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Hendersonville's Ellis Ellis jumps and intercepts a pass intended for Shelbyville's Laquan Young. Ellis would return the interception for a touchdown to help give the Commandos a 14-12 victory.

Week 9 action in Sumner County is loaded as all eight county schools will be in action this week as Beech-Gallatin headlines our slate of games.

Last week saw five Sumner County Schools (Gallatin, Pope, Portland, Westmoreland, and White House) all on bye-weeks while Beech won at Springfield, Hendersonville at Shelbyville, and Station Camp over Wilson Central.

Only the Bison’s win was for league standings, moving second-year head coach Brent Alexander one game closer to a Region 5-5A title.

As for what is on the menu this week, Beech plays host to Gallatin, Hendersonville travels to Baylor, Portland makes the trip to Station Camp, Pope heads to Knox Catholic, Westmoreland at East Robertson, and White House at Stewart County.

So, who am I picking to win this week? Let’s dive in.

Beech (5-2, 2-1) vs. Gallatin (3-3, 2-1)

Coming off a tough road victory at Springfield last week, the Beech Buccaneers plays host to region foe Gallatin High School.

The Green Wave enjoyed their bye week last week, so will the extra time to prepare benefit Chad Watson’s crew?

Indeed, there is no secret to what Gallatin will try and do on offense, so the question is, can the Bucs stop their ground game?

Momentum has to be the highest it's been all season, coming off two wins and a rest week, but I would venture to say so is the confidence on Shackle Island.

Coming for behind to win the game the way Beech did last Friday night shows that Beech will scratch and claw for four quarters.

Beech is the more talented team at several positions and walks away with a big region victory.

BEECH 28, GALLATIN 14

Hendersonville (5-2, 3-0) at Baylor (5-2, 1-2)

The first meeting for these two programs is in Chattanooga Friday night as the Commandos gear up for their second consecutive hour-plus road trip.

Coming off a win at Shelbyville last week will go a long way in helping the Commandos navigate the adversity that comes with road games. Still, Hendersonville is about to find out what makes DII-AAA so tricky.

The Red Raiders have won 3-of-4, scoring an average of 34 points per game while doing so. Baylor is built upfront, at the second and third level of the defense, and has plenty of offensive weapons that can frustrate a defensive coordinator.

I do think Hendersonville is a good football team, but I think they find out DII-AAA ball isn’t all that fun.

BAYLOR 42, HENDERSONVILLE 17

Pope Prep (5-2, 1-2) at Knox Catholic (4-2, 2-1)

Pope Prep makes the trip out to Knoxville Catholic High School Friday night for their fourth region contest of the season.

The Knights are coming off their bye week last week while the Irish are licking their wounds after a 40-0 beat down at home to Lipscomb Academy.

Looking at the Irish’s schedule, the two teams share common opponents with Baylor and Father Ryan. The Irish defeated the Red Raiders by 10, where the Knights lost to Baylor 21. Both defeated Father Ryan.

I don’t know a ton about Knox Catholic, but being at home, coming off a bad loss, give me Catholic by two scores.

KNOXVILLE CATHOLIC 45, POPE PREP 31

Portland (3-4, 2-1) at Station Camp (7-0, 4-0)

Portland hits the road this Friday night after enjoying their bye week last with the county on Fall break.

Next is a trip to the East Bank, where the Panthers take on undefeated Station Camp (7-0, 4-0) in non-region action.

Portland head coach Wes Inman and Station Camp head coach Brent Alexander are both graduates of Gallatin High School, but it wasn’t until the two became working colleagues after their time wearing the green & gold.

As for the game between the white lines, it’s hard to ignore what Station Camp has accomplished this season.

The 2021 team is full of never-give-up attitudes and care for the player next to them on any given play.

I think Station Camp is poised to finish the 2021 season either 10-0 or 9-1, and if they finish the season with one loss, I don’t think it will be to Portland.

While I expect this football game to be close, physical, and well played in between the whistles, I think Station Camp is ready to continue its upward trajectory towards the postseason.

Having a week off to prepare is a benefit to Portland, which they will use to stay close with the Bison for most of the night.

However, Station Camp’s defense is stout, and quarterback Parker Brown is coming off his best performance of the season.

STATION CAMP 35, PORTLAND 21

Westmoreland (1-6, 1-2) at East Robertson (3-4, 1-2)

Westmoreland has gone through its ups and downs this season, winning only one of their first seven games.

However, they have an excellent opportunity to close out the regular season with three consecutive region victories, which would be good enough to earn a playoff berth.

Last week Westmoreland took care of Whites Creek, and this week I think they take care of East Robertson.

I firmly believe Westmoreland is better than their record shows, and I think this continues the momentum built over the last week. Add momentum to a team that enjoyed their bye week, and that spells trouble for the Indians.

WESTMORELAND 21, EAST ROBERTSON 10

White House (6-1, 4-0) at Stewart County (4-4, 1-2)

The White House Blue Devils have reeled off six wins in a row since their opening week loss to Station Camp, taking down some really good teams along the way.

White House earned no more significant win this season than they did two weeks ago, beating Fairview before enjoying their bye week last week.

Even though this is a long road trip for White House, I think it would be not very smart of me to pick against Ryan Hamilton’s crew.

White House takes one step closer to bringing home the region title.

WHITE HOUSE 38, STEWART COUNTY 21

Zach Womble oversees sports coverage in Sumner County for the Gallatin News, Hendersonville Standard and Portland Sun. Womble has won several TPA awards, highlighted by two first-place awards in 2020 for best sports writing and best special section.

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