Eagles Ready for Opening Day
By Stetson Marlin
Nashville Christian opens up their 2017 football season at Columbia Academy this Friday night as kickoff is at 7 p.m. Both teams are looking to build off of successful seasons last year.
Columbia Academy has been up there with Nashville Christian in terms of wins over the last couple years. Since 2013, Columbia Academy is 44-6, while Nashville Christian is 48-6.
Last season, Columbia Academy went undefeated in the regular season, but ended up losing to South Pittsburg in the 3rd round to finish the season at 11-1.
Nashville Christian made it to the 3rd round also, but ended up losing to Wayne County, finishing with a record of 10-3. This matchup will be a key matchup for both teams as they look to start the year off with a win.
Some key players to look out for in this matchup for Nashville Christian are Brant Lawless, Jesse Watson and Xavier Myers.
Brant Lawless has a chance to create some chaos on the defensive line. Look for Lawless to make some noise with sacks or tackles for loss throughout the game. He could also be a part of the passing game for Nashville Christian as well.
Jesse Watson can also make some noise for Nashville Christian. Look for Jesse to get the ball a lot, either running the ball, or getting thrown to a lot. Jesse can evade tacklers and can make some noise in space, as he was able to show that throughout the scrimmage against Wayne County. Watson is a key player offensively and defensively.
Chad Kinnard is someone to look out for in this game as well. This will be Chad’s first ever start at quarterback. Although it is his first start, look for him to have a quality start with some good numbers. Chad knows the playbook well, and has a really good throw on the short routes.
Blake Kleinke is a solid cornerback for Columbia Academy. Kleinke picked up an All Region honor last season because of his work at cornerback. He also has the chance to be the starting quarterback for Columbia Academy as they lost their quarterback to graduation as well.
Rush Lansdell is also a key player for Columbia Academy. Lansdell was an all-state defensive back last year. He is very athletic and can make some noise on both offense and defense.
There are many things to look out for during this matchup against Columbia Academy and Nashville Christian. One thing to look out for in this game is to see how Nashville Christian’s line matches up against Columbia Academy’s defensive line.
Both lines have good size, and should match up well against each other. Nashville Christian returns five lineman from last year who got key playing time throughout the year, so they are experienced.
Another key matchup in this game should be Nashville Christian’s wide receivers against Columbia Academy’s secondary.
Columbia Academy returns a few players from last year’s secondary who picked up all region honors. Nashville Christian returns many key wide receivers from last years team as well, as they return Jesse Watson, Bobby Clark, Zach Young, Zach Clark, and others.
Another thing to look out for in this matchup is how each quarterback does. Both teams are coming in with new quarterbacks, so it’ll be interesting to see which one steps up and leads their team to victory.
Nashville Christian and Columbia Academy have matched up against each other on the gridiron only three times. All of those matchups have been recently, within the past seven seasons.
Nashville Christian has won all three matchups against Columbia Academy. The first matchup against the two teams was in 2010. Nashville Christian won that first round matchup by the score of 26-14.
The two teams then faced off against each other in 2013 in a quarterfinal matchup, in which Nashville Christian won that matchup at home by the score of 49-21.
The latest matchup against the two teams was another quarterfinal matchup, in which Nashville Christian won that matchup on the road by the score of 34-9.
Those two victories in 2013 and 2014 helped push Nashville Christian to the semifinals, where they had a stretch of four straight semifinals appearances.