News and Predictions

Week Five Game Picks

We are now in week five of the season, and every game is becoming more and more important to playoff seeding. Our guest picker this week is former Ravenwood, Tennessee State, and Atlanta Falcons receiver Chris Rowland! Here are his picks, along with the rest of our staff’s pick, plus our standings going into this week’s action: 1. Carter Mansfield 36-19 2. Braedon Henson 35-20 3. Cooper Haines 34-21 4. Isaac Leedham 33-22 5. Jake Wallman 31-24 T-6. Landen Secrest 29-26 T-6. Hunter DeNote 29-26 T-8. Kelsey Crabtree 28-27 T-8. Guest Picker 28-27 10. Jackson Utley 24-31 Game of the Week 6A #6 Ravenwood (3-1) at Brentwood (1-3) Mansfield: Ravenwood Henson: Brentwood Haines: Ravenwood Leedham: Brentwood Wallman: Ravenwood Secrest: Ravenwood DeNote: Brentwood Crabtree: Ravenwood Rowland: Ravenwood Utley: Brentwood Other Games 2A #4 MAHS (3-0) at 2A #10 Mitchell (3-0) (Thu.) Mansfield: MAHS Henson: MAHS Haines: MAHS Leedham: Mitchell Wallman: Mitchell Secrest: MAHS DeNote: MAHS Crabtree: Mitchell Rowland: Mitchell Utley: Mitchell 3A #8 White House (3-1) at 3A #5 Waverly (3-0) (Thu. at Nissan Stadium)

Hardin County Wins Defensive Battle Over USJ

After a dominant 3-0 start to Hardin County’s regular-season campaign, week four would pit the Tigers against one of the top programs in West Tennessee. DII-A is a strong classification, and the USJ Bruins have been to back-to-back state championship games. The Bruins were on offense first. The HCHS defense was prepared for the run-heavy USJ offense, as Hardin County held the Bruins to a missed field goal. The powerful HCHS offense got started and ran an efficient drive, marching down the field to the 2-yard line. The Bruin defense held the Tigers to a fourth and goal, though sophomore Ryan Weaks made a diving catch to put HCHS ahead by seven. After the Seth Garner kickoff, the senior wideout and defensive back grabbed a 48-yard pick-six to close out the first quarter. The Bruins trailed 14-0 going into the second quarter. USJ offense marched to the Tiger 21-yard line when HCHS defense forced a field goal attempt. Bruin kicker Ben Pledger just missed the 31-yard attempt, with the kick sailing narrowly to the right. Despite having given up no sacks before this game, the Bruin defensive front got to the sophomore quarterback Carter Smith. HCHS took a 14-0 lead going into the half and received the opening kick-off of the second half. HCHS’s opening drive was a tone-setter for the second half; Senior tailback Jacob Harrison punished the Bruin defense, making gains to the USJ 31-yard line. The Tigers took a risky shot play, a Seth Garner route to the endzone with two Bruin defenders on top of him. The senior snagged the ball for a highlight play, extending the lead to 21. USJ never found paydirt through the third quarter even though the clock continued to tick, and the Bruins brought in fresh legs to create some production. USJ scored early in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard rush from freshman Noah Spencer. The Bruins attempted a squib kick, and Hardin County took over at their own 25. HCHS was able to run off some clock and secured tough field position for USJ thanks to a Seth Garner punt. The HCHS defense got the stops, and the Tigers took a 21-7 win over the USJ Bruins. Next week the Tigers travel to take on Chester County in a district matchup. Chester County has found more production than last year and defeated Adamsville 41-14, reversing a 41-9 loss to the Cardinals last year. USJ opens up district play against First Assembly Christian at Carlock Stadium at 7:00 pm.

