2020 RECORD: 32-17
Last Week: 2-0
Week 8 only saw two contests in Sumner County as White House Heritage won its second consecutive Rotary Cup over White House, and Portland fell on the road at Trousdale County.
The last two weeks have been a much better showing for my picks as I have gone 8-1. My only incorrect choice came during the JPII vs. MBA game. I picked the Big Red to beat the Knights, but it was an Andrew Southard 41-yard field goal as time expired to give JPII the 38-35 victory.
Week 9 welcomes new challenges across the county as JPII, Portland, Westmoreland and White House all take on region foes.
Beech will travel to Station Camp and Hendersonville will host Gallatin in one of the county’s oldest rivalries.
Let’s dive into my Week 9 picks.
Beech (4-1, 3-0) at Station Camp (0-7, 0-3)
The Beech Buccaneers head to Station Camp this week following their bye week for their non-conference showdown with the Bison.
Station Camp has struggled this season both offensively and defensively. The average just over 100 yards per game of total offense and give up 40 points per game on defense.
Station Camp has scored just 25 points this season on the offensive side of the ball, and I don’t expect that trend to change this week.
Beech 49, Station Camp 7
Gallatin (3-4, 3-0) at Hendersonville (4-3, 3-0)
The Gallatin Green Wave make the quick trip to Hendersonville Friday night to take on their long-standing rival Hendersonville Commandos.
Over the last five games, Hendersonville holds a 3-2 advantage, but the Green Wave are coming in winners of the previous matchup (2019 - 27-8).
Both teams are coming off their bye week, so preparation should not be an issue for either squad or coaching staff.
The Green Wave have lost four-in-a-row while the Commandos have won two of their last three games.
Friday night should be a great showdown between these two county rivals, but I like Hendersonville to win this one.
PICK: HENDERSONVILLE 28, GALLATIN 21
Pope John Paul II (6-1, 2-1) at MUS (3-2, 0-2)
JPII can take one step closer to a home playoff game Friday night with a win at Memphis University School.
The big question around Friday night is who will start at quarterback. On the one hand, you have senior Sawyer Watts returning from an ankle injury, but on the other hand, you have a hot hand in sophomore Kenny Minchey who has led the Knights to back-to-back wins over Franklin and MBA.
The Knights have shown they are a good football team capable of going on the road to earn a victory.
JPII moves to 7-1.
PICK: JPII 38, MUS 34
Portland (2-6, 0-4) vs. Springfield (5-1, 3-0)
The Portland Panthers’ schedule does not let up one bit this week as they welcome the Springfield Yellow Jackets to town for senior night.
The Yellow Jackets are 5-1 with their only blemish coming at Marshall County two weeks ago.
Unless Portland wins this game and next week’s game at Creek Wood, their post-season hopes are all but dashed.
Portland’s offense has done what it needed to do to get victories the last several weeks, defensively is where the lack of execution has hurt them.
Springfield boasts an excellent dual-threat quarterback in Kevontez Hudson, and I anticipate him, along with his playmakers, scoring at a high clip Friday night.
PICK: SPRINGFIELD 49, PORTLAND 28
Westmoreland (1-5, 1-2) vs. East Robertson (2-5, 1-2)
The Westmoreland Eagles welcome in division foe East Robertson Friday night.
The two teams share similar opponents played in Trousdale County and Jackson County. Westmoreland defeated Jackson County and lost to Trousdale County (17-0), but East Robertson lost both games. What does this mean? Virtually nothing, but I still wanted to point it out.
The Indians may have the best player on the field Friday night in Taylor Groves; how Westmoreland tries to defend him will determine how this game plays out.
If this game turns into a shootout, look for East Robertson to run away with it, but I expect this game to be controlled on the ground by the Eagles.
PICK: WESTMORELAND 17, EAST ROBERTSON 14
White House (2-5, 1-2) at Creek Wood (7-0, 3-0)
White House makes the tough trip to Charlotte, TN, to take on undefeated Creek Wood. The Red Hawks defense has been stout all season long, pitching three shut outs. They have been offensively just as sound, scoring 31 points per game, including 35 or more three times.
This football season has not gone according to plan for the Blue Devils, and even though they tout one of the best running backs in Sumner County in Ranen Blackburn, I don’t see it being enough to get past this stingy Red Hawk defense.
PICK: CREEK WOOD 38, WHITE HOUSE 14