Last week: 5-1
My undefeated streak lasted merely one week thanks to the Rossview Hawks turning their offense on and “upsetting” the Northeast Eagles, getting their first win.
They weren’t the only ones to get in the win column last week: the Northwest Vikings won their first game, while Clarksville, Clarksville Academy, Kenwood and Montgomery Central picked up victories as well.
Things get truly interesting this week, as every Montgomery County school is playing a region foe — some of which are region openers.
Who will get a leg up on the playoff race? Who will have work to do?
Let’s do this.
Northeast Eagles (1-3, 0-1) at Portland Panthers (2-2, 1-0)
Both teams are coming off demoralizing losses on Friday, and both teams figure to be on the edge of the Region 7-5A playoff picture.
This is an important game.
The Panthers have been up-and-down this year, not having put together a streak of any kind. Should that continue, they’d be on track for a win against Northeast.
That logic could check out, as the Eagles have lost three consecutive games, albeit against sound teams and none by a huge margin.
What moves the needle in this game for me are the defenses. Neither team has shown much resistance to their opponents, as Portland has allowed 144 points in four games and Northeast has allowed 95. However, Northeast’s offense has struggled to score lately — and the Panther defense could be exactly what the doctor ordered for Brandon Clark’s squad.
Combine that with the fact that Northeast’s schedule leading up until now has been far stiffer, and I like the Eagles to get back in the win column.
Prediction: Northeast 48, Portland 40
West Creek Coyotes (1-3, 0-1) at Rossview Hawks (1-3, 0-1)
This matchup should be the poster child for why records mean absolutely nothing on the surface.
Though both teams share the same amount of wins and losses, the Hawks have lost to good teams and beaten a decent one. West Creek has lost to decent teams and beaten a bad one.
With their newly-awakened offense and stiffened defense, the Hawks shouldn’t have too much trouble putting the Coyotes away as long as they can keep the West Creek speed in check.
Prediction: Rossview 35, West Creek 12
Henry County Patriots (1-3, 1-0) at Northwest Vikings (1-3, 0-1)
Actually, THIS matchup should be the one you point to when discussing records.
The Patriots have lost to Summit, Beech and Brentwood. Northwest has lost to Stewart County, West Creek and Portland.
This game is going to be ugly. All Northwest can hope for is that they get out of it healthy.
Prediction: Henry County 56, Northwest 0
Clarksville Wildcats (3-1, 1-0) at No. 16 Beech Buccaneers (2-1, 0-1)
If the Wildcats had a true quarterback that could keep the Bucs from stacking the box, this game would have a whole lot more intrigue to it. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a chance — they’ve shown toughness all year, but they’re about to face their toughest opponent to date.
The Bucs are coming off a bye week that allowed them to prepare for the Cats while reflecting on a bad loss to Hendersonville. They’ll be hungry, rested and prepared — and Shackle Island will be rocking in anticipation of some payback for their basketball defeat against CHS earlier this year.
If Clarksville’s going to win this game, they’re going to need to control the clock, force turnovers and take care of the ball. It’s a tall order and it’s certainly not impossible, but Beech is a considerable favorite here.
Prediction: Beech 21, Clarksville 7
Kenwood (2-2, 0-1) at Springfield Yellow Jackets (3-1, 1-0)
After starting the season with convincing wins over Greenbrier, Clarksville and Northeast, the Yellow Jackets appeared primed to waltz into Week 5 with all the confidence in the world when they host the Knights.
Instead, they’re reeling from a bizarre 7-6 loss against Wilson Central.
But they’re not the only ones coming off a head-scratcher; the Knights beat West Creek, but it came without starting quarterback Jaylen Washington in the second half and they won by only two scores.
Kenwood could be a sneaky upset choice here. This is inarguably the best team Les Greer has had in his three years with the Knights, and they’ve shown the ability to stick with talented teams, at least for some time. Their offense is going to need to click, and considering their attack is the best one the Yellow Jackets will have faced yet, it’s possible they could catch Springfield off guard.
But Springfield is still the better team here, and when in doubt, it’s in my best interest to pick the better team.
Prediction: Springfield 35, Kenwood 22
Clarksville Academy Cougars (4-0, 0-0) at Nashville Christian Eagles (2-1, 0-0)
This is the first true test for the Cougars, who are off to their best regular season start in nearly a decade.
The Eagles already have games against Franklin Road Academy, Goodpasture and Battle Ground Academy under their belts, whereas the Cougars haven’t played anybody in that stratosphere.
While CA should have all the confidence in the world — and deservedly so — that alone likely won’t be the ticket to get past one of the best teams in their division.
Clarksville Academy winning this game would legitimize their dynamite start, and it would put them in the discussion as one of the better teams in DII-A. But until that happens, I don’t have the confidence to pick them over this type of program. Not yet.
Prediction: Nashville Christian 35, Clarksville Academy 14
Glencliff Colts (0-3, 0-1) at Montgomery Central Indians (4-0, 2-0)
Montgomery Central has allowed 12 points this season. Glencliff has scored 20.
Must I say more? The Indians are well on their way to being 5-0.
Prediction: Montgomery Central 42, Glencliff 0