Two weeks ago: 5-1
Technically, I was 0-0 last week. I didn’t pick anything wrong!
Crappy bye week jokes aside, I’m growing more and more confident with my picks by the week. With every team’s strengths and weaknesses fully realized, making these predictions has become somewhat routine. Remember this when I get everything wrong this week.
There are a couple of teams clinging on to slim playoff hopes heading into Friday. Some will lose those, others might fight into the final weekend. This is when things are getting fun, people. Buckle up.
Clarksville at Clarksville Northwest (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The Vikings have fallen off hard. After starting 3-0 – including a convincing win over the admittedly shorthanded West Creek Coyotes – they have lost five straight games and fallen out of the playoff race pretty much entirely.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats essentially control their own destiny and a win on Friday should go a long way toward getting themselves into the postseason, setting up a potential rematch with Dyer County. Clarksville is on a two-game win streak, scoring an average of 53 points in those games.
This one is pretty simple. Clarksville is the better team, they have more momentum behind them and are playing for more. Chalk this one up as a win for the ‘Cats.
Prediction: Clarksville 38, Northwest 7
West Creek at Dyer County (Friday at 7 p.m.)
Like Northwest, the Coyotes are clinging to their very last bit of playoff chances. Facing off with the Choctaws does nothing to help them.
West Creek is difficult to predict, as they’ve won games that they shouldn’t and lost games that they shouldn’t. That said, this is arguably their toughest game of the season. A loss ends their playoff chances, and unfortunately, that’s what I have to predict.
Prediction: Dyer County 48, West Creek 15
Clarksville Academy at Columbia Academy (Friday at 7 p.m.)
Here we have yet another case of playoff team vs. (all but) eliminated team.
Columbia Academy is a fine team. They’re not amazing, but they’re not a pushover in the district either. That’s echoed by the fact that they’re firmly in the hunt. It’s entirely possible that they’ll overlook the Cougars and trip over their own confidence, but it’s hard to bet on that.
Prediction: Columbia Academy 28, Clarksville Academy 17
Jackson North Side at Kenwood (Friday at 7 p.m.)
I’m going to be completely honest here: I know NOTHING about Jackson North Side.
In fact, the only opponent of theirs I’m familiar with is Beech – a tough team that they actually played somewhat closely before a fourth-quarter meltdown. If they can play the Bucs well, they should not have a ton of trouble with the Knights, who have unfortunately spiraled a bit.
Fortunately for the Knights, this is a non-region game and has no bearing on their playoff odds. In fact, with coming off a bye week, there’s a chance they’ve benefited from a few days off to clear their heads and refocus. If they can have a good showing this weekend, maybe they can carry a bit of confidence into Week 11. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves..
Prediction: Jackson North Side 34, Kenwood 20
Clarksville Northeast at Henry County (Friday at 7 p.m.)
Northeast has had an impressive stretch ever since handing the offense over to freshman Jaiden Puig, going 2-2 and scoring a decent amount of points in the two losses.
However, they’re facing the best team in the region this week and, while they’ve done well against other tough teams, they haven’t seen anybody nearly as good as the Patriots. Add in the fact that it’s a long road trip and the Eagles don’t appear to have much of a chance.
Prediction: Henry County 50, Northeast 10
Montgomery Central at White House (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The Indians remain the best team in the area after the bye week and have been given a golden opportunity to secure the top seed in Region 5-4A following Portland’s loss to Springfield.
White House (3-5) has had a bit of a tough season, losing two of their district games by one score and the other two by no more than 12 points. Montgomery Central’s ground-and-pound offense paired with its tough defense could make for another close game. However, I don’t think it will be that close.
Prediction: Montgomery Central 27, White House 14
Hendersonville at Rossview (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The Commandos have had one of the toughest schedules in Middle Tennessee, having already faced off with Oakland, Beech, Independence and Gallatin. They still have a date with Mount Juliet, too.
Until then, the Rossview Hawks stand in their way. The easy answer would be to say that metal sharpens metal and that Hendersonville is much better off after playing – and losing to – all the aforementioned teams. It might not be that straightforward, though, and Rossview has an opportunity to steal a win as they sit between Gallatin and Mount Juliet on Hendersonville’s schedule.
To put it simply, this is a classic trap game with major playoff implications. Whether the Hawks take advantage of that remains to be seen, but this one could get interesting.
Prediction: Hendersonville 23, Rossview 21