November 15, 2020
By: Dwayne Page
Although it was a much closer game than last year, the Nolensville Knights have again denied the DeKalb County Tigers from advancing in the TSSAA Class 4A Football Playoffs.
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The Knights won Friday night’s second round playoff game over the Tigers 24-17 in Smithville. A year ago the Knights beat the Tigers 42-6 in the quarterfinals of the playoffs at Nolensville.
The season ends for the Tigers at 7-5 although one of the losses was not on the field but a COVID-19 forfeit to Cumberland County. The 2020 Tigers made history by being the first DCHS football team to win a regular season region championship and the first to host back to back state playoff football games in Smithville.
The Tigers got the first points of the game on 2 yard touchdown run by Desmond Nokes with 3:38 left in the 1st period capping a 98 yard drive. Jasper Kleparek came on for the extra point and DeKalb County led 7-0.
Nolensville answered on an 11 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryder Galardi to Parker Price with 11:52 left in the 2nd period. Reese Miller added the extra point and the game was tied at 7-7.
DeKalb County reclaimed the lead on a 20 yard field goal by Kleparek with 5:55 left in the 2nd period. The score was 10-7 in favor of the Tigers.
After an interception by Isaac Knowles, DC took over on offense and extended its lead on a touchdown pass from quarterback Axel Aldino to Isaac Knowles covering 47 yards for the score. Kleparek tacked on the extra point and DeKalb County held a 17-7 advantage with 3:21 left in the first half.
The Knights pulled to within 3 with 40 seconds to go before halftime on a 14 yard touchdown run by Samson Johnson. Miller converted the extra point and Nolensville cut the Tiger lead to 17-14.
Nolensville tied the game at 17-17 on a 34 yard field goal by Miller with 6 minutes left in the 3rd period and then scored the go ahead touchdown with 8:21 left in the 4th period on a 24 yard pass from Galardi to Chance Fitzgerald. Miller added the extra point and the Knights went on to win 24-17.
The Tigers threatened late in the game but Desmond Nokes was stopped 2 yards short of the goal line on a 4th down pass.
Nolensville will travel to Tullahoma next Friday night for the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. Tullahoma is unbeaten at 12-0 and ranked #2 in the state. The Wildcats eliminated Marshall County 35-7 Friday night.