Rutherford County had two big games last Friday, one at East Rutherford, and the other ventured to Mount Holly. Both East Rutherford and Thomas Jefferson will easily make the playoffs, but only one has a chance to make some serious history.
It wasn't too long ago when Former Coach Tony Helton was starting up TJCA's Football program. Ten years later, Coach Jerry Cash has picked up five straight 10 win seasons after beating Mountain Island Charter last Friday 32-27.
Union Academy at Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (10-0, 6-0) will now get Union Academy at home. The Southern Piedmont 1A is all but TJCA's this season, but winning this Friday would cap a regular season undefeated mark and a possible 1-seed for the 1A playoffs.
Last year, Union Academy (3-6, 1-4) came up with the upset 30-24 in Union County.
The scary part of the whole scenario is that every conference loss the Cardinals have obtained has been by 15 points or less. The Cardinals like to pass the ball, so that's going to be enough to handle, but they do play a little defense. Union Academy has only scored 89 points in conference play, but given up just 132.
The first half maybe tough, but the Gryphons pull away in the second half. TJCA 42-21.
Chase (3-8, 1-3) at R-S Central (2-9, 1-3)
Chase, like everyone else in the conference, felt the wrath of South Point in a 49-0 loss. The good news is that Central lost by almost that much a couple of weeks ago to South Point and that is who they have next.
R-S Central broke a 6-game losing streak as they beat East Gaston 21-6 last Friday on the road. Two Jaiden Coston touchdown passes led the way as Central tries to end the season the same way they did a year ago, by winning the final two games.
Trey Greene had two interceptions and a touchdown catch. Xavier Toms had a touchdown reception and a touchdown run in the victory over East Gaston.
As for this Friday, it comes down to if Central's offense or the Chase defense can win. I am more confident in the Central D and the Chase offense. So, that is where the line lays. On a pure gut feeling, I will take Chase, 26-14. However, Central may win this considering how well they played together last week.
East Rutherford (8-2, 2-2) at East Gaston (0-10, 0-4)
East Rutherford lost 31-14 to the better team last Friday, Shelby. Shelby's defensive line and the Golden Lions receivers burned East. East gave up six passes of 20 yards or longer and gave up over 300 yards in the air. The bright spot was Demetrius Mauney, who had almost 100 yards receiving. Cole Larsen and Matthew Hunt got a bunch of tackles in this one in trying to keep it close.
Mistakes were also a factor as East made way too many against the Lions. While East lost to Shelby and South Point, getting that ninth win on the season should give them easily the 8th or 9th seed for the 2A playoffs. This Friday....East Rutherford 49-0.
It doesn't get much better in sports than the NASCAR playoffs at Martinsville. Martin Truex Jr. raced Joey Logano clean over the last few laps of the First Data 500, but Logano had other plans on the final lap. As Truex cleared his black Furniture Row No.78 off turn two of the 526-mile layout, Logano's No.22 yellow Shell Pennzoil machine drove into Truex in turn three and turned him sideways coming off turn four. Both cars nearly crashed, but it was Logano whose car was straight enough to finish first, while Denny Hamlin nabbed second and Truex third as he had to roll out of the gas.
I can't blame Truex for being mad, but then again that's what you expect on the last lap at Martinsville and a chance to get to the Final Four at Homestead. Truex deserved to win and I can't argue against Logano's position. Three years before that, Logano was taken out by Matt Kenseth, so I'm guessing he wasn't going to let that happen again. Otherwise, it was a great race! Six drivers had the chance to win in the last 50 laps. It just goes to show, it ain't over until it's over.