2019 record: 8-7
We’re starting to build some momentum now.
Just as I predicted in last week’s column, Springfield and East Robertson both won, and Greenbrier and Jo Byrns both lost.
You went 0-4 if you betted against me. So, if you decide to keep fading the picks, proceed with caution.
This week will be a bit tougher, since all six teams in The Connection coverage play separate games.
I’m over .500 for the first time this season. Let’s go 6-0 and keep it that way, shall we? My picks:
Springfield at Station Camp (Friday at 7 p.m.)
Full disclosure: I attended Station Camp and graduated in 2015.
But I would be foolish to pick the Bison here. Station Camp (0-3) has been outscored 111-14 in its first three games.
Meanwhile, Springfield (2-1) is coming off back-to-back home wins over Clarksville and White House Heritage. Tailback Kevontay White broke out for a 186-yard, three-touchdown performance last week, and the two-QB system of Austyn Day and Kevontez Hudson has been effective.
This should be a relatively easy road trip for the Yellow Jackets, who beat Station Camp 21-9 last season.
PICK: Springfield 48, Station Camp 14
White House Heritage vs. Sycamore (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The Patriots (2-1) have been the best surprise in the area so far this season.
No, they didn’t beat Springfield. But the game was even closer than I anticipated.
Tailbacks Parker Deaton and Jackson Mapes aren’t easy to bring down. The two have combined for 942 yards and 10 touchdowns through the first three games. And Heritage QB Will Wilson has thrown for 294 yards and six scores.
The Patriots shouldn’t have much trouble with the War Eagles (2-1) on Homecoming.
PICK: White House Heritage 38, Sycamore 10
Greenbrier vs. Portland (Friday at 7 p.m.)
Over the last two weeks, Greenbrier (0-3) has been outscored by its opponents 77-14.
And things may get worse before they get better. Cheatham County (1-2) is only team left on Greenbrier’s schedule that currently has a losing record. Those two meet in Ashland City on Oct. 11.
Senior RB Reagan Conquest has been a bright spot with three rushing touchdowns. But Conquest needs more help from others for the Bobcats to get their first win.
Portland senior QB Caleb Mandrell is helping the Panthers average 31 points per game. The Panthers (2-1) are a legitimate contender in Region 5-4A, despite dropping a 37-22 loss to Forrest in Week 2, and they should roll this week.
PICK: Portland 42, Greenbrier 17
White House at Hunters Lane (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The Blue Devils destroyed Hunters Lane 51-0 at home last season.
Things may not be as easy this time around, because the Warriors are improved and picked up a 27-24 victory over Hillwood last week – their first win since 2017.
White House’s transition from longtime coach Jeff Porter to Ryan Hamilton has been smooth thus far. Ranen Blackburn has emerged as the team’s leading rusher with 132 yards on 24 carries, and QB Caleb Anderson appears to be getting comfortable after taking over for Andrew Nixon.
White House (2-0) should stay undefeated this week.
PICK: White House 38, Hunters Lane 20
East Robertson at Lewis County (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The Indians picked up Atlee Pond’s first career coaching victory with a 21-14 comeback win over Cascade last Friday.
Drake Alsup saw most of the reps at QB, while Taylor Groves moved back to receiver, his natural position. That duo accounted for all three of East Robertson’s touchdowns against Cascade.
Lewis County showed why it is a favorite to win Region 5-2A with blowout wins over Decatur County Riverside and Community. The Panthers have two linemen – Preston Perdue and Trez Sparkman – who stand 6-foot-5 and weigh more than 300 pounds.
That is literally going to be a tall task for East Robertson. Add in the two-hour road trip to Hohenwald, and the Indians may struggle Friday.
PICK: Lewis County 40, East Robertson 14
Jo Byrns at Houston County (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The first three weeks have been difficult for the Red Devils (0-3).
Jo Byrns dropped contests to Harpeth, Huntland and Clay County while scoring just 10 points per game.
Houston County (3-0) ended a three-year playoff drought last season and has kept that momentum going in 2019. The Fighting Irish edged McEwen in Week 1 and then rolled to wins over Perry County and Scotts Hill the last two weeks.
Jo Byrns had a chance to beat Clay County in the fourth quarter Friday but came up short. Until the Red Devils can close out a game, it’s going to be tough to pick them to win.
PICK: Houston County 22, Jo Byrns 8