2020 Record: 16-7
We are at the midpoint of the season. Where did all the time go? It seems like just yesterday we were talking about whether there would be any games played this season.
Two .500 weeks in a row have my overall record plummeting. Luckily for me, there are four more games on the docket for Friday, featuring five area teams.
The Greenbrier-Fairview game has been canceled, due to a COVID-19 outbreak at FHS.
Here are my picks for the four games that should happen on Friday:
East Robertson (1-4) at Jo Byrns (3-2)
The Indians will head over to Cedar Hill to take on the Red Devils Friday night. Last season, East Robertson did not allow Jo Byrns to get on the scoreboard, winning by a score of 30-0.
The Red Devils come into the game with a 3-2 record, which is a large improvement from last season’s two-win campaign. They are currently on a two-game win streak and want to keep the momentum going.
The Indians are coming off of a tough 16-6 region loss to Jackson County. They have struggled offensively all season, only managing to score in double digits once through five games.
East Robertson’s Taylor Groves is always the best player on the field and can reach the end zone at any moment, which is why the lack of scoring is a little surprising.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Indians need to simply score more points. Whether it is Groves himself or someone else, the offense needs to get going. The Indians are running out of time to fix the problem.
Think about this. When the Red Devils have turned the ball over less than four times this season, they are 3-0.
While Jo Byrns is still the underdog, this could be a very different game from last season’s matchup, and I don’t anticipate the Indians scoring 30 points again.
Pick: East Robertson 16, Jo Byrns 14
WH Heritage (4-1, 1-1) at Portland (2-3, 0-2)
The Patriots went on the road and picked up their first region win Friday night at Greenbrier. That win could have large ramifications later in the season in the race for the playoffs.
White House Heritage has a chance to pick up another win over a region opponent this week.
The Panthers desperately need the win, as they have already lost to Greenbrier and Montgomery Central in close games. If they could get their first region win, the final playoff spots in Region 5-4A would be wide open. A loss could drop them out of the race entirely.
The Patriots have a chance here to take control of their season and would be well on their way to heading back to the state playoffs.
Pick: WH Heritage 27, Portland 20
Springfield (5-0) at Marshall County (3-1)
Marshall County annihilated Springfield last season, 42-12. But here’s the thing: the Yellow Jackets already avenged a 30-point loss from last season against Wilson Central.
This team is on a mission to put Springfield on the map as a 4A football powerhouse, aiming to go back to the state championship game for the second consecutive year.
The offense has a number of playmakers. Senior quarterback Kevontez Hudson has put on a show every night through the ground and the air. Wide receiver and defensive back Gabe Kelly has stepped up with big plays on both sides of the ball. And the Yellow Jackets have a plethora of talent in the backfield.
Avenging the loss to Marshall County is not a priority because the Tigers are not in Region 5-4A, but neither is Wilson Central.
I am sold on this Springfield team. This could be another special year for Springfield. So buckle up; it’s going to be a fun ride.
Pick: Springfield 42, Marshall County 20
Watertown (4-1) at White House (1-3)
White House took a hard loss last week against Springfield, one of the best teams in 4A.
Watertown is a 2A school but is no slouch, coming in with a 4-1 record. The Purple Tigers also beat the Blue Devils 28-8 last season.
It is honestly hard to believe that White House may drop to a 1-4 record halfway through the season, but Watertown is a solid program that does not appear to be slowing down this year.
On the positive side for White House, the last five games of the season are against region opponents, so the opportunity to make the playoffs still lies ahead of them. Staying competitive on Friday could give them confidence going into that stretch.
Pick: Watertown 34, White House 20