{}

Football Preview: Rebels, Eagles square off in critical 6-6A game; Fairview, Page back on the road; Summit hosts Columbia

No matter how you slice it, Friday night’s Region 6-6A collision between Franklin and Independence in Thompson's Station will be critical to playoff seedings.

Independence (2-2, 1-0 Region 6-6A) should be flying a bit high after blistering Hillsboro on the road in Nashville in Week 4, 49-21. The win was head coach Scott Blade’s first return trip to his initial assignment in Tennessee. He got to enjoy it on Saturday morning before heading back to work.

“This is a huge county game,” Blade said Tuesday. “We need to keep improving like the last two weeks to make it three in a row.”

The Eagles have seen that steady improvement, especially in junior quarterback Nate Cisco, who had the best game of his career against the Burros, throwing for 341 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions, hitting 18-of-23 attempts (78.3 percent), including a 59-yard touchdown to junior Isaiah Collier.

“The offensive line played their best game of the year so far, too," Blade said. "Things were clicking for the first time this season. Hillsboro was very talented and I was glad to see us make big strides.”

Franklin (1-3, 0-2 Region 6-6A) broke out of an early season slump and slapped McGavock 34-7, scoring more against the Raiders than they had in the first three games combined.

The Rebels have used a multi-back running attack to go along with senior quarterback Carter Hendry’s legs and arm. Nagging injuries seemed to have improved for Hendry last week, leaving concern about defending the rush behind one of the biggest offensive lines in the county, led by Ohio State commitment Max Wray at 6-foot-7, 295 pounds at one tackle and his “little” brother, Jake Wray (6-5, 290) at the other.

“Franklin runs the ball extremely well and passes enough to keep you off balance," Blade said. "You have to slow the run down first to give yourself a chance, but I don’t know if you can counter their big offensive line with anything we have. We’ll just have to do our best at slowing them down and keeping off the linebackers.”

Source:  Williamson Herald, Joe Williams