Rossview traveled to Lipscomb Academy and was simply outmatched by the Mustangs on Thursday night to the tune of 35-0.
Two different offenses met at the Reese Smith Athletic Complex.
The Eagles could not seem to get anything going through the air, especially downfield. The first two drives ended quickly due to two interceptions from Lipscomb Academy’s Thomas Grier.
“We had some good completions, but I think it was to the other color,” said Rossview coach Todd Hood. “They made a great catch, and it should have been us. We’ll work on throwing it to the right people, and we’ll work on better protection.”
Sophomore running back Diivonte Phillips was the central piece of the offense, carrying the ball 18 times for 54 yards.
The rest of the night almost completely consisted of run plays and swing passes for the Eagles, which were ultimately ineffective against the Mustangs’ defense, totaling less than 100 yards of offense.
“Give it to Lipscomb Academy. They played great. We didn’t play very well tonight, probably because they made us look that way,” Hood said.
Mustangs’ coach Trent Dilfer credits the defensive effort to his players, some who returned from injury and some who adjusted to new positions.
“We got healthy, No. 1,” Dilfer said. “Bringing back one of the best players in Middle Tennessee, Nick Paschall, helps a lot at middle linebacker…We’re getting healthier. We’re getting more physical up front and having better substitution.
“Houston High is a guy I want to give a shout out to. He’s a tight end for us, but we don’t use a lot of big tight ends. He goes over to the defensive line, and he’s really helped us.”
On the other side of the ball, the Mustangs’ offense was productive, using their balanced attack to methodically move down the field. The running game with Jaden Lyles was effective enough to open up matchups on the outside with senior Kyle McNamara and freshman Shamar Porter. McNamara and Porter both pulled in two touchdown passes, and Lyles added one on the ground.
For Dilfer, ideally there would be even more touches to go around.
“We’re very talented on the edges,” Dilfer said. “Matthew George, No. 1, is very talented, too, but you can only throw the ball so many times when you got a great back.”
Although the Mustangs bounced back from a tough loss to Christ Presbyterian Academy last week, Dilfer and his team know there has to be improvement to finish the season where they want to be.
“We’re not good enough to ever have a day where we don’t get better, and they’re honest about that. They know they’re not as good as they need to be.
“We learned our lesson from CPA. You win state championships by being ultra-physical, and we want to continue to become a more physical bunch.”
The Mustangs face Franklin County next week before they finish the season against Father Ryan and Battle Ground Academy.
Rossview has a little time to rest and adjust with a bye coming up before its closes out the season.
“We got a bye week [to] get some kids healthy,” Todd said. “We got some kids banged up like most people. And then also, just going back and teach some fundamentals.
“Two weeks, two games [are] left. That’s going to make a difference in where we’re going to go.”
Those two games are both against region opponents, Hendersonville and Lebanon with a lot to be decided.
“We’ll just go back, regroup and try to get better and make a run in the region,” Todd said.