2016 RuCo Jamboree


Jared Robinson, Reporter

At the start of every football season, the schools of Rutherford County come together for one final scrimmage to prepare for the regular season. This year’s jamboree was held at Blackman’s stadium, The Inferno. Although none of the teams will show the entire playbook, the rivalries are still there between the players and coaches for their cross-county foes.

The first matchup was between Riverdale and Smyrna at 6:00 p.m. Smyrna’s offense relied heavily on the passing game, but quarterback John Turner, senior, had no problem finding people open downfield. Before he was pulled for the second string, Turner was able to get the ball to six teammates and scored the teams only two touchdowns of the night. However, Riverdale had more trouble finding a rhythm on offense. They were without their starting quarterback, Christian Souffrant, and running back, Michael Scruggs, who went out of the game due to an injury midway through the team’s second drive. In the end, Riverdale was never able to find a way to rid themselves of their offensive woes, and Smyrna ended the game with a 14-6 victory.

Next on the schedule, our Blackman Blaze took on Stewart’s Creek for the second consecutive year in the jamboree. After losing considerable talent last season, the Blaze had plenty of holes to fill on each side of the ball. Now at the University of Tennessee, Taeler Dowdy left a 2,000 yard hole that needed to be filled. Next up at running back fir Blackman is Master Teague, junior. Over the summer, Teague has gotten multiple college offers, including schools such as Louisville, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Teague finished the jamboree with 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. After only one half of play this season, it already seems as if Teague will be able to live up to the hype.

The Blaze gained a majority of their offense on the ground, but the passing game had its moments as well. Trey Knox, sophomore, highpointed a ball as he fell out of bounds and made one of the best plays of the night. Quarterback Connor Mitchell, junior, Teague, Knox, and Joeseph Sewell, senior, should be able to lead Blackman’s offense to another successful season. Stewarts Creek simply did not have enough talent to compete with Blackman, and the Blaze started off the season with a 24-7 win.

After Blackman’s victory, Siegel faced Summit for the third game of the night. Siegel went in to the game with hopes of establishing the run game early, and that’s exactly what happened. The Stars’ starting offense was never forced to punt. Summit, however, did not fare quite as well. Their offense never got rolling, and it led to Siegel winning 17-7.

Lastly, Oakland went up against LaVergne in a matchup of elite talent in the secondary and at receiver. Oakland and LaVergne both tout two highly recruited players on the outside. Oakland’s Kaleb Oliver, Mississippi State commit, and Jacoby Stevens, LSU commit, are two of the top defensive backs in the state, and they also lead the team in receiving. For LaVergne, Maleik Gray and Princeton Fant, Tennessee commits, lead the offense, while also playing in the secondary. There was a lot of talent on each side of the ball, but there was a sense that neither team wanted to show what they were capable of this season. Oakland eon the half 14-0.

The Jamboree is more about all of Rutherford county coming together to start the season than it is showing how great the team will be. However, the players all want to win, so even though the play calls might be pretty vanilla, the players still have rivals on the other teams that they have no intentions of giving up. In Blackman’s case, this was enough to keep the fans busy, but Blackman vs. McCallie on August 26th will be the first real test to get the season started.