Stewarts Creek wins region opener at Blackman

Stewarts Creek senior Gabe Walker darts into the end zone against Blackman on Sept. 17.

2021 record: 58-22

Last week: 8-2

Let’s make picks for Week 9.

Here are my thoughts on 10 intriguing Midstate high school football matchups:

Main Street Preps Game of the Week

Riverdale (7-0) at Oakland (7-0) – Friday, 7 p.m.

This year’s Battle of the ‘Boro pits a pair of undefeated Region 4-6A teams against each other. Georgia commitment Jordan James has been the headliner for the Patriots, rushing for 817 yards and eight touchdowns through six games. But Riverdale counters with a defense that has given up just 27 points all season.

PICK: Oakland 24, Riverdale 17

Gallatin (3-3) at Beech (5-2) – Friday, 7 p.m.

Beech is fresh off a 31-17 win at Springfield, a place where few visitors emerge on top. Senior Patrick Hill led the way with 23 carries for 215 yards and two TDs. Meanwhile, Gallatin may have found new life following back-to-back blowout wins over Cookeville and Rossview, though the Green Wave haven’t beaten the Buccaneers since 2011.

PICK: Beech 30, Gallatin 14

Westmoreland (1-6) at East Robertson (3-4) – Friday, 7 p.m.

East Robertson senior Taylor Groves is expected to return to the field after missing most of the season with an injury. The four-star Ole Miss commitment could provide a big boost for the Indians, who have won three of their last four games. Westmoreland earned its first win last week against Whites Creek.

PICK: East Robertson 21, Westmoreland 14

Davidson Academy (4-3) at Goodpasture (2-3) – Friday, 7 p.m.

Davidson Academy is in unfamiliar territory. The Bears saw their 28-game win streak snapped by BGA last month, and since then they’ve dropped games to Nashville Christian and Lipscomb Academy by double digits. Friday offers Davidson Academy a chance for a road win just four miles from home. Look for defensive end Kendyle Ball (16 tackles for loss, six sacks) to be a disruptive force in the backfield.

PICK: Davidson Academy 42, Goodpasture 27

Overton (5-3) at La Vergne (1-6) – Friday, 7 p.m.

Overton is beginning to find its footing under longtime Metro coach Arcentae Broome, who came over from Maplewood last spring. The connection between quarterback Ryder Hagan and wide receiver Delanie "Juice" Majors should help the Bobcats put up points against a La Vergne team that would be winless if not for Antioch’s COVID forfeit on Sept. 3.

PICK: Overton 35, La Vergne 10

Greenbrier (3-4) at Pearl-Cohn (7-1) – Friday, 7 p.m.

Pearl-Cohn can lock up the No. 2 seed in Region 5-4A and a home playoff game with wins against Greenbrier and Montgomery Central. First up are the Bobcats, who have beaten up on the region bottom feeders but have yet to secure a marquee victory. Greenbrier must contain Barion Brown, Malachi Cromwell, Jayden Robinson and the rest of the Pearl-Cohn offense to have a chance here.

PICK: Pearl-Cohn 31, Greenbrier 14

Blackman (3-4) at Rockvale (6-1) – Friday, 7 p.m.

Rockvale lost its first two meetings with Blackman by a combined score of 90-27. But the Rockets are a different team in their third year as a varsity program and can clinch their first-ever playoff berth with a win this week. Blackman needs a victory to avoid being eliminated from postseason contention.

PICK: Rockvale 38, Blackman 35

Portland (3-4) at Station Camp (7-0) – Friday, 7 p.m.

Station Camp continues to be one of the best stories in the area. The Bison went a combined 0-20 the past two seasons, but head coach and former NFL safety Brent Alexander has turned things around. Station Camp can keep its quest for a 10-0 regular season going with a victory against Portland, which is coming off back-to-back losses to Macon County and Kenwood.

PICK: Station Camp 42, Portland 21

White House (6-1) at Stewart County (4-4) – Thursday, 7 p.m.

This game was moved up one day due to Friday’s weather forecast. That means White House will get a chance to wrap up the Region 6-3A title even earlier than expected. Led by senior dual-threat quarterback Ranen Blackburn, the Blue Devils have been perfect since a season-opening loss to Station Camp.

PICK: White House 35, Stewart County 24

Siegel (3-4) at Stewarts Creek (3-2) – Friday, 7 p.m.

Stewarts Creek could use a Region 4-6A win after falling to Rockvale last week. Senior running back Gabe Walker (813 yards, 15 TDs) was held to 70 yards on 13 attempts by the Rockets, but he could return to his torrid rushing pace against Siegel, which has given up at least 28 points in each of its last four games.

PICK: Stewarts Creek 30, Siegel 17