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Baylor, Boyd ready to roll after bye weeks

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Baylor ready for MBA rematch
On a list of teams Phil Massey definitely did not want to see again in 2011, Montgomery Bell Academy is likely near the top of the list.

The Big Red finished just 5-5 overall in the regular season and were blown out by Division II-AA powers Brentwood Academy and Ensworth, yet they proved to be a tough test for the top-ranked Red Raiders (9-1).

"They probably matched up with us a little better size-wise up front than other teams," Massey said of Baylor's 23-16 win in Nashville in early September. "They gave us one of our toughest tests this year up front.

"And from a defensive standpoint, there give you a lot of stuff to worry about offensively. They don't just do a few things, they use a lot of formations and they use them all really well. You have to spend a lot of time covering a lot of different things."

Luckily for Massey, his team got an extra week to prepare for the rematch. The top seed in the Division II-AA bracket came with a first-round bye, so the Red Raiders went to work a few days early on a gameplan for round two at home.

"We felt like MBA was probably going to win last week (against Briarcrest), so we got to work a little bit on them and feel like we are a little ahead of the curve now in preparation this week," Massey said.

Boyd-Buchanan ready to open 2A run
Boyd-Buchanan players probably would have preferred to play last week, but head coach Grant Reynolds was perfectly content taking a Friday off.

"We needed to get a couple guys healthy and there were a few things in the game film we needed to clean up from the last game of the season," he said before practice Wednesday. "There were still a lot of things we needed to make sure we had ready to go."

The Bucs (9-1) will find out just how ready they are for another run in the Class 2A playoffs when they host Rockwood Friday night at 7 p.m. ET.

Two years ago Boyd made a state semifinal visit a painful one for the Tigers, scoring three times in the first quarter before cruising to a 42-0 win and a trip to the state final in Cookeville.

"That game we came out physical from the beginning and kept the pedal down," said defensive back Andrew Peace, who was a sophomore on that 2009 state runner-up team. "This year we know they're going to come in and fight. It's not going to be that easy, so we're going to have to bring it again for all four quarters."

Despite the week off, Reynolds said he has seen an added intensity in his team during practice. Tradition runs deep at the Moore Road school, meaning expectations extend beyond just making the postseason. The Bucs seem to sense that it's time to step up their focus, and they realize small mistakes could cost them an entire season.

"They've been here before, so they know each week now can be your last," Reynolds said. "Every day at practice we encourage them to work and compete hard, and not look any farther than that day.

"The kids are definitely not looking ahead because they know there's no guarantee."

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