2020 record: 29-10
Last week: 7-3
The halfway point of the 2020 high school football season is almost here.
Fairview, Harpeth and Spring Hill have all been temporarily shut down due to COVID-19 outbreaks over the last week, but most games have been played as scheduled. Metro Nashville teams could join the fray as soon as next Friday, Sept. 25 if given approval by Director of Schools Adrienne Battle.
My predictions are sitting at a .744 winning percentage after a few Week 4 upset picks didn’t fall in my favor.
Here are my picks for 10 intriguing Week 5 Midstate matchups:
Main Street Preps Game of the Week
Brentwood (2-1) at Ravenwood (3-1) – Friday at 7 p.m.
The Battle of the Woods has shaped up to be a critical Region 6-6A battle. The winner will have the inside track to the region title and home-field advantage for the playoffs.
Brentwood quarterback Cade Granzow threw for six touchdowns and ran for another in a 55-17 win over Henry County. Receiver Walker Merrill and Aaron Walton combined for five touchdown grabs.
That high-octane offense will be challenged by Ravenwood’s defense that has allowed just 17 points per game this season. Ravenwood also counters with senior QB Trevor Andrews, who has thrown for 14 touchdowns in his first season as the starter.
PICK: Ravenwood 38, Brentwood 30
Franklin (2-2) at Independence (2-1) – Friday at 7 p.m.
Franklin put together its first complete performance in a 27-20 win at Summit last week. Bryce Sparks rushed for over 100 yards, Connor Beavon threw for 134 yards and a score and the Admiral defense limited Destin Wade and the Spartans to 257 yards of offense.
Independence QB Jaxon Campbell already has 864 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns in three games. If the Admirals can limit him like they did Wade, Franklin will avenge last season’s 28-27 loss to the Eagles.
PICK: Franklin 29, Independence 24
Brentwood Academy (4-0) at Father Ryan (0-1) – Friday at 7 p.m.
Brentwood Academy senior QB Taylor Montiel has thrown for nearly 900 yards and six touchdowns behind a strong line that includes North Carolina commitment Eli Sutton (6-7, 285) and Power 5 prospect Noah Josey (6-5, 280).
Father Ryan is still bringing its young team along, though the Irish tout Appalachian State commitment D.C. Tabscott behind center. Brentwood Academy should have a clear size and experience advantage.
PICK: Brentwood Academy 35, Father Ryan 10
White House (1-2) at Springfield (4-0) – Friday at 7 p.m.
Springfield has outscored its opponents 115-24 with the arm and legs of dual-threat QB Kevontez Hudson, who had four total touchdowns in a 38-0 win over Station Camp. Weapons like Lamarious Daniels, Gabe Kelly and Keyshawn Robinson make life even more difficult for opposing defenses.
White House lost in double overtime to Franklin Road Academy last week. Ranen Blackburn leads the Blue Devils with 498 yards and three touchdowns on 77 carries, but White House will need to also make plays through the air to have any chance at besting the stout Yellow Jacket defense.
PICK: Springfield 40, White House 20
Cookeville (3-1) at Oakland (4-0) – Friday at 7 p.m.
Oakland, the No. 1 team in the Main Street Preps Top 25 poll, is loaded on offense. Jordan James and Antonio Patterson have combined to rush for 578 yards and nine touchdowns, while Isaiah Horton (161 receiving yards, 2 TDs) and Victor Stephenson (280 total yards, 4 TDs) are threats to make plays on the outside.
But the Patriots can’t just show up in this one. They must limit Cookeville dual-threat QB Stockton Owen (418 passing yards, 599 rushing yards, 12 total TDs) and the Cavalier offense that scored 56 points at White County last week.
PICK: Oakland 35, Cookeville 17
Lipscomb Academy (1-2) at Goodpasture (4-0) – Friday at 7 p.m.
Lipscomb Academy picked up its first win in a 41-0 drubbing of Page. Running back Alex Broome scored four times. Pairing him with QB Luther Richesson should make the Mustang offense even more potent.
Goodpasture is off to its best start since 2010, when the Cougars went 13-2 and finished as the Class 3A runner-up to Alcoa. Do-it-all senior athlete Brendan Jones is a player to watch on offense, defense and special teams.
PICK: Lipscomb Academy 27, Goodpasture 21
DCA (3-0) at Friendship Christian (2-1) – Friday at 7 p.m.
This game was supposed to be played on Sept. 4, but it was moved back two weeks due to COVID-19 issues at Friendship Christian, which was without at least nine players and head coach John McNeal in a 44-7 win over Grace Baptist Chattanooga last week. It’s unclear how many of those players can return against DCA.
DCA, led by starting QB Bradford Gaines, has scored 108 points in just three games. The Wildcats are seeking their first victory against the Commanders since 2016, and this may be their chance to get it.
PICK: DCA 30, Friendship Christian 20
Lebanon (2-2) at Hendersonville (2-2) – Friday at 7 p.m.
Lebanon sophomore QB Jalen Abston completed 12 of his 20 passes for 176 yards and two scores in a 45-33 win over La Vergne last week. Dequantay Shannon also rushed for 172 yards and five touchdowns on 23 carries.
However, besides its 42-10 loss at Oakland in Week 1, Hendersonville has only allowed seven points per game. The Commando defense makes the difference here.
PICK: Hendersonville 31, Lebanon 17
CPA (3-0) at BGA (2-2) – Friday at 7 p.m.
CPA dismantled Ensworth 28-6 last week thanks to three total touchdowns from Cade Law and an impressive showing from the Lion defense. CPA has allowed just 29 total points in three victories.
BGA picked up wins over McGavock (COVID forfeit) and Wilson Central before losing to Goodpasture and Nashville Christian the past two weeks. Sean Williams has rushed for 281 yards and three TDs on 28 carries, but there likely won’t be much room to run against CPA.
PICK: CPA 42, BGA 16
Stewarts Creek (1-2) at La Vergne (2-2) – Friday at 7 p.m.
Stewarts Creek managed 24 points in a loss to Oakland, the No. 1 team in the Main Street Preps Top 25 poll. Their other defeat came at No. 8 Mt. Juliet in Week 1.
The schedule gets considerably easier for the Red Hawks and first-year coach Ben Caudill the rest of the way. Their next six opponents are a combined 6-13.
La Vergne senior Ray Banner has rushed for 766 yards and 10 touchdowns in four games. He will need another big outing to help the Wolverines keep pace with the Red Hawks.
PICK: Stewarts Creek 30, La Vergne 12