Welcome to the quietest week in Montgomery County football -- the unanimous bye, where every school in the area kicks their feet up, forgets about school and recovers from a long stretch of daily football.
Because of that, there are no games to pick this week. In its place, I thought I’d take part in a fun exercise: let’s rank all the teams from best to worst based on their performance this year.
If you disagree with me, let me know on twitter: @Brady_MSP. I’m always open to discussions!
Without further ado, let’s get into the rankings.
8. Northwest Vikings (1-7, 0-3 R7-5A)
I would say that Northwest’s season hasn’t gone as planned, but unfortunately their performance hasn’t exactly been unexpected. With a new coaching staff and more holes than strengths relative to their foes, few -- if any -- of their losses are unexpected.
They’ve been shut out in four of their seven losses and have been outscored 73 to 345. There is talent on the team, especially in quarterback Raymond Rodarte, but football isn’t a sport where one man can carry a team.
They’ll finish their season against Kenwood -- a team with major momentum -- and Springfield, who is playing for the district championship. Their one win appears to be the only one it’ll finish with.
7. West Creek Coyotes (1-7, 0-3 R5-6A)
There’s a big jump from Northwest to West Creek, who beat our No. 8 team 33-0.
But there’s also a pretty sizable gap between West Creek and the rest. While the Coyotes’ offense is usually halfway decent -- they’ve scored in the double-digits in five of their eight games -- it’s the defense that has been a disaster.
They’ve allowed totals of 62, 54, 63 and 51 -- numbers that are impossible to catch up to, even if you have good offensive players like Kayden Pace, Cavin Roberson and Quinton Wagner.
The Coyotes have a prime opportunity to get one more win with Whites Creek coming to town on Oct. 22, but their season finale against Hendersonville is as close to a guaranteed loss as it gets.
6. Northeast Eagles (2-6, 1-2 R7-5A)
Unfortunately, the Eagles have been the most disappointing team in Montgomery County this season. Despite losing a handful of offensive and defensive playmakers, it was still a team that went to the 5A quarterfinals in 2020, so expectations were still relatively high. Nobody could have foreseen that they’d only have two wins heading into their bye week.
While the offense hasn’t necessarily been an issue -- they’re still averaging 25 points per game -- it has largely underperformed in big games. They were shut out against Montgomery Central, scored just 20 in a pivotal region game against Portland and were held to 13 against Northeast.
If you take out their four outlier scores in which they scored 62 against West Creek and 61 against Northwest along with zeroes against MCHS and Father Ryan, their PPG drops to just 19.3. And when the defense is having trouble stopping even pedestrian offenses like it did against Rossview and Clarksville, that’s a problem.
5. Clarksville Academy Cougars (5-3, 0-2 DII-A Middle)
I must give credit where it’s due to Clarksville Academy. They went from arguably the worst team in the county last year to being comfortably ahead of at least three other programs, and that says a lot.
But their five wins are somewhat misleading when compared to other teams. They have more wins against teams ranked outside MaxPreps’ state top-300 (three) than they do wins over teams ranked in the top 200 (one). Their most recent loss came against GCA, a team that stacks up very evenly with CA, and they also lost their quarterback, Cooper Wallace, in the matchup, which largely hinders their potential the rest of the way.
Still, give credit to head coach Scott Murray along with playmakers like Wallace, Corbin Yarbrough and Paris Pridgen. This year could eventually go down as one that started a large-scale turnaround of the CA program.
4. Rossview Hawks (2-6, 1-2 R5-6A)
Admittedly, Clarksville Academy could rank higher than Rossview. I mean, just look at their records!
Here’s why they don’t.
Rossivew played one of the best teams in the midstate in Riverdale along with other state top 100 programs in Wilson Central and Springfield. They also have losses to established programs Gallatin and Clarksville.
While Rossview has been largely uninspiring this season, it’s not necessarily unexpected. They returned very few starters and have enough seniors to count on two hands. Despite that, they’ve stayed competitive in all but two of their games.
Their win total is unlikely to grow past two with games against Hendersonville and Beech on the horizon, but those games can be valuable experiences for potential returning players Brandon Rushing, Garrett Diemel, Hezekiah Scott, Cameron Ward, Xan Woods and others.
3. Kenwood Knights (4-4, 1-2 R7-5A)
While there have been many disappointing teams, the Knights are not one of them. If anything, they’ve outperformed expectations.
It started when they hung 65 points on Hillwood in Week 1 to set a new school record, and though they faltered for a few weeks after, they’ve found new life lately with wins over Portland and Rossview.
Jaylen Washington has been far and away the best quarterback in the county, and with targets like Corben Howard and Quentavius Barnes doing their thing, it’s not hard to see why.
Their defense still has question marks, but like Rossview, they have losses to excellent programs in Green Hill, Henry County, Springfield and Shelbyville Central.
They’ll finish their season with games against Northwest and Northeast, meaning they very much could win out and get to six wins -- and a top-three seed in the region.
2. Clarksville Wildcats (5-3, 2-2)
Talk about outplaying expectations.
Clarksville had a lot riding on this season. They had a chance to be the best team in the city and play for a potential top spot in their region, but when star quarterback Davin Garinger went down before the season started, those expectations were majorly tempered. They didn’t have a true backup quarterback, so instead they opted to just put their best athletes under center and see what happened.
So far, it’s turned out decently well. Their only “bad” losses came against Beech and Hendersonville, games they may well have lost anyway even if Garinger played.
They’ve beaten rivals Rossview, Dickson County and Northeast and have finished their county slate of games undefeated after a 51-0 drubbing of West Creek.
Rayshawn Bowling has played himself into the player of the year conversation, consistently blowing defenses up with his incredible speed while also locking down the safety position in CHS secondary.
Softie Maplewood is on deck for the home finale, and after that is Gallatin. If Clarksville can win that, they’ll lock down the No. 3 seed in a difficult region. If not, they’re still all but assured a postseason spot.
1. Montgomery Central Indians (7-1, 5-1 R5-4A)
I know I’ve harped on strength of schedule quite a bit here, and the Indians’ isn’t exactly at the top of the mountain.
But it’s impossible to ignore what they’ve done this season. Before taking their first loss of the season last week against Tullahoma -- perhaps THE state title favorite in 4A -- they had allowed just one of their seven opponents to score in double digits. And even then, they beat that Lawrence County team 39-12.
They haven’t just done it with defense, either. While their offense has slowed a bit recently, they had a four-game stretch where they outscored opponents 153-12.
With an experienced offensive line and playmakers like Logan Sykes, Andrew White and Kade Davis, Central is as tough to beat as almost anybody else in 4A.
Their final two games will truly tell how far they could go. They’ll end the season against two fellow playoff locks in Marshall County and Pearl-Cohn. If they can win one of those, they could officially earn a “dangerous” designation.