2020 Record: 14-5
I’m coming off of a 3-3 week and will attempt to get back to my winning ways this time around. There are four games featuring all six area teams.
Let’s get right to it:
White House (1-2, 0-0) at Springfield (3-0, 1-0)
White House is coming off of a heartbreaking 20-14 loss in double overtime last Friday. It looked like the Blue Devils were going to dominate in the first half, but costly turnovers gave the Panthers too many chances.
The Blue Devils have a tall task ahead of them in their first region game: stop the defending Region 5-4A champs who are already clicking on all cylinders.
The Yellow Jackets are undefeated through three games. Their lone district win came against White House Heritage in a game that was never close. Kevontez Hudson, Gabe Kelly and Springfield’s multitude of talent are already in mid-season form, and they’ve only played three live games.
If the Yellow Jackets continue to improve, they could be headed back to the state championship game. They should be fine against White House.
Pick: Springfield 35, White House 7
WH Heritage (3-1, 0-1) at Greenbrier (2-1, 1-0)
The Bobcats picked up a massive region win last week against Portland. That win could give them a lot of confidence going into another big region game this Friday against Heritage.
The Patriots needed to prove themselves against Sycamore last week and did just that, getting a dominant 34-10 win. However, they are still looking for their first region win after being embarrassed by the Yellow Jackets at home two weeks ago.
Last year’s meeting went down to the wire, but the Bobcats pulled out a 43-42 victory, one of their two wins last season. They have already matched their 2019 win total through three games.
I like Greenbrier’s three-headed monster of Stoney Smith, Izik Rector and Braxton Laney. All now have valuable experience and bring something unique to the table. The Bobcats will need to lean on them to get past the Patriots, but I think they’ll get it done.
Pick: Greenbrier 28, WH Heritage 24
Jackson County (3-1, 0-1) at East Robertson (1-3, 1-0)
The Indians took a tough 28-9 loss against Lewis County last week. They have mimicked their start from last season, going 1-3 out of the gate, but the one win was against region opponent Cascade.
Jackson County has done the opposite, starting out 3-1, with the lone loss coming against region opponent Westmoreland. The Blue Devils demolished Red Boiling Springs last week 43-0.
Last season, East Robertson won a low-scoring game 14-7. The Indians struggled to put points on the scoreboard early this season, so they may need to win a similar game again on Friday.
This win would go a long way in sending the Indians back to the 2A state playoffs, and I think they’ll get it done somehow.
Pick: East Robertson 10, Jackson County 7
Jo Byrns (2-2, 0-1) at Red Boiling Springs (0-4, 0-1)
Jo Byrns bounced back with a very nice 21-20 victory over Houston County last week. The Red Devils needed a final two-minute touchdown drive to grab the lead, and they did it.
Quarterback Ryan Dowlen and running backs Jake Chennault and Elijah Farmer played well last Friday to put their team in position to win. But perhaps the best part of the game wasn’t one player’s performance; they did not turn the ball over at all. In the previous two games, the Red Devils turned the ball over nine times, resulting in blowout losses.
As long as they can keep the turnovers down, Jo Byrns should be headed back to the playoffs. Last season, the Red Devils defeated Red Boiling Springs 44-14.
The Bulldogs have given up over 40 points in each of their four games this season, and they show no signs of improvement.
Jo Byrns should have no problem putting away Red Boiling Springs for the first region win of the season. It may take nine turnovers in the same game to lose this one.
Pick: Jo Byrns 44, Red Boiling Springs 6