2019 RECORD: 22-5
Well football fans, we are officially to the halfway point of the high school football regular season.
Last week was another solid week for me in my picks, going 6-1, with the only blunder being picking against Gallatin - for the second week in-a-row.
Maybe I will start to learn my lesson this week in not picking against the Green Wave.
Teams are starting to separate themselves as region contenders, while others are still jockeying for playoff position.
It’s region week for every Sumner County team, so the importance of Week 5 goes without saying.
Our Sumner County Game of the Week heads to White House as the Blue Devils are set to host the Springfield Yellow Jackets in a monster Region 5-4A matchup.
So, without further ado, my Week 5 Picks and Previews.
Beech (4-0) at Hunters Lane (1-3)
The Beech Buccaneers hit the road this week 4-0 for the first time in two seasons. The Bucs are coming off a thrilling 18-17 win over city-rival Hendersonville High School, while the Warriors are coming off a 20-32 loss to White House.
Beech has a really good opportunity to go 5-0 this year, but like coach Anthony Crabtree mentioned to me on the Sumner County Football Podcast, this is not a game the Bucs can afford to overlook.
I think this team will be ready after a scare last week.
PICK: BEECH 42, HUNTERS LANE 14
Gallatin (4-0) vs. Hillwood (2-2)
The Green Wave are 4-0 for the first time since 2011 after knocking off 6A Mt. Juliet last Friday night 7-0.
Week 5 welcomes in region foe Hillwood for Homecoming, so there could be some distractions within the week.
That said, this game should not be all that close.
Gallatin has shown its ability to control the line of scrimmage, tackle well in space, and fly to the football.
This defense has yielded just 21 points through four games - incredible.
Offensively Spencer Briggs has been nothing short of remarkable this year.
Rushing for over 900 yards through four games, I expect him to hit the 1,000 yard mark this Friday night.
While Spencer has done his share of the workload, please do not overlook the importance the offensive line has played thus far.
Coach Silcox and coach Watson have done a really good job with that unit and it shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Gallatin should have aspirations of a perfect season, but they can’t get there without taking care of business Friday night.
I think Hillwood scores a late touchdown, but the Wave move to 5-0.
PICK: GALLATIN 50, HILLWOOD 7
Hendersonville (2-2) at Lebanon (2-2)
Hendersonville hits the road Friday night after a gut-wrenching loss last week to Beech.
This game at Lebanon will be played on TV, part of the WUXP MYTV30 Game of the Week, so they should have no problem getting juiced up and ready to play.
The Blue Devils are also 2-2 with wins over McGavock and LaVergne.
Hendersonville is facing a cross-roads at this point in their season.
Either they can let what happened last week against Beech derail their season, or they can learn from it and never let it happen again.
I’m choosing to believe that coach Beasley gets his team ready and focused to travel, and will have his team playing their best football game of the season.
This game is a monstrous matchup in terms of region seeding, and could ultimately make the difference between hosting a home playoff game, or traveling to Rutherford County.
I’m sticking with the Commandos in this one and saying they go on the road and hand Lebanon their second region loss of the season.
PICK: HENDERSONVILLE 24, LEBANON 21
Pope John Paul II (3-1) at Christian Brothers (2-2)
After starting out the season 2-0, Christian Brothers has lost their last two matchups, so you know the Purple Wave are eager to get back into the win column.
The Knights are coming off an emotional win at Father Ryan last week so it will be interesting to see if they can provide the same juice for a three hour road trip to Memphis.
This should be a somewhat even matchup between the two teams, so I think they key factors are going to be the usual: turnovers, penalties, staying ahead of the sticks, and big plays.
I think it’s safe to assume everyone in the region knows what Pope wants to do on offense: give Antwan Roberts the football.
That being said, the key is the passing game and quarterback Sawyer Watts.
Last week Rory White showed his athleticism racing 70 plus yards for a touchdown on a simple pitch and catch, and the Knights will need more of that Friday night.
Jay Wright being out on defense will be a blow to the Knights defense, so even more pressure is on guys like Brooks Heagarty and Jacob Lann.