Westview Makes Statement Over Fairview

Westview and Fairview has been one of the most anticipated matchups in the entire state for the last few weeks. The Chargers are led by 4-star Alabama quarterback commit Ty Simpson, and he did not disappoint, leading to a win over Fairview by a score of 47-14. To open the scoring, Fairview looked as if they would be able to hang with the Chargers to start the night, as they marched down the field and scored on a 6-yard touchdown run by Layden Grant with 9:57 in the first quarter. The Chargers came right back, and answered with a drive of their own that was capped by a Simpson 7-yard touchdown pass to Omarion Harris. Simpson went 4 of 5 on the drive, and showed sharp command early for the Chargers. The Yellow Jackets, again, were able to sustain a long drive on their next possession, as they took five and half minutes off the clock and were able to get deep into the Chargers’ territory, but they were unable to get any points on the board. The Yellow Jackets were able to stop Simpson and the Chargers offensively on the next two possessions, holding them to two field goals from 35 yards and 25 yards to increase their lead to 13-7 in the first half. Fairview was able to get one more solid drive in before the first half ended, but the Yellow Jackets again were not able to get any points on the board as they gave up a big sack of quarterback Kennedy Pendergrass, which forced them to punt the ball. The Chargers took advantage as Simpson led them down the field to add another score to the board, as he connected with Garner Anderson on an 11-yard pass to increase their lead to 19-7. The second half belonged to the Chargers as they were able to add 4 touchdowns to the scoreboard. The first being on a 95-yard kickoff return by Javion Goins to open the third quarter. A few plays later Harris was able to intercept Pendergrass and return it for six points from 55 yards out. The fourth quarter saw the Chargers add their last two touchdowns, the first on a 40-yard scamper run from Grant. The last TD came on a Simpson pass where he found Anderson on a slant route who raced to the endzone for a 41-yard score. Fairview falls to 2-2 on the season and will look to bounce back next week on the road at region opponent Cheatham County. Westview improves to 3-1 on the season and will look to extend their current 2 game win streak on the road at region opponent Camden.

Lebanon Gets Close Win Over Siegel

The Siegel Stars stepped out of region play Friday night and played host to the Lebanon Blue Devils. With a big stretch of region play looming for both teams, a win was an important step. Lebanon forced three turnovers, two in the second half, winning the showdown on the last play of the game 28-21. The majority of the first quarter was a quiet, back and forth battle, but Lebanon would strike first on a 23-yard strike from Jaylen Abston to Kemontez Logue with 52 seconds remaining to grab a 7-0 lead. The second quarter was all Siegel scoring 14 unanswered points. The first touchdown came on a 20-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Thomas Santel to junior wide receiver Boko Nannemann. Cory Sims scampered from a yard out and led at halftime 14-7. Lebanon received the football to start the second half. They marched the ball down the field in ten plays and senior running back Brandon Martin scored from 20 yards out sparking a 21-7 run. Two more touchdowns were added, as Lebanon capitalized off two more Siegel turnovers. After a second Martin touchdown and 37-yard pass from Abston to Anthony Crowell, Lebanon led 28-21 with just under three minutes to play. Siegel would make it to the Blue Devil 38-yard line before Lebanon made a stand as the clock ran off the final seconds to snatch the win. With three total turnovers and a mirage of second half penalties, Siegel Head Coach Adam Renshaw did not have much to say in postgame. “We have to focus on ourselves, and get better. Like I said, we have to avoid turnovers and penalties. Timely penalties are hurting us quite a bit, so those are the two things we have to fix.” Lebanon Head Coach Chuck Gentry praised his team on the win and their tough “next man up” mentality. Siegel, now 2-2, will hop back into region play with a tall task facing the defending state champ, the Oakland Patriots. Lebanon, now at 3-1, also continues district play as they play Coffee County at home. Both games kick-off at 7pm.

Powell Wins Big Over Science Hill

On Friday night, the Science Hill Hilltoppers hosted the Powell Panthers in a heavily anticipated matchup, as any game involving the number one recruit in the nation promises to be. Walter Nolen, a 5-star defensive tackle for the Panthers, sits atop ESPN’s 300 list at the 1 spot. Recruited by schools in every corner of college football, Nolen promises to put on a show every week, and did he ever deliver Friday against Science Hill. A 36 yard pass from senior Quarterback Jordyn Potts to Wide Receiver Jayden Collins would set Powell up for a 15 yard touchdown pass to break the ice first, making it 7-0 Panthers. Science Hill wouldn’t be so fruitful, however. Their first offensive snap would be a wild one, flying over quarterback Jaxon Diamond’s head for a 15 yard loss. An incomplete pass and QB hit by Walter Nolen would lead to the game’s first punt. The Panthers picked up right where they left off, adding to their lead on a 28 yard touchdown reception by junior wideout Ayden Greene, making it 14-0 Powell. Walter Nolen would go down on the next play, the first of three occurrences where the 300-pounder would be banged up after a whistle. He would counter this, however, with 2 QB hits and 3 combined sacks. With 9:44 left in the first half, Jordyn Potts would heave a 50-yard touchdown pass to Ayden Greene once again. The Panthers would get the ball back and after a few penalties, Potts would scramble for a 61 yard touchdown rush, extending their lead to 28-0. Science Hill’s final drive of the second quarter would look hopeful, until a textbook 4th down deflection by Owen Peterson shot down the Hilltopper momentum. They would give the ball back to Panthers in favorable field position, who would take advantage with a deflected touchdown pass caught by Gianni Magdos, extending the Powell lead to 35-0. The final score at Steve Spurrier Field would be a resounding one, as the Panthers etched up 42 to Science Hill’s 14. The Player of the Game would be Powell Quarterback Jordyn Potts, who threw for over 300 yards, and racked up 6 total touchdowns, with two of those rushing. Powell’s defense, which has struggled this year, showed up big time with 4 sacks and an interception by Ayden Greene. This game was a nice transition for the Panthers, as they will now host two games in a row at home. Sitting at 2-2, Science Hill will now play William Blount and Maryville, followed by both Morristown Hamblen schools.

