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East-RS set to meet on field and TV, TJCA 6-0

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It pretty much speaks for itself when you echo the words...East Rutherford at R-S Central on the football field. This rivalry game is on Thursday night 7pm, October 5th with MY40 and Thursday Night Lights being on hand to broadcast a live Rutherford County football game for the first time in history.

As for the match up, R-S Central (2-4) has shown some bright spots at times this season, but still trying to find themselves. The Hilltoppers have essentially had ten days to prepare since falling hard to Mitchell.

East Rutherford (4-2) on the otherhand seemed to have used the bye week to redefine themselves. It was a big 25-7 win last Friday over Polk. The Cavalier defense was outstanding with Cade Hamilton, Joey Detetta, Josh Wilson and Jordan Harris all major contributors in the win.

Last year, the two teams went to overtime before East Rutherford won in an absolute dogfight. However, the Cavs have the advantage in most spots this season. R-S Central may have the advantage at quarterback with Jayden Waddell, but East Rutherford's Cameron Simmons has improved tremendously in a year and is managing the game much better as well.

The match up that will be key is the East offensive line vs. the Central defense. East has found it's own problems with blocking, penalties and turnovers at times this season. Central has made some great plays with Demarcus Johnson and Frank Parton on defense, but have struggled to find enough stops to stay around in a few games this season.

Pick: East Rutherford

Thomas Jefferson

Meanwhile, the Gryphons easily downed Pine Lake Prep last week, 40-8 at home. Bill Lay paved the way with 169 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Nomi McMullens added 141 yards passing in the victory. The defense was also solid as they posted 10 plays for negative yards and nearly pitched a shutout til late. Jonathan Hargro and Sam Caffell were stout on defense.

Thomas Jefferson (6-0, 1-0) will host Community School of Davidson (3-3, 2-0) for Homecoming this Friday. CSD will be a tough foe considering they are balanced on offense with Luke Watts throwing and running the football as the biggest weapon among them. Nick Bernardini will be the one Watts looks for in the passing game.

Pick: Thomas Jefferson

Chase

The Trojans had played better over the following two contest, but lost a tough game to Avery this past week 34-17. Chase was up 17-14 at the half, but were held scoreless in the second half. Xaiver Williams went down with an injury and there is no word as to whether he will play this weekend.

As for who they have, it will be Chase (1-5) welcoming Shelby (5-1). The Golden Lions have numerous weapons and their defense is still pretty legit.

Pick: Shelby

Sunday night is the last race for the North Carolina native at his home track. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will grace the Charlotte Motor Speedway one more time as the pilot of the #88 Chevy. He has never won a points Cup race there, but has an All-Star race victory and finished 10th here in May.

And finally, this column serves the memory of Tommy Hicks. Hicks was actually Rutherford County's original weekly sports writer as former owner of the Amazin' Shopper and he sadly passed away last week. I remember picking up an Amazin' Shopper in my younger days just to see what he would write. I knew that one day I wanted to do what he did...write about sports. I didn't have as many conversations with him as I would have liked. Tommy was always nice to me, an East guy if you will, but no doubt, a legend in Rutherford County. Honestly, I don't even think I can I come close to giving him the proper send off. He always had a good story to tell. He was definitely passionate about sports and the county...may Tommy rest in peace.

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