By SAM McGAW
HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER GAME OF THE WEEK
Page Patriots (4-1) at Summit Spartans (4-1), 7 p.m. Friday*
It’s been a few weeks since the Summit Spartans have endured a tough matchup. That changes Friday when they clash with the Page Patriots in a Region 5-5A battle.
“They’re the [Associated Press] No. 3 team in the state, and we’ve used those rankings to show our guys they’re a legit football team,” Summit head coach Brian Coleman said about Page. “We’ve never beat them before in a varsity football game, so there’s a lot of motivation for our guys to not be down this week.”
After taking down Independence 31-17 in Week 2, the Spartans have won their past three games by an average margin of 30 points. Page is coming off a 36-0 win against Antioch.
“It’s going to be a four-quarter game, and we haven’t played that in a while,” Coleman said. “We’ve been scoring all of our points in the first or second quarter. I think the physicality of the game is going to be big.”
Summit’s offense utilizes a run-heavy attack out of the wing-T. Running backs Tai Carter and George Odimegwu are the top weapons in the ground assault.
Carter has rushed for 658 yards and eight touchdowns, while Odimegwu has racked up 482 rushing yards, 115 receiving yards and seven scores.
The duo will receive plenty of resistance from a strong Page front-seven.
“Their three defensive linemen are very big and very physical,” Coleman said. “Overall, the front-seven is very physical. It’s probably one of the most physical teams we’ve seen since Spring Hill. It’s a different type of defense than we’ve seen.”
Just like Summit, Page features a talented running back in Bubba Johnson. The sophomore bell cow has 107 carries for 647 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
“He’s a physical running back, but he’s also able to make you miss,” Coleman said. “He’s got power, he gets low to the ground and he has a big lower body. Then, when he gets to the open field and the second and third levels, he can either outrun you or make you miss. We have to tackle him low and rally to the football.”
While stopping Johnson is a focal point for the Spartans, they know they can’t afford to
take their eyes off Page quarterback Jacob Van Landingham.
The senior has recorded 251 rushing yards, 296 passing yards, nine touchdowns (7 run) and five interceptions.
While Van Landingham’s passing numbers are low this year, Coleman said he can find success through the air at any given moment.
“It’s easy for him to get going,” Coleman stated. “They have four capable wide receivers at any point. He’s got big targets. The other scary thing about him is the way he can run it. He’s capable of making a big play if the defense lets him.”
Sam McGaw is the sports editor for Brentwood Home Page, Franklin Home Page, Nolensville Home Page and Spring Hill Home Page. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcGaw_.