2019 record: 19-11
Last week: 3-2
Are we having fun yet?
I’m not sure. Ask me again after this week’s games are over.
I would be having more fun if the picks had finished better than 3-2 last week. White House Heritage (over Portland) and Marshall County (over Springfield) kept me from going undefeated.
Springfield has a bye this week, but the other five area teams have important region games. The White House-Portland and White House Heritage-Creek Wood matchups should be especially telling. Given the parity in Region 5-4A, all four of those teams could use wins to feel better about their playoff hopes.
It’s time to increase the winning percentage. My Week 7 picks:
White House at Portland (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The Panthers are reeling after back-to-back losses to West Creek and White House Heritage. Meanwhile, White House lost to Springfield and Watertown the past two weeks.
One of those teams will get back on track this week. And since I must choose, I’m going with Portland, though I’m not overly confident in that pick.
The Panthers blew out Edmondson County (Ky.) and Greenbrier, but their other four results weren’t overly impressive. Portland lost to Forrest and beat Montgomery Central (who was without star RB Lakendriez Sanders). And now, they’re on a two-game slide.
White House (3-2) has yet to beat a good team – its three wins are over squads with a collective record of 1-17. Until the Blue Devils change that, I’m hesitant to pick them against a Region 5-4A opponent.
PICK: Portland 31, White House 20
White House Heritage at Creek Wood (Friday at 7 p.m.)
Picking White House Heritage games has given me fits all season. My overall Patriot record is 3-3.
After laying an egg against Greenbrier two weeks ago, Heritage (4-2) bounced back with an impressive 35-31 victory over Portland Friday. It was also their first win in a close game this season (their other three victories were blowouts of MTCS, East Robertson and Sycamore).
I’m not sold on Creek Wood (5-1) yet. The Red Hawks have split their two Region 5-4A games, beating Greenbrier and losing to Montgomery Central in overtime. But over the next month, they face Heritage, White House, Portland and Springfield – all of which are contests that could go either way.
This is going to be a tight one. But I like the Patriots to bounce back and get a victory on the road, especially now that they’ve shown they can win a contest in crunch time.
PICK: White House Heritage 24, Creek Wood 21
Greenbrier vs. Montgomery Central (Friday at 7 p.m.)
Montgomery Central may be the team to beat in Region 5-4A (along with Springfield). Senior tailback Lakendriez Sanders (5-foot-10, 238 pounds) is an absolute load to bring down, and he helps the Indians slow the tempo and knock out opponents the old-fashioned way.
None of that is good news for Greenbrier (1-5). One week after a 43-42 upset at White House Heritage, the Bobcats backtracked and lost to Fairview 41-7 at home. Tristan Leopold’s status for this week is uncertain, meaning sophomore Brogan Harden may start at QB once again.
Sanders is going to be hard to stop. Montgomery Central likely takes this game with relative ease.
PICK: Montgomery Central 28, Greenbrier 10
East Robertson at Trousdale County (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The Indians (3-3) are on a roll after winning three of their last four. That came after East Robertson opened the season with lopsided losses to Forrest and White House Heritage. QB Drake Alsup, RB Jaden Crouch and WR Taylor Groves lead what could be a dynamic East Robertson offense.
But this week’s date at Trousdale County (4-1) is going to be difficult. The Yellow Jackets have only allowed 22 points all season, and their lone loss was a 16-13 thriller at Watertown Sept. 6.
There is at least an outside chance for an East Robertson upset here. But the Indians will have to have a near-perfect performance.
PICK: Trousdale County 28, East Robertson 7
Jo Byrns at Monterey (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The Red Devils (1-5) continued to struggle at the line of scrimmage against East Robertson last week. Jo Byrns managed just 65 rushing yards on 25 attempts in a 30-0 loss to its cross-county rival.
That recipe won’t work against undefeated Monterey (6-0). The Wildcats have rolled through their first six opponents, outscoring them 264-59. Monterrey looks to be the favorite in Region 4-1A and that will probably show Friday. Plus, the two-hour bus ride to Putnam County won’t do Jo Byrns any favors.
PICK: Monterey 30, Jo Byrns 8