Last week was my worst ever in regards of pick ‘em wins. I didn’t get a single game right!
But I didn’t get any wrong, either. That’s right -- every one of my games got canceled thanks to a little bad luck and a lot of COVID.
Hopefully this week is different because there are a lot of important football games going down, and I am getting BOLD with my picks this time. I hope you’re ready.
Let’s do this.
Northwest Vikings (1-5, 1-3) at Clarksville Wildcats (2-4, 1-3)
Even though these teams have the same region record, there’s a major skill gap between the two.
While it’s true that Clarksville was winless up until their most recent game two weeks ago, their first three region foes were the top three teams in the area. For a team that’s in a bit of a transition season, it’s acceptable that they’d lose those.
Both of these teams are essentially in playoff mode already. One more loss for either could end their seasons. The difference is that the Wildcats are expected to be in after getting to the second round last season while the Vikings aren’t thanks to a host of injuries and a five-game losing streak.
Expect CHS to keep their season alive while sinking Northwest’s ship.
Prediction: Clarksville 35, Northwest 7
Rossview Hawks (5-2, 2-1) at No. 13 Hendersonville Commandos (5-3, 3-0)
I hereby declare this to be the co-Game of the Week for Montgomery County football teams.
Rossview, this is going to be the Hawks’ third consecutive game against teams currently ranked in the Main Street Preps Top 25, going 1-1 so far in those matchups with a win against No. 15 Mt. Juliet and a loss to No. 9 Lipscomb Academy.
The Hawks have been teetering on the edge of the poll themselves, though they haven’t cracked the ranks quite yet. That will change if they can pull off yet another upset on Friday.
More importantly, they could play themselves into a scenario where they’re one win away from capturing the Region 4-6A title.
This won’t be a small task. Hendersonville is once again a powerhouse in the region and has more big-game experience than Rossview, having played Oakland, Beech and Independence -- though they’ve lost all three games.
Unlike last season, this game is going to be a defensive battle and could end up being the one that cements Rossview as a legitimate contender.
Prediction: Rossview 17, Hendersonville 14
No. 20 Henry County Patriots (6-2, 4-0) at Northeast Eagles (5-1, 5-0)
Remember how that last game was the co-Game of the Week? This one is too.
Just like that last one, we have an established powerhouse against a borderline-contender just outside of our Top 25. And just like that last game, this one will determine the winner of its respective region.
The Eagles have enjoyed their best season since their last postseason run behind a ferocious defense and a slew of offensive playmakers, all put together by an impressive coaching job by Brandon Clark.
However, there are two MAJOR questions behind Northeast coming into this game: first, is quarterback Jaiden Puig, who suffered a lower back injury two weeks ago, going to be 100%?
Second, will they be able to stay out of their own way? The team’s biggest threat so far has been themselves, oftentimes committing stupid penalties on big plays that end up bringing chunk gains or even touchdowns back.
I believe Northeast is entirely capable of winning this football game. They’ll just need to play to the best of their ability to do so.
Prediction: Northeast 28, Henry County 27
Kenwood Knights (2-4, 2-3) at Jackson North Side Indians (4-2, 2-2)
As far as postseason implications go, this game is rather insignificant. In fact, this game has less to do with Kenwood’s postseason than the Clarksville-Northwest game back in Montgomery County this week.
But that doesn’t mean they won’t be doing their best. This game will essentially be a big practice run for the Knights before wrapping up their season against Dyer County next week with a chance to potentially slide into the final playoff spot.
These two teams don’t seem to be too far apart in terms of ability, though JSN does seem to have a slight edge. That combined with the ability to host and not have to make a long trip gives them the edge this time around. Luckily for KHS, losing this game would mean practically nothing in terms of standings.
Prediction: Jackson North Side 31, Kenwood 20
West Creek Coyotes (2-5, 0-4) at Dyer County Choctaws (5-2, 2-1)
The Coyotes are already out of the playoffs for this year, meaning it’s practically irrelevant in the final standings whether they win or lose this game…
...at least for them. West Creek has a prime opportunity to play spoiler Friday night because, if they beat the Choctaws, they could open the door for fellow Clarksville schools CHS and Kenwood to BOTH make the postseason instead of just one of them.
That said, they won’t be favored in this game. Not by a long shot -- and I’m not picking them to win it either. But if head coach James Figueroa can keep his guys locked in despite the playoffs already being out of reach, it’s entirely possible they could catch Dyer County looking past them and pull off a massive upset.
Prediction: Dyer County 31, West Creek 14
White House Blue Devils (2-6, 1-3) at Montgomery Central Indians (3-3, 1-3)
If the Indians want to make the postseason, this is where it starts.
Montgomery Central has basically already started their playoff season, because if they lose once in the next two weeks, they’re going to be left out of the postseason just like last season. Their biggest problem thus far, without question, has been their offense scoring just one touchdown in the last three games.
Fortunately for them, the Blue Devils have had a rather gracious defense which has allowed teams to put up solid point totals. If MCHS has any hope of making the postseason -- let alone winning this football game -- they’ll need to find a groove offensively and get some touchdowns.
White House isn’t a great team, but they beat a much better Central team last year, so anything can truly happen here.
Prediction: Montgomery Central 14, White House 7
Columbia Academy Bulldogs (1-5, 1-3) at Clarksville Academy Cougars (1-6, 1-5)
UPDATE: This game has since been canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak at Clarksville Academy. This preview was written before knowledge of the cancellation was made public.
At first glance, this game seems like it could be the most winnable matchup the Cougars have had yet.
Unfortunately, after doing a bit of research, that’s not quite the case.
Two of the Bulldogs’ losses have come as COVID-19 forfeits and another was a one-point overtime loss to Trinity Christian. They’re also coming off a dismantling of Tipton-Rosemark, who beat the Cougars by double-digits.
All things considered, the Bulldogs still aren’t a great team and won’t make the postseason this year. But the Cougars haven’t won a game this season outside of one forfeit and are desperately trying to reinvent themselves week-by-week to try and get something going before the calendar turns over to November.
I want to pick Clarksville Academy. I truly do. I just can’t do it -- not again.
Prediction: Columbia Academy 41, Clarksville Academy 24