This will be a hard-fought football game, and to be quite honest the Knights need the win if they want to make the playoffs.
I’ve said all along seven wins is the goal for this team. In order to accomplish that they must win Friday (k)night.
PICK: JPII 31, CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 24
Portland (3-1) at West Creek (2-2)
The Portland Panthers hit the road Friday night for their fifth game of the season and fourth game away from Edgar Johnson Stadium.
Making the trek to Montgomery County, the Panthers face off against the West Creek Coyotes in a non-region game.
The Panthers are coming off a 31-7 win at Greenbrier while the Coyotes are coming off an 18-17 win against Cheatham County.
Road games have become the normal for Greg Cavanah’s group, it is a challenge they are embracing.
Knowing they will likely have to hit the road for long trips in the playoffs, him and his staff are making sure their team is ready for long bus rides.
As far as the game is concerned, Portland should win this contest with relative ease.
Offensively the Panthers are averaging 30 points per game while defensively limiting opponents to 17 points per contest.
The defensive front line is continuing to get better, and I think they have another opportunity this week to go show what they are capable of.
The Panthers can score with anyone in their classification, and I think they again put up more than 30 this week.
PICK: PORTLAND 38, WEST CREEK 14
Station Camp (0-4) at Rossview (2-2)
The Bison hit the road looking for their first win of the season and their first region win in two years.
A perfect opportunity presents itself Friday night at Rossview.
Last week the Bison showed signs of great improvement in the first half, but the final 24 minutes were another story as Springfield outscored them 21-0.
The Hawks are coming off a 17-6 win over Clarksville Northeast, but are 0-1 in league play like the Bison.
Playoffs are still on the table for head coach Shaun Hollinsworth’s team, but they must win Friday night in order to give themselves a chance.
If they are going to do so they are going to have to score more than their average of 6 points-per-game, and they are going to have to buckle down on defense as they are yielding 35 points-per-game.
I still believe in the Bison to get things done this season, but this is going to be a tough week in doing so.
I’d love for the Bison to prove me wrong this week.
PICK: ROSSVIEW 28, STATION CAMP 14
Westmoreland (3-1) at Trousdale County (2-1)
The Westmoreland Eagles hit the road for a huge region game Friday night at Trousdale County in a game that could decide whether or not the Eagles are playing at home, or traveling in round one of the playoffs.
The Eagles are flying high following three consecutive wins but the Yellow Jackets are just as confidence following a shut out win over Gordonsville 49-0.
This game is always tough for Westmoreland seeing as the Eagles haven’t beaten them since the two joined the same region in 2016.
If this contest were at Westmoreland I’ve have more of a chance of picking the Eagles, but since it is on the road I’m going to go with the Yellow Jackets and say they pick up their first region win of the season and drop the Eagles to 1-1 in league play.
PICK: TROUSDALE COUNTY 28, WESTMORELAND 7
White House (3-0) vs. Springfield (3-1)
Our Sumner County Game of the Week heads to White House in Week 5 as the Blue Devils are set to host the Springfield Yellow Jackets in a huge Region 5-4A showdown.
The Blue Devils are 3-0 following a win over Hunters Lane on the road while the Jackets are 3-1 following a big road win over 6A Station Camp last Friday night.
White House has yet to really be tested this season and on the other hand the Jackets have faced really good competition in almost all of their games.
I think that could play a huge factor Friday night.
After Week 1 I was a little concerned with Springfield, but as the season has gone along the coaches for the Jackets have shown the ability to adapt to their team and put their best foot forward.
I’m anxious to see how Ranen Blackburn of White House does this week. He has been stellar for White House this season, and if he proves to be the go-to back he has shown the previous three weeks the Blue Devils could find themselves in position to move to 4-0.
That said, I like the direction the Jackets are going right now, and they are without-a-doubt playing with a ton of confidence.
I think that confidence spills over this week and they improve to 2-0 in region play.
PICK: SPRINGFIELD 28, WHITE HOUSE 21