Friendship brings 3-0 record to Clay County


CELINA-The Friendship Christian Commanders bring a perfect 3-0 record, with three lopsided wins and a top five ranking in Class 2A, to Clay County Friday night.


The Commanders, ranked number five in the weekly Associated Press poll, have won their three games by a combined 129-15 score, and have not lost to Clay County in many years. The Bulldogs are off to a 2-0 start of their own, having beaten Taft Youth Center and Monterey. 


Friendship has beaten Middle Tennessee Christian 47-3, Macon County 40-6, and Region 4 opponent Gordonsville 42-6. FCS led 28-6 at the half against Gordonsville. 


In addition to the stingy defense of only five points per game, the Commanders bring a potent offense based around the throwing and running of quarterback Lee Maasen. 


Maasen, a multiple-year starter, is off to a blazing start throwing the ball, racking up big yardage and throwing only four incompletions in three games. Against MTCS, Maasen hit 11 of 12 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns. He followed that up with 9 of 10 passing for 141 yards against Macon County, and 9 of 11 passing for 211 yards in the region matchup last Friday against Gordonsville. On the season, he has completed 29 of 33 passes (87.9%), for 598 yards, with four TDs and one interception, according to the Nashville Tennessean weekly statistics.


Maasen’s favorite target has been Parker Teeter, who has hauled in 12 passes for 242 yards, with three scores. Dalton Patterson is the number two receiver to date, with eight catches for 146 yards and a score. John Markham has caught six passes for 130 yards. Maasen also had a big rushing game against Gordonsville, carrying the ball 12 times for 121 yards and scoring three times. 


Markham is the Commander’s leading rusher, with 24 carries for 218 yards and  six touchdowns, the Tennessean stats show. 


Friendship is joined in the top five in 2A by fellow region member Trousdale County, who is ranked third statewide. Boyd Buchanan was ranked first in 2A. No 1A playoff classification team in the Upper Cumberland area was ranked in the AP poll.


Clay County has relied on a three-pronged rushing attack for most of the offense in their two wins. Seniors Justin Owens and Shawn Garrett and sophomore Nick Cox (pictured above) have combined for 458 rushing yards in the first two games.