How to Make History 101
- Schedule a team you’ll likely play in the playoffs. Check.
- Hire a coach that has had a lot of success elsewhere. Check.
- Play a very difficult non-region schedule. Check.
- Make the Step 1 opponent’s home field your home field. Check.
- Advance far enough to play that opponent in Step 1. Check.
- Win. Dot. Dot. Dot.
Columbia Academy might as well take the words “Visitor” off the scoreboard and replace it with Whitwell as much as the Tigers have been there.
On the brink of their third trip to Columbia and fourth matchup with the Bulldogs in only two seasons, Whitwell has lessened the scoring margin down to a manageable distance. And although the Bulldogs dominated in their matchup just three weeks ago, it’s easier to prepare for an opponent you’ve already played.
Than again, it’s easier for the other team as well.
Tracy Malone has made a living this year competing in games his team had no business scoring in. Davidson Academy was the first of those as they led 10-7 at halftime before they suffered an offensive barrage from the Bears. And as much as South Pittsburg has tried to distance themselves from the Region 3-1A pack this season, the Tiger scored more against South Pittsburg than five other teams combined on the Pirates’ slate.
And if there is a way for the Tigers to continue on to the quarterfinals, it would be this season against a team they are extremely familiar with.
In fact, the Tigers held them to their lowest point total all season. That’s saying something for a team that was rolling until Whitwell hit them upside the head.
Whitwell at Columbia Academy
JJ Savage Field, Columbia, Tennessee
Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM CT/8:00 PM ET
RIVALRY RECAP: LAST TEN MATCHUPS
All Time Series Record: Columbia Academy, 3-0 (Since 2001)
Bulldogs 21, Yellow Jackets 3; October 21, 2016
Bulldogs 33, Tigers 6; November 13, 2o15
Bulldogs 41, Tigers 24; October 23, 2015
No Other Matchups Recorded
PLACE YOUR BETS
DISCLAIMER: These are not actual spreads or odds, and cannot be used in kind of sports betting context.
The Spread: Whitwell (+14.5) at Columbia Academy
Odds to Win: Whitwell 5 to 1; Columbia Academy 6 to 5
Over/Under (Total Points): (27.5 Points)
Breaking Down the Bets: ‘The Spread’ is based on who is favored in the matchup and by how many points. ‘Odds to Win’ are the odds for a certain team to win that game and is not related to the odds of ‘The Spread.’ The ‘Over/Under’ is how many points both teams are expected to combine for, unrelated to ‘The Spread’ or “Odds to Win.’ These betting lines are simply to display what Vegas would perceive the matchup at and cannot be used in any sports betting enterprise.
QUICK HIT STORYLINES
Bulldogs Will Try to Make it Four Straight Against the Tigers
Whitwell Plays for its First Quarter Final/3rd Round Playoff Game Since 1991
Winner Moves on to Play the Winner of Fayetteville-South Pittsburg
Columbia Academy is Undefeated and Waltz in with an 11-Game Home Win Streak
*Some Information Courtesy of Steve Daffron/WHS “Tiger” Football History*
INSIDE THE FILM ROOM
Film Room: Whitwell’s pistol sets have surprised many this season, but a powerhouse like Columbia Academy won’t be fooled so easily. With Hudson Petty on their side with an improved passing game, the Tigers should be able to muster up some points against a squad that held them to three earlier in the season. Look for outside runs and passing to lead the charge in a game that can add a lot of dimension to a Whitwell team getting ready to take on Columbia Academy next week. That Bulldog defense, though, is stingy as they may have recorded the fourth-smallest tackle total on the season during their week ten matchup, but they recorded the most sacks (9) for a total of 25 yards.
Columbia Academy, with its ‘Sling-T’ formation, looks to spread the field out while maintaining a hard-nosed edge over their opponent. The Bulldogs usually rely a lot on the passing game with senior signal-caller Dylan Johnson, but in the regular season matchup between the Bulldogs and Tigers, he was held to only one completion for 11 yards. The Tigers also picked him off during the duration of that 21-3 bout. With a lot of motion-involving plays and play-action, they’ll seek to confuse the Whitwell defense with sets and schemes alone. The Bulldogs had their second best rushing game of the season (next to Grace Baptist in the first round) against the Tigers last time around, so the Tigers will likely focus on their rushing defense this week during practice.
KEY ON-THE-FIELD MATCHUPS
Dylan Johnson vs. Tiger Secondary
Johnson had trouble against the Tigers in their last matchup in Week Ten. He could only muster 11 yards on one completion and seven attempts. This time around, he’ll likely be better prepared, but the big question is whether the Tigers’ defense can hold down the no-fly zone while holding the Bulldogs to under 150 yards rushing. And you can bet your last dollar that Columbia Academy will be trying as many play-action passes as possible.
Whitwell Backfield vs. Bulldog Interior Defense
The Tigers’ backfield was held to just 64 yards against the Bulldogs last time around, so they’ll have to step it up on the ground if they hope to advance. Only averaging 2.3 yards a carry, Trace Condra, Dawson Holloway, and Hudson Petty were at the mercy of the linebackers and line of the Bulldogs. Hopefully, the Tigers will be able to bring out some new or innovative plays since they’ve already played the Bulldogs this season and have their system down pat.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Whitwell: Dawson Holloway (Senior Quarterback), Garrett Shrum (Junior Tight End/Defensive End), Trace Condra (Junior Halfback/Strong Safety), T.D. Argo (Junior Offensive Line/Defensive Line), Austin Nunley (Junior Kicker), and Hudson Petty (Sophomore Halfback/Defensive End)
Columbia Academy: Dylan Johnson (Senior Quarterback), Matthew Fox (Senior Offensive Tackle), Timmy Riley (Junior Outside Linebacker), Rush Lansdell (Sophomore Free Safety), Logan Neal (Senior Halfback), Briggs Hall (Junior Defensive Tackle)