Ensworth Dominates Nolensville in 59-6 Rout

The Ensworth Tigers hosted the Nolensville Knights on Friday night, in a fairly one sided matchup. The Tigers won in dominant fashion 59-6. The game was already out of reach by halftime, as Ensworth already had a huge lead. Ensworth came out hot, early in the first quarterback Levi Moore connected with Charles Ingram on a swing pass for a long touchdown. Later in that same quarter, Moore found Shamar Porter for a score. Nolensville got on the board late in the first credits to running back Samson Johnson. Unfortunately, that was their only score for the night. Just before the opening quarter ended, Ensworth's Mark Smith ran for a 46-yard touchdown. The Tigers led 21-6 after one quarter. In the second quarter, the Tigers offense truly caught fire. Martez Cooksey started things off with a touchdown on the ground. Then, Moore snuck into the endzone from two yards out, and also found Shamar Porter again for a highlight reel score. Jacob Page picked off Nolensville quarterback Colby Walton and returned it for a score. The Tigers went into halftime leading 49-6. Overall, Moore was 11 of 14 for 175 yards with 4 touchdowns through the air. He also added one touchdown on the ground. Porter led the receiving corps with 4 receptions for 68 yards and two scores. Page added a receiving touchdown early in the third to pair with his interception. Smith totaled 127 yards on the ground. Sam Haley and Sammy Taylor, among others, headlined a lockdown defensive performance for the Tigers. Ensworth will look to carry their momentum into their week five matchup against Memphis University School at home. Nolensville will look to bounce back next week at Columbia.

Week Four Game Picks

It is already week four of the high school football season, and there are plenty of great matchups to look forward to. Our game of the week is one of the state’s best rivalries, as Maryville will travel to Alcoa Friday night. Our guest picker this week is former Alcoa and current UTSA wide receiver, Tykee Ogle-Kellogg. Ogle-Kellogg is currently a junior for the Roadrunners. He was a state champion and all-state receiver for the Tornadoes in high school. Let’s get into this week’s picks:

Fairview Earns Huge Region Win Over Stewart County

Fairview and Stewart County has been one of the most anticipated 3A region matchups in the entire state.The Yellow Jackets would showcase their power run game all night, in their first true home game of the season, amassing over 350 yards on the ground. The Yellow Jackets finally got to play their first true home game of the season at “The Nest” after their new turf field was fully installed. “We won our first game on our new turf field and I’m thankful for that.” Fairview head coach Chris Hughes said. To open the scoring, the Rebels blocked a field goal attempt by Fairview, and junior Trent Wallace scooped it and ran it back 80 yards for a Rebel touchdown, giving Stewart County a 7-0 lead with 2:54 left in the 1st quarter. The Rebels took advantage of another Fairview miscue. This time, intercepting Fairview quarterback Kennedy Pendergrass late in the first quarter, followed by a 8-yard touchdown pass from Senior quarterback Will Page to Junior Colten Morgan to take a 14-0 lead with 11:56 left in the second quarter. Fairview would finally get on the scoreboard in the second quarter, on a 4-yard touchdown run from Kendrick Curtis to cut the lead to 14-7. Thirty seconds later, the Yellow Jackets got an interception of Page by Senior Dillan Sullivan. A nice return set up the Yellow Jackets inside of Stewart County territory. The Yellow Jackets would add another touchdown on a 4-yard touchdown run by Senior Jacob Clevenger to tie the game at 14-14 with 1:36 left in the first half. After a quick three and out by the Rebels, they were forced to punt to Fairview with 1:16 left. However, two plays later Page intercepted a pass by Pendergrass and returned it for a 55-yard touchdown to give the Rebels a 20-14 lead at the half. Fairview’s defense was sharp to start the third quarter as they forced a punt, which was then blocked and returned inside the Rebels 10-yard line. Two plays later, Junior Layden Grant scored from 6-yards out to put the Yellow Jackets up 21-20 with 9:36 in the third quarter.

