Not great, but still -- not up to par.
That’s how many would describe their football seasons to this point, and Mostradamus is among them.
To be fair, the high school campaign to this point has been dotted by new, somewhat nontraditional matchups that have been tough to get a read on. As we close in on the halfway point of the season, though, some situations should begin to clear up.
At least, that’s what the turbaned prognosticator hopes. Let’s take a look at Week 5.
Donelson Chr. (4-0) at Columbia Acad. (0-3): In the Division II-A Middle Region opener for both squads, DCA comes in as the No. 1 team in the state in its classification while the host Bulldogs have been outscored by an average of 30 points in three road contests. While the comforts of home will be nice, the visiting Wildcats may not be. DCA QB Bradford Gaines completed 7 of 10 passes for 228 yards and four TDs in a 52-20 Week 4 win over White House Heritage, while RB Ashton Jones rushed for 157 of the Wildcats’ 253 yards on the ground. CA totaled 250 offensive yards in its 49-13 loss at Franklin Road Academy, with freshman RB Montae Baldwin going for 109 yards and a late TD. Donelson Chr. 37, Columbia Acad. 21.
Nolensville (1-3, 1-0) at Columbia Central (2-2, 1-0): After back-to-back victories, the Lions suffered a bit of a letdown in a 28-14 Week 4 road loss at Green Hill. The host Hawks managed to bottle up senior RB Q Martin, who went for 153 rushing yards and three TDs the week before but gained just seven yards on five carries. Sophomore RB Kayden McCoy continues to impress, with 228 rushing yards and three TDs in four games. The Knights were throttled 59-6 at Nolensville, after previous losses to Battle Ground Academy and Giles County, with their lone win coming over Region 6-5A foe Lincoln County (53-6) in Week 3. Junior RB Samson Johnson, with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing campaigns, will need to be the focus for the Central defense. Columbia Central 27, Nolensville 24.
Franklin (0-4, 0-1) at Independence (1-3, 1-0): The struggles continue for the Admirals -- who fell 30-20 to visiting Stewarts Creek in Week 4 despite a 167-yard rushing performance from Bryce Sparks -- and don’t show any indication of letting up this week. Although the Eagles dropped a 56-38 decision at Pope Prep last week and have been outscored by 100 points in their three losses, they did get a boost in the air game from QB Joe Cummings (901 passing yards, nine TDs) and receivers Jack Rummell and River Katina; Cummings threw for 348 yards and four TDs in Week 4, with Rummell and Katina teaming for 292 yards and all four scores. Junior RB Tre Hartwell chipped in 132 yards and a TD. Independence’s balanced attack bodes a challenge the Admirals may not be suited to slow. Independence 42, Franklin 17.
Lawrence Co. (3-1, 1-1) at Pearl-Cohn (4-0, 2-0): The Wildcats bounced back from a tough Region 5-4A homefield loss to Montgomery Central by dominating Greenbrier 21-0, as Alex Carr threw for a pair of TDs while the defense allowed just 169 yards and forced six turnovers. Pearl-Cohn, ranked No. 3 in the state, doesn’t figure to be as charitable. Led by Southeastern Conference prospect Barion Brown, the Firebirds boast on-field wins over Cane Ridge, Montgomery Bell Academy and Creek Wood -- the latter a 35-0 region victory. Pearl-Cohn 41, Lawrence Co. 12.
Mt. Pleasant (1-2, 0-1) at Loretto (2-2, 0-1): The Tigers come off an open date and a loss to Region 5-2A foe Cascade over the past two weeks, but should be getting some reinforcements in time for their matchup with the Mustangs -- the only team Mt. Pleasant defeated in a 1-8 campaign a year ago. If the ground game shows up to balance QB Nick Brown and WRs Jeffrey Williamson and Demarkus Brown, the Tigers could even their overall and league record. Loretto has been a run-first attack behind RB Caden Porter, who scored four touchdowns and finished with 205 yards in a 41-14 Week 4 win over visiting Wayne County. Mt. Pleasant 31, Loretto 27.
Cascade (4-0, 1-0) at Richland (1-2, 0-1): After a bit of a shocker last week, the host Raiders eye another against a physical Cascade squad that isn’t pretty but is effective behind QB Ryan Inmon. The Champions downed Huntland 28-17 in Week 4 -- their lone home game over a stretch of five, following wins at Mt. Pleasant and Cannon County, with a trip to Community looming next week. Richland thumped Hickman County 42-7 after a narrow Region 5-2A loss at Summertown in Week 3, as QB Bryce Miller and WR Ethan Workman hooked up for a 75-yard TD pass to highlight a 21-point opening period. Big plays may be necessary again to offset Cascade’s grind-it-out offensive approach. Cascade 20, Richland 14.
Lincoln Co. (0-4, 0-1) at Spring Hill (0-3, 0-1): Only the Raiders’ inability to take the field against Summit in Week 2 prevents this from being a game between foes with matching records. Spring Hill played perennial Class 2A toughie Lewis County close in Week 4, before dropping a 23-16 homefield decision despite just 181 offensive yards. In their lone Region 6-5A contest to date, the Raiders lost 47-6 to Page -- ranked fourth in the state this week. The Falcons, meanwhile, hardly resemble the powerhouse many remember, their losses to Giles County, Centennial, Nolensville and Rockvale coming by an average of 42.5 points each. Spring Hill 20, Lincoln Co. 14
Summertown (2-1, 1-0) at Forrest (3-1, 1-0): Since losing to rival Lawrence County, the Eagles have posted victories over Richland and Collinwood, but the Rockets are tough at home. Forrest relies on its defense, having allowed just 30 total points thus far with recent wins over league foe Loretto and at Moore County. If they can clamp down on Summertown RB Javen Edmiston, it’ll go a long way in deciding this Region 5-2A matchup. Summertown 21, Forrest 16.
Centennial (3-1, 0-1) at Summit (4-0, 1-0): The Cougars, to their credit, have won the games most would expect them to -- blasting Overton, Lincoln County and Antioch -- while struggling in a 35-0 Week 3 loss at Independence. Friday’s Region 7-6A trip will likely resemble their previous league contest more than their three non-region outings, as no one has really stopped Spartan senior QB Destin Wade (667 rushing yards, 11 TDs in three games). Summit 42, Centennial 21.
Last week: 6-3 (.667)
Season: 22-9 (.710)