Eagles defend unbeaten mark as Wilson Central chases win

Friday, September 9, 2011
Junior cornerback Jacob Ware and the Shelbyville Central defense will attempt to keep Wilson Central's offense in check in a non-district matchup tonight at 7 at Eagle Stadium. (T-G Photo by Gary Johnson)

When Shelbyville Central entertains Wilson Central tonight one team will be looking to remain undefeated as another looks for its first win.

Entering this week only 66 teams across Tennessee remain undefeated. Shelbyville's Golden Eagles have started the season with three straight wins and have outscored their opponents by an average of 25 points per game.

"I think the best thing about our first three games is that we've been decent is all three phases of the game," Shelbyville coach Jason Hardy said. "We haven't been great but we've been able to move the ball on offense and put some points on the ball, we caused some turnovers and made some stops on defense and we've been strong and steady on special teams."

Wilson Central is winless but much better team than its record indicates and they are a very dangerous team to face at this stage of the season.

"This early in the season a team's records doesn't really mean anything, and that's something we've addressed to our team this week," Hardy said. "Wilson Central is a good football team and they are very athletic. They play in a strong district and have played three strong teams this season.

"Take away poor special teams play at times and they very easily could at least be 2-1. They will be the best defensive team we've played thus far and they run sort of a hybrid Wing-T on offense and give you a lot of different looks. They've been very hard to prepare for this week at practice."

Wilson Central lost to Gallatin 20-14 in the opening week, fell 21-17 to La Vergne in game two and dropped a 45-13 decision to talented Hendersonville last week.

The Wildcats like to rush the football and throw in the pass to keep you honest on defense. In the first three games they've rushed 121 times for an average of 187 yards per game. They've only attempted 18 passes for an average of 81 yards an outing.

A pair of Eagle defensive players, both sophomores, caught the eye of Hardy after last week's win over Franklin County. Tony Patterson and Malik Trollinger combined for 23 tackles from their linebacker positions.

"At the start of the season we expected both of those guys to be role players for us on defense but they have become more than that," Hardy said. "In his start of his career Tony had 14 tackles. He puts himself in good position and is always around the football. He is very coachable and he really grades out well.

"Malik has just a ton of ability and he's just getting better and better each week. If he'll just get a little more physical, he could be a real dominant player before he's out of here."

Offensively, the Eagles continue to be balanced with a number of weapons in the running game as well as the passing game under the guidance of senior quarterback Luke Faulk.

Kickoff is at 7.