2021 record: 28-12
Last week: 7-3
It’s time to make picks for Week 5 of high school football season.
This column is sitting at a solid .700 winning percentage through the first month of action, but that still leaves plenty of room for improvement.
Here are my thoughts on 10 intriguing Week 5 Midstate matchups:
Main Street Preps Game of the Week
Ravenwood (3-1) at Brentwood (1-3) – Friday, 7 p.m.
It doesn’t get much more exciting than the Battle of the Woods, which was decided in overtime last year. Ravenwood quarterback Chris Parson (680 passing yards, 352 rushing yards, 14 total TDs) leads the Raptors’ high-powered offense. Don’t forget about Brentwood, though. The Bruins have weathered a brutal early-season schedule.
PICK: Ravenwood 35, Brentwood 28
Clarksville (3-1) at Beech (2-1) – Friday, 7 p.m.
Beech had an extra week to recover from its surprising blowout loss at rival Hendersonville on Sept. 3. The Bucs have used the two-QB system of Jackson Ford of Brian Rager to get the ball to senior pass catchers Jackson Long and Andrew Paige, who have combined for 19 grabs and 328 yards. Meanwhile, Clarksville is looking to extend its two-game winning streak against its toughest opponent to date.
PICK: Beech 24, Clarksville 10
Davidson Academy (4-0) at BGA (2-2) – Friday, 7 p.m.
When will Davidson Academy finally lose a game? It could happen this week. Although the Bears have won 28 straight, BGA represents their first true test since moving up to Division II-AA. The Wildcats hung with CPA and Ravenwood and beat Nashville Christian and Nolensville.
PICK: BGA 28, Davidson Academy 24
Nolensville (1-3) at Columbia (2-2) – Friday, 7 p.m.
Nolensville may still be licking its wounds from a 59-6 beatdown at Ensworth last week. But don’t let that fool you. The Knights have tested themselves with a tough non-region slate and should have a better showing this Friday, especially if QB Coby Walton (1,151 yards, 9 TDs) is back on his game.
PICK: Nolensville 35, Columbia 14
Goodpasture (2-1) at CPA (4-0) – Friday, 7 p.m.
CPA has left little doubt that it’s among the best teams in the state. The Lions showed that by beating Independence, Brentwood Academy, BGA and MBA to open the season. Senior QB Cade Law (696 passing yards, 304 rushing yards, 7 total TDs) runs the show on offense, while Vanderbilt commitment Langston Patterson (35 total tackles) anchors the stingy Lion defense that will create matchup problems for Goodpasture.
PICK: CPA 35, Goodpasture 7
Hendersonville (2-1) at Gallatin (1-2) – Friday, 7 p.m.
These neighboring programs are trending in opposite directions as the midway point of the season nears. Hendersonville beat South Warren (Ky.) and Beech in back-to-back weeks, while Gallatin fell to Station Camp last Friday for the first time since 2018. Expect a repeat of 2020, when the Commandos handed the Green Wave a 46-0 defeat.
PICK: Hendersonville 35, Gallatin 14
Coffee County (1-3) at Lebanon (3-1) – Friday, 7 p.m.
Lebanon responded to its Aug. 27 loss at Wilson Central by beating Cookeville and Siegel the past two weeks. QB Jalen Abston has repeatedly connected with his two favorite targets in Kemontez Logue (297 yards, 6 TDs) and Anthony Crowell (286 yards, 1 TD). Having an aggressive offensive attack could pay dividends against Coffee County, which has allowed nearly 30 points per game.
PICK: Lebanon 21, Coffee County 17
Father Ryan (3-1) at MBA (1-3) – Friday, 7 p.m.
It’s only a matter of time before MBA gets back in the win column. The Big Red have suffered losses to state contenders Pearl-Cohn, McCallie and CPA over the past three weeks. However, Father Ryan won’t be a cakewalk. The Irish topped Brentwood and East Nashville and fell to Pope Prep by just one score.
PICK: MBA 24, Father Ryan 17
Rockvale (3-0) at Riverdale (4-0) – Friday, 7 p.m.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Riverdale’s defense is really good. The Warriors are allowing just six points per game and have totaled 28 tackles for loss, eight interceptions and five forced fumbles. While upstart Rockvale also enters with an unblemished record, the Rockets haven’t played a team like Riverdale yet.
PICK: Riverdale 28, Rockvale 14
Kenwood (2-2) at Springfield (3-1) – Friday, 7 p.m.
Kicking woes haunted Springfield in a 7-6 home loss to Wilson Central last week, though the Yellow Jackets were also missing several players for various reasons. If Springfield can get back to full strength before game time, it shouldn’t have much trouble with Kenwood, which has already suffered a pair of blowout losses to Green Hill and Henry County.
PICK: Springfield 42, Kenwood 10