Nolensville football seniors

From left to right: Chance Fitzgerald, Samson Johnson, Dylan Northcutt, Coby Walton

On Friday night in Nolensville, the Knights put on a show that was simultaneously impressive and typical. 

Two minutes in, running back Samson Johnson ran in a touchdown for the first points of the game. Five minutes later, quarterback Coby Walton found Dylan Northcutt in the end zone. Four minutes after that, Walton connected with Chance Fitzgerald and the result was paydirt. 

And just like that, Columbia Central was down 21-0 before the first quarter had even ended. By the time everything was said and done, the Knights had earned a 44-7 win to improve to 5-0 on the year. 

It's a familiar position for Nolensville's opponents. The undefeated Knights haven't been held under 21 points in any game this season. They average 38.8 points per outing. In the past two weeks alone, they have outscored their opponents 97-14. 

Through five games, Nolensville has scored 27 total touchdowns. 20 of those 27 scores have come from some combination of Walton, Fitzgerald, Johnson, and Northcutt. The four seniors make up the backbone of the most explosive offense in Williamson County. 

"They're a great group, man," said Nolensville head coach Paul Derrick. "They're a really talented group too, but I think we're starting to understand that the talent alone's not enough. We have to become a good team. And I think the way we played tonight was a really good team win." 

The quartet of playmakers have been teammates for a long time. Three of the four came in together as freshmen, while Fitzgerald transferred in as a sophomore. 

"These guys are my brothers," Walton said. "I came into high school freshman year with these guys. It just means a lot to play my last year with these guys. It's special." 

Walton, who has offers from Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, North Alabama, and UT-Martin to play at the next level, functions as the facilitator of the group, spreading the ball around efficiently to his cadre of weapons. 

For the season, Walton has completed 67 of 108 passes for 1,140 yards, 14 touchdowns, and zero interceptions.  

"Our role is moving the ball on offense," Walton said. "We have to have leadership on offense. We have to use our experience as an advantage for us."

Walton has no shortage of options to throw to on each play. Despite their stark physical differences, Northcutt and Fitzgerald have almost identical receiving stats. 

The 5-7, 130-pound Northcutt has 22 catches for 360 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season. The 6-3, 184-pound Fitzgerald has caught 22 passes for 484 yards and seven touchdowns. 

"I wouldn't want to play my senior year with any other group of people and, I enjoy every single day with them," Northcutt said. 

"I came in sophomore year, and we all started bonding together," Fitzgerald said. "We all do everything together. We just love each other."

Of the four, Fitzgerald has the highest profile as a recruit. 247Sports composite rankings has the three-star prospect as a top-100 wide receiver nationally and the 25th-best player in Tennessee. But all four have collegiate-level skills. 

Johnson, who has rushed 49 times for 347 yards and six touchdowns on the year, says they are taking advantage of every opportunity that is laid in front of them. And he credits his teammates first and foremost. 

"None of the wins, none of the memories would happen without them," Johnson said. "We've went through everything together. We all came to high school together, and we love each other as brothers, no matter what happens."

For Nolensville to keep their unbeaten season alive, the fearsome foursome will need to continue performing at a high level. And they'll also need continued  contributions from other team leaders such as safety Nico Amato and linebacker Jackson Bandy.

The Knights will host 4-1 Rockvale this weekend, and in two weeks, fellow unbeaten squad Page will be coming to town, perhaps with a district regular season title on the line. 

"We just have to stay levelheaded, can't get down, can't get too high," Fitzgerald said. "And we just have to all play as a team. We have to rely on each other."