so many things we need to improve on – blocking technique, execution of plays.
"Defensively, we played extremely well."
Perry reported no new injuries.
"We feel blessed we're able to put any of those guys in and there were no injuries," he said.
Red Boiling Springs at Mt. Juliet Christian
The program which went years without a win not that long ago is coming off a 30-8 win over Pickett County. New adjectives are being used to describe the Bulldogs.
"They're big and they've got some athletes," Mt. Juliet Christian coach Jake Roberts said of the Bulldogs. "They've got some guys in there I don't think they've every had before."
Red Boiling Springs runs a double-wing offense with jet and rocket. Defensively, the Bulldogs use three down linemen but walk up the two outside linebackers for a 50 look.
"Trying to get those guys on the perimeter," Roberts said. "They're utilizing their fullback and hit him up the middle."
As for the adjustments between games one and two, Roberts said conditioning is a big one following the Saints' 24-8 loss at Community last Friday.
"This week, we've definitely gotten a lot better," Roberts said. "We realize as much as we've emphasized conditioning, we needed to amp up the conditioning a lot.
"We've made some adjustments offensively and defensively we think will help get our guys in the right spot."
McClain Christian at Pleasant View Christian
MCA coach Seth Bass doesn't know a lot about the Warriors, who lost 54-6 to Memphis' Macon Road Baptist last week.
"I've been told they're a pretty decent-sized team," Bass said of the Warriors, who have a new coach this season but believes they run pretty much the same offense and defense the Bulldogs saw last year.
McClain is coming off a 66-30 win over Franklin Christian last Saturday. But the Bulldogs lost both guards to injury and their center to a suspension. Eight-man football uses three interior linemen [instead of five in the 11-man game], though many teams utilize two tight ends for extra beef up front. Bass said he'll move a pair of TEs to guard.
With the manpower issues, he would like to see a quicker game. With all the scoring, it took almost three hours to play last week's game, but McClain could never get the lead up to the 35-point spread needed to run the clock continually until late.
"It's important to get off to a good start and get a running clock," Bass said.
The game has been moved back an hour to 7 p.m. at Joelton Middle School.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952, ext. 17; or by email at email@example.com