Upper Cumberland Football Wrap-Up: Dowell Leads Sparta Over Cookeville

Story by Rusty Ellis

Another week has passed in the Upper Cumberland, and with that means we are even deeper into the football season.

It was yet another busy slate of games for Week 4 of the season, and here’s everything that happened relating to the Upper Cumberland.


Lenoir City 40, Cumberland County 0

A rebuilding season took another tough step for the Jets, as they fell to 0-4 with their loss to Lenoir City. Third-year head coach Noah Repasky and company will take another crack at it this Friday when they host DeKalb County.


White County 59, Cookeville 54

Another excellent entry into the Upper Cumberland’s biggest rivalry was added on Friday, as Sparta won their first game at Cookeville since 1986. Malaki Dowell continued his excellent season with 427 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in the winning effort for the Warriors, who moved to 4-0 on the season.

The Cavaliers dropped to 1-3, but showed significant progress on offense. Quarterback Mace Thomsen finished with 463 yards and six touchdowns on 33-42 passing. Brock Owen was on the receiving end of a school-record 12 catches for 140 yards and three touchdowns of his own.

Stone Memorial 18, Monterey 7

The Panthers moved to 4-0 as well with their 11-point win over the Wildcats in Monterey. Hunter Heavilon ran for a long touchdown on Stone’s second play from scrimmage, and threw two others to lead SMHS to their fourth straight win. Monterey showed some physicality and broke through late on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Montgomery to Byron Borjas, but fell just short for the second straight week.

Fayetteville 29, Upperman 6

The Bees suffered their first loss of the season in a loss to Class A’s second-ranked Tigers. A scoreless game going into the break, Fayetteville used their physicality to open up a 16-o lead in the third quarter and rolled to the finish line from there. The Bees will meet Stone Memorial in Crossville this week in a battle for the region’s top spot at the midpoint in the season.

York Institute 43, Livingston Academy 23

York won their their third consecutive game with their 20-point win over LA, the Wildcats’ 14th straight loss dating back to the end of the 2020 season. Defensive questions aside, York scored over 30 points for their third straight contest as well, and it looks like Derwin Wright’s squad is getting better week after week on that side of the ball.

For the Wildcats, a loss is never the goal, but there’s clear improvement in offensive production from last year to now. Scoring points period was tough enough for LA a year ago, but now Dale Flatt’s unit is starting to put together some consistency and confidence. There’re still improvements that need to be made, but things are trending in the right direction slowly for Hogeye country.

Clay County 38, Cornersville 6

The Bulldogs gave up their first points defensively, but still rolled to a 3-0 record, as Bruce Lamb has yet to lose a game in Celina. Clay’s always been known as a more physical football team, but this year’s team seems like they have an edge to them that previous team’s haven’t. They’ll host 2-2 Jo Byrns this week with a chance to move to 4-0.

DeKalb County 26, Watertown 14

The Tigers trailed 14-3 at the break against the Purple Tigers, but roared back with 23 unanswered points in the second half to earn a big victory without their starting quarterback Briz Trapp. Jordan Parker proved a lot as far as what he can do when he’s got the reps to prepare, as DeKalb earned a big victory to move to 3-1.

Macon County 42, Trousdale County 0

The Tigers have joined Stone Memorial in staking a claim as the number one contender to Upperman’s region crown with their dominant win over Trousdale County. Both the Tigers and Panthers are sitting at 4-0 while playing drastically different styles. The Tigers are more physical and smashmouth, whereas the Panthers are a creative, deceptive offense with good in-space playmakers. Seeing which of these two can separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Smith County 13, Westmoreland 0

The Owls moved to 3-1 with a shutout win over Westmoreland at home. With two more non-region games the next two weeks, the Owls are going to have a region-filled gauntlet over the season’s final four weeks.

Gordonsville 34, Eagleville 0

The Tigers pushed their record to the .500 mark with a dominant win over Eagleville. First-year head coach Stephen Jackson seems like he’s getting his coaching feet under him in Carthage, and they’ll have a shot to get a game above .500 when they take on Lakeway Christian this week.

Mt. Juliet 41, Warren County 0

The Golden Bears of Mt. Juliet pitched their second consecutive shutout on Friday with a 41-0 win over Warren County. It’s been almost a month since they allowed a point on defense, a streak White County will have a shot to end this Friday when the Warriors battle their region foes.

Sequatchie County 48, Jackson County 0

The offensive woes continued for the Blue Devils, who have only scored nine total points in their first four games. A rough outing at Sequatchie County dropped their record to 1-3 and things don’t get any easier this week with East Nashville looming.