2021 RECORD — 14-10
Can you believe we are entering the halfway point of the regular season?
It seems like only yesterday we were getting ready to head into the August 20th opener, and now here we are with only six regular season games remaining.
As for my picks last week, can we ignore those? I finished a measly 1-3 in game picks, only picking Pope Prep and Independence correctly. Shout out to Station Camp and White House for proving me wrong in their rivalry matchups and Smith County for defeating Westmoreland.
A 14-10 record is not something to brag about, so maybe I can register my first perfect week and get to 20 wins before 11 losses this week.
Let’s dive right into my Week 5 Pick ‘Em column.
Beech (2-1) vs. Clarksville (3-1)
The Beech Buccaneers are coming off their bye week following their first loss of the season to Hendersonville in week three action.
Hosting the Clarksville Wildcats in their second region contest of the season, Beech will try and bounce back against a Wildcats team that looked strong in their 35-17 win over Dickson County.
Beech needs the offensive line to continue to improve because if either Brian Rager or Jackson Ford has time to throw the football, look out because waiting downfield are a host of weapons that can make you pay.
However, it will be interesting to watch and see if Beech comes into this game and returns to their running mentality or continues to spread the football around through the air.
Either way, Beech coming off a loss and a bye week spells disaster if you’re Clarksville.
BEECH 35, CLARKSVILLE 14
Gallatin (1-2) vs. Hendersonville (2-1)
The Gallatin Green Wave play host to their oldest rival in the Hendersonville Commandos Friday night.
Two teams heading in opposite directions, Hendersonville is poised to start their region schedule 2-0 and put themselves in the driver's seat for a third consecutive region title.
Gallatin has struggled offensively this season, and I don’t expect them to get much going against a stingy Commando defense.
On the flip side, Hendersonville has plenty of playmakers that can make for a long night on the defensive side of the football, and I think that’s what fans see at the Wave Yard.
Give me Hendersonville in a not-so-close matchup.
HENDERSONVILLE 42, GALLATIN 7
Pope Prep (4-0) at Baylor (3-1)
Pope Prep hits the road for their toughest test to date. Knights head coach Justin Geisinger called this Baylor team the best they have seen yet, showing no weaknesses on either side of the football.
If Pope has shown us anything this season, the Knights can put up points with the best of them. Quarterback Kenny Minchey has proven to be lights out and wide receiver Colin Cook may be the best wideout in the league — check the numbers if you don’t believe me (23 catches, 358 yards, 11 TDs).
Still, despite all that firepower, Baylor is poised to put up many points, particularly against a banged-up defense Pope will put on the field.
BAYLOR 35, POPE PREP 31
Portland (2-2) vs. Clarksville Northeast (1-3)
Portland plays host to region foe Clarksville Northeast Friday night in the Panthers' second region game. A win over the Eagles would all but lock up a playoff spot for the Panthers, but with a critical matchup against Kenwood looming in two weeks, Portland knows they cannot let their foot off the gas, even with a victory Friday night.
This season, the Eagles have struggled to win football games, coming to Portland with a 1-3 record with their only win coming in Week One against West Creek.
Since the victory, Northeast has lost at Montgomery Central (0-16), Springfield (22-34), and Rossview (22-27).
The Eagles do have a talented team, but with Portland’s ability to run the football and control the line of scrimmage, I think the Panthers move to 2-0 in league play.
Despite the 2-2 record, I believe that if a few more plays go the opposite direction and favor the purple and white, they very easily could be sitting at 4-0 right now.
However, they are not, so credit must be given to East Hamilton and White House — my point is they are a talented enough football team to compete with anyone on the schedule thus far.
I think Friday night will be close, but give me the Panthers to bring home the win.
PORTLAND 35, CLARKSVILLE NORTHEAST 21
Westmoreland (0-4) vs. Trousdale County (3-0)
A rough start to the 2021 season does not get any easier for Westmoreland as they play host to region foe Trousdale County Friday night.
Outside their 28-point outburst against Portland in week one, Westmoreland has struggled to score the football — getting shutout in back-to-back weeks against Watertown and Smith County.
On the other hand, Trousdale County seems to be finding its groove. The Yellow Jackets are not an easy program to conquer, shown by Westmoreland’s inability to get a win over the region foe in the last several seasons.
While I do think Westmoreland is better than their record indicates, I think they struggle Friday night against the Jackets.
TROUSDALE COUNTY 24, WESTMORELAND 7
White House (3-1) vs. Waverly (3-0) — Thursday at Nissan Stadium
I have gone on record picking against White House twice this season, and they have bitten me both times.
Last week the Blue Devils outlasted the Portland Purple Panthers 55-40 and could enter this contest a bit exhausted.
However, playing under the lights in an NFL Stadium should get the juices flowing.
I think the Blue Devils take advantage of their opportunity, and more so, I think you see the likes of Ranen Blackburn and Reece McAfee show out in a big way offensively. Give me the Blue Devils in a close one.
WHITE HOUSE 28, WAVERLY 24
Station Camp -- Bye