Overton seems always to have one workhorse running back to keep defenses constantly on edge.
Last year, the run-oriented Bobcats had two goods ones – Tez Humphrey and Hume award winner Drew Montgomery – as they rambled to an 8-2 playoff season.
But this year, they have three dependable runners, all capable of bringing their special goods to the table – DeQuan Easley, Zabian King and Willis Word, who is one of the leading rushers in Nashville.
The trio of trailblazers has helped the Bobcats rebound from a dismal opening loss to Ryan. They have bounced back for four straight wins, the latest a 31-0 region shutout over Cane Ridge last Friday.
Against Cane Ridge, Easley rushed for 72 yards and two touchdowns, King added 68 and Word chipped in 42, which gave him 401 for the season.
“They all have strong individual strengths,” coach Terry Anderson said. “Zabian is a power runner, Willis is more of a speedster and DeQuan is kind of a change of pace guy, who can break off some big runs.
“They are all very capable and give us balance.”
Some doubt among the Bobcat hopeful crept in after a 22-3 opening game loss to Father Ryan in the Clinic Bowl kickoff Classic, when the Irish intercepted four passes.
Righting the ship was of primary concern to Anderson and his staff, and they have done so with four straight wins and have averaged 27 points a game in the process.
“We knew we were a better team than what we showed against Ryan, as we moved the ball well,” Anderson said. “Twice we drove inside the red zone to the 2 and the 15 and came away with no points either time. It was really a 7-3 type game in the second half.”
As for the last four weeks he said, “nothing really changed. Mistakes cost us against Ryan, and we just did a better job of cutting down on the mistakes. We’re still a work in progress, we need to become more consistent. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Overton’s defense has stepped up as well.
In the past two games, that unit allowed Lipscomb just 102 yards total offense then gave up 110 to Cane Ridge.
“Different guys are stepping up and making plays on defense,” Anderson said.
He noted that linebackers Ike Amabi, Rick Thomas and Jeremy Henderson have been mainstays on the defensive side. King at free safety and defensive end Brandon Scruggs also have been playmakers.
At midseason, the Bobcats are gearing up for a strong finish. They will be favored over winless Hunters Lane on Friday. Following that are region games with Hillwood, then a duel with surprisingly winless and defending region champ McGavock.
• Sensational game for BGA duo: Rarely, if ever, in Battle Ground Academy football history have the Wildcats showcased a passing onslaught like they did in Friday’s 35-17 win over rival Montgomery Bell Academy.
Split end Jordan Smith caught four touchdown passes and finished the night with eight receptions for 163 yards. Quarterback C.J. Beathard completed an incredible 17 of 18 passes for 261 yards, with the four touuchdowns to Jordan for the unbeaten Wildcats (5-0).
Amazingly, the versatile Smith came very close to scoring six times, five on offense and once on defense where he plays right cornerback.
Midway through the second quarter, he caught a 16-yard pass from Beathard, dove for the goal line but came up just short. Keenan Bass scored on the next play. On MBA’s next possession, he intercepted a pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown, but the play was called back for pass interference.
“I caught three touchdown passes against Ravenwood, but this was the best yet,” Smith said. “C.J. is the greatest quarterback I’ve ever seen. He puts the ball right where it needs to be and we’ve gotten better week-by-week.
“It was a good [pass interference] call. I did grab [the receiver], so I missed out on scoring on defense.”
For the season, Smith has 29 catches for 422 yards (15 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns.
BGA was probably even more motivated with the departure of last year’s coach Marty Euverard to rival MBA. One fan held up a cruel sign which, spelling out the MBA letters, read “Marty’s Botched Attempt.”
The Wildcats are moving into the teeth of their schedule, starting a with matchup at defending DII state champ Ensworth on Friday, then home games with McCallie and Brentwood Academy.
“Jordan and C.J. were spectacular,’’ first-year coach Roc Batten said. “We are really going to need them big-time Friday against Ensworth.”
• Tidbits: Hillsboro High will hold its inaugural Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony with a luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the school cafeteria. A reception will be held at 11 a.m., followed by the luncheon at 11:30, then the ceremony at 12:30 p.m.
Inductees are Hale Harris, Ed Hessey, Billy Mac Jones, Don McIlhenney, Marynell Meadors, Henry Nance, Jackie Turner, Ed Newton, Steve Thompson, Katherine Weis and the 10-0 1957 Clinic Bowl football team, which won the city championship. To RSVP, call Suzanne Thomas at 298-8400, ext. 2006 or e-mail her at email@example.com by Wednesday, Sept. 28.
• Ward Cross Country: Harpeth Hall freshman Reagan Freeman won the silver division at the Junior Ward Tennessee cross-country classic Saturday at the Percy Warner Steeplechase course.
Freeman edged defending Class A/AA state champ Barbara Lee Ball of David Lipscomb and led Harpeth Hall to the silver team title for the second straight year.
Hume-Fogg won the boys silver division, placing four runners in the top 10. ML King’s Sam Klockenkemper finished third.
• Simpson injured: David Lipscomb’s 35-0 loss at Maplewood was further clouded when Mustang quarterback Luke Simpson reinjured a knee. His status is uncertain when the Mustangs host rival Goodpasture in the TV-30 Thursday Night Lights game.
• CPA rolls: No. 2 (AP) ranked Class 2A ranked CPA allowed Stratford just 155 yards of total offense in a 28-0 win, upping its record to 4-0.