2019 RECORD: 16-4
Following a 4-2 record last week that saw Gallatin make me look silly, and JPII fall big in their first region game, we move on to the fourth week of the football season.
It’s crazy to think we are almost halfway through the high school season.
This week we have really good matchups as Gallatin takes their undefeated record on the road to Mt. Juliet, JPII hits the road looking to win their fourth consecutive Bishop’s Cup Trophy, and Station Camp hosts Springfield in what they hope to be their first win of the season.
Our Sumner County Game of the Week features the Battle for Hendersonville when the Commandos host the Bucs for bragging rights.
Our Northern Sumner County friends are each on the road as Portland visits Greenbrier, Westmoreland at Whites Creek, and White House at Hunters Lane.
Without further ado, my Week 4 Previews and Picks.
Beech (3-0) at Hendersonville (2-1) - Sumner County Game of the Week
The Week 4 Sumner County Game of the Week takes us to Hendersonville High School as the Commandos host the Beech Buccaneers.
Beech (3-0) hopes for a better showing than the one that took place on Shackle Island last season, while the Commandos (2-1) hope they can continue to claim “Big Brother” through 2019.
Separated by just 7.5 miles and a railroad track, this rivalry runs deep.
The home standing Commandos are coming off two wins after starting the year 0-1, and the Bucs are 3-0 for the since the 2017 season.
Offensively the Commandos boast a trio of running backs in Brent Rowe, Issiah Chandler, and Ellis Ellis, while also throwing a heavy hitter in Logan Spurrier. Quarterback Drew Hohenbrink can beat you with his arm or legs, and defensively the Commandos are starting to come into their own.
For the Bucs they also have a trio of backs. Getting the bulk of the carries is Ja’Sean Parks and Tysean Jefferson, but look out for No. 17 Patrick Hill, as he has shown early the capability of carrying the work-load.
Defensively these two teams are similar. They force turnovers, fly to the football, and tackle well.
I think fans in attendance Friday night are in for a very good football game.
All that said, I think last year left a sour taste in the Bucs mouth, and I think they are out to prove to themselves they are better than that.
2017 and 2019 have a lot of similarities three games in for the Bucs football team.
In 2017 they opened the year on the road with a win, like this year, and followed that up with a close win against Henry County.
In both season the Bucs dismantled the Glencliff Colts in Week 3 before playing the Commandos on the road.
I’m going to stick with that similarity and say the Bucs pull this win off.
PICK: BEECH 35, HENDERSONVILLE 28
Gallatin (3-0) at Mt. Juliet (1-1)
The Green Wave hit the road Friday night for their first road game of the season, and it’s a doozy.
The Mt. Juliet Golden Bears have won 28 of their last 29 regular season games with the only slip-up coming in a Week 1 loss against Stewarts Creek.
The Golden Bears got refocused last week with a huge win over Lebanon, and are licking their chops to welcome in the Wave to the Bear Den.
Gallatin has looked mighty impressive so far this season led by senior running back Spencer Briggs.
Briggs has nine touchdowns on the season to go along with over 700 yards rushing.
The Wave defense has been stout, too, giving up just 7 points-per-game.
This is an old-school rivalry that should have both teams amped up and ready to play Friday night.
I picked against the Wave last week, and I’m going to do so again this week. If this game were at home I’d have no problem rolling with the Wave, but it’s not. I think Gallatin suffers their first loss of the season in a very close game.
PICK: MT. JULIET 17, GALLATIN 14
Pope John Paul II (2-1) at Father Ryan (1-2)
The Knights are coming off a very tough loss Friday night to the Briarcrest Christian Saints, but the Irish are also coming off a big loss as well to the Baylor Red Raiders.
As beat up as both teams were Friday night, this week is new opportunity for both teams.
They may not be in the same region, but make no mistake, Friday night will feel like a region heavy-weight showdown.
The Knights have won three consecutive Bishop Cup games against the Irish, and would love nothing more than to keep the trophy for a fourth consecutive season.
Neither team has won four in-a-row since the Irish did so from 2006-2011 when they won six straight over the Knights.
This game is going to be close, but I think it’s the Knights that come out on top and assert themselves as the best Catholic school in the mid-state.
PICK: JPII 28, FATHER RYAN 24
Portland (2-1) at Greenbrier (0-3)
The Portland Panthers hit the road Friday night for a big region test against the Greenbrier Bobcats.
Portland is coming off a huge win against Montgomery Central last week where they rushed for over 250 yards and secured a huge comeback after getting down 14-0.
The Panthers are a good football team, and I expect them to continue their positive momentum this week.
A home playoff game is 100 percent in reach for this football team, but in order to achieve that they must win games they are supposed to win.
Greenbrier is 0-3 at this point of the season, and they want nothing more than to get their first win of 2019 at home against Portland.
The Panthers need to be ready the moment they step on to the bus to travel to Robertson County.
I have faith in these players and this coaching staff that they can get the job done.
I believe Portland improves to 3-1 on the year and 2-0 in the region and continues to control it’s own destiny in league play.
PICK: PORTLAND 35, GREENBRIER 7
Station Camp (0-3) vs. Springfield (2-1)
The Springfield Yellow Jackets have rebounded nicely following their opening week loss at Wilson Central.
Dustin Wilson’s team has big wins over Clarksville and White House Heritage in consecutive weeks and hopes to build momentum at Station Camp in Week 4.
The Bison on the other hand are struggling offensively and defensively.
In three weeks of action Station Camp has scored just 14 points while surrendering 111 points.
If there is an opportunity to right the ship and get back on track for the Bison it is this week.
That said, I think the Jackets extend their win streak over the Bison to three years running.
PICK: SPRINGFIELD 35, STATION CAMP 21
Westmoreland (2-1) at Whites Creek (2-1)
The Westmoreland Eagles step outside of region play this week following a big region win over Jackson County last Friday night.
The Eagles are starting to soar and I believe they continue their positive trajectory this week on the road at Whites Creek.
The Cobras are 2-1 for the first time in a decade, so you know they will ooze optimism Friday night.
That said, I still like the Eagles to ride home victorious.
PICK: WESTMORELAND 28, WHITES CREEK 14
White House (2-0) at Hunters Lane (1-2)
The White House Blue Devils travel to Hunters Lane Friday night following their early bye week.
The Warriors are coming off a big win over Hillwood, their first win since the 2017 season.
The Blue Devils had a chance to work on many things, get healthy, and prepare for the grind of the rest of the season last week during the bye.
This is a very good opportunity for the Blue Devils to start 3-0 since they did so in 2017.
White House is 2-0 against the Warriors in their last two matchups with the average margin of victory being 93-7.
I think the Blue Devils again handle business this year and improve to 3-0 on the year.
PICK: WHITE HOUSE 35, HUNTERS LANE 14