Green Hill Earns First Region Win in School History Over Wilson Central

September 3rd, 2021 will be a date that goes down in history for the Green Hill football program, as the Hawks earned their first ever region win in their first ever region game, beating Wilson Central 25-15. This is Green Hill’s second year of competition after playing a non-region schedule last season. “This region is a very tough region.” Green Hill Head Coach Josh Crouch said. “This is huge to get a win against an established program that is consistently in the playoffs. I am super proud of our program and our kids.” Brax Lamberth has been the star for Green Hill at running through the first two games, but was relatively shut down in this one, rushing for 69 yards on 21 carries. When the Wilson Central defense collapsed on Lamberth, it opened up opportunities in the pass game for the Hawks. “Their defense is very disciplined, and one of the better open-field tackling teams I have seen.” Crouch said. “We thought we could get behind them, and ended up throwing two touchdowns.” Quarterback Cade Mahoney seemed to make all of the right throws when called upon, going 9/13, with 115 Yards and 2 touchdowns. Kaleb Carver was a major threat in the passing game as well, with 4 catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. The Green Hill defense stepped up time and time again, and really allowed the Hawks to pull away in the second half. A fumble return for a touchdown by Anthonie Shannon proved to be the dagger, extending Green Hill’s lead to 25-7 in the third quarter. “Anytime you score defensively you are getting a plus.” Crouch said. “We’re starting to really understand our scheme, and gaining a lot more confidence.” Green Hill improves to 1-0 in Region 5-5A, and 2-1 overall. The Hawks will host Columbia Central next week. As for Wilson Central, they fall to 0-1 in region play, and 2-1 overall. They will travel to Springfield next week.

No More Streak; Greeneville Hands Elizabethton First Loss Since 2018

The Elizabethton Cyclones vs. the Greeneville Greene Devils... an inter-conference matchup that has turned into a storied rivalry in the area, with the winner of each regular season contest between the two going on to claim the TSSAA 4A state championship for the past four years, consecutively. With that being said, the battle was on once again as the two powerhouse schools met in Elizabethton on Friday night to rekindle the flames of rivalry. The Cyclones started the contest with the pigskin, but it was nothing doing as a quick three and out gave Greeneville a chance to capitalize and come away with the first score. And capitalize they did, as the Greene Devils were able to hop on the board first thanks to excellent field position, eventually coming away with the score on a two yard score by running back Mason Gudger. Cooper Graham would add one more for the visitors, making it 7-0 Greeneville midway through the first. But the Cyclones would not be left out of the scoring party for long, as a slow methodical drive consisting of 19 plays, 70 yards, and eight minutes off of the game clock. The final strike came when quarterback Bryson Rollins showed his agility by juking a defender and scampering across the goal line from eight yards out. The extra point attempt by Sean Smithdeal would be blocked by the defense, leaving the advantage with Greeneville, 7-6 at the start of the second stanza. With a break in the action, the next score would come from the Greene Devils when a drive that seemed to have stalled out took flight. On third and five from the 18 yard line, quarterback Brady Quillen would find Jakobi Gillespie who would make his way 82 yards for the score, making it a 14-6 contest in favor of the visitors with four minutes until the half.

Week Three Game Picks

Week three of the high school football season is finally here, and that means it is the opening week of region play for a majority of teams around the state. We have several big games this week, and our staff (plus our guest picker) will take our shot at predicting the winners. This week’s guest picker is the biggest we have had since the website began last season. Our guest picker this week is former Pope John Paull II wide receiver Golden Tate. Tate was an all-american at Notre Dame, along with being a pro bowler in the 2014-2015 season with the Detroit Lions and winning Super Bowl XLVIII with the Seattle Seahawks. Let’s get into the picks for this week.

Hardin County Rolls Over Rival Adamsville

4A contender Hardin County continued its season on Friday, in a road trip to the rival Adamsville Cardinals. Hardin County had won the last three matchups, outscoring the Cardinals 122-0 in those games. The Tigers looked to make it four straight, and made a statement in the first quarter. After deferring the kickoff, junior Kiandre Smith recovered a fumble on Adamsville’s first play from scrimmage. HCHS took over at the Cardinal 26-yard line and quickly marched down the field, finishing the drive with a 1-yard Jacob Harrison rushing touchdown. As soon as the Tiger defense returned, a Christian White interception brought another punishing Hardin County drive. Another Jacob Harrison touchdown from a yard out extended the Hardin County lead to 14-0. Adamsville went three & out on their next drive, though Cardinal Luke Helton grabbed an interception in the endzone, returning it to the Hardin County 40 yard line. The Cardinals failed to capitalize, and after a fourth-down stop, the HCHS offense marched back out. Kaydin Pope quickly got the offense back off the field, however, four tackles, and taking a screen pass 58-yards for six. HCHS now held a 21-0 lead. Another HCHS fumble recovery would bring the offense back out once more. A Christian White rush to the 2-yard line set up a Seth Garner touchdown reception, extending the lead to 28. The HCHS defense continued to make plays, and the offense continued to score. Kaydin Pope ran in a jet sweep from 12-yards out for another Tiger touchdown. Shortly after another Cardinal punt, Seth Garner would grab a 7-yard touchdown with 1:14 left in the first half. Hardin County took a 42-0 lead going into the half, and with around six minutes left in the third quarter, Peyton Stricklin punched in a 38-yard rushing touchdown to finish the night for HCHS. The Tigers won 49-0, with kicker Nolan Foster going 7/7 on extra points. Hardin County will host Jackson Southside next week in their region opener.

Pendergrass Leads Fairview to Victory Over Creek Wood

Coming into Friday night’s matchup against the Creek Wood Red Hawks, the Fairview Yellow Jackets had to overcome several hurdles to get to play this matchup. The first hurdle was the Yellow Jackets new turf field was still being installed and would not be ready for the matchup, so the Yellow Jackets used Page High School for the matchup. The second hurdle they faced had Fairview without eleven kids due to COVID protocols. The third hurdle was Fairview looking to settle on a Quarterback with projected starter Mays McCoy out with an injury, after rotating Kennedy Pendergrass and Crawford Claxton in week 1 against Page, the Yellow Jackets stuck with Pendergrass against the Red Hawks and it paid dividends as Pendergrass threw for 106 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 70 yards and added a touchdown on the ground. “Kennedy has earned the starting spot.” Fairview head coach Chris Hughes said. The visiting Red Hawks won the toss and deferred to the second half. The Yellow Jackets nor the Red Hawks were able to do much on offense in both of their opening drives to start the game as both teams turned the ball over on downs. On Fairview’s second drive the Red Hawks were able to force a fumble and recovered it on the Fairview 28-yard line. One play later the Red Hawks scored on a pass thrown by quarterback Jacob Stephens to wideout Jamison Ford to put them up 7-0. Fairview would come back and answer that score on a great run down the sideline by Pendergrass for a 38-yard touchdown with 9:42 left in the first half. Creek Wood would not be able to muster much on offense, especially without senior running back Michael Harris, who hurt his ankle late in week 1 against Dickson County. Harris was only able to play a few snaps in the game early. “We took him out after a few snaps to protect him after we realized he wasn’t going be able to go fully.” Creek Wood coach Houston Thiel said. The Red Hawks punted the ball down to the Yellow Jackets 9-yard line. Pendergrass would show he was in complete control of their offense as he led them down the field on a 91-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Kendrick Curtis to take the 14-7 lead with 5:13 left in the 2nd quarter. The Yellow Jackets were able to add another score right before the half with 9 seconds left on the clock on a 9-yard touchdown toss from Pendergrass to Claxton. Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the 3rd quarter as both teams were sharp defensively and were able to get off the field on several key third down stops. The Red Hawks were able to force another fumble and recovered it on the Yellow Jackets 9-yard line, but were not able to get any points off that turnover. Coach Thiel said “It’s hard to pick out just one thing tonight but when you have the ball inside the 10 with an opportunity to make it a one score game and you can’t capitalize, that’s the type of night we had.” The Yellow Jackets were able to find the endzone once again with 10:33 left in the 4th quarter on a 65-yard touchdown run by Claxton. Claxton ended the game with 9 carries for 56 yards, and 3 receptions for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns. “We played better tonight after the 1st quarter, we laid the ball on the ground and then they hit us with a quick pass deep to score and I thought here we go again making mistakes, but as the game went on we were able to fix some things” Coach Hughes said. “I felt like our guys the more the game went on got more comfortable and Crawford Claxton had a great game and our quarterback settled down, but it was hard because that Creek Wood defense is tough” Coach Hughes said. Creek Wood falls to 1-1 on the season and will look to bounce back next week on the road against region opponent Marshall County. Fairview goes to 1-1 on the season and will look to continue their winning as they will host region opponent Stewart County.
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