2019 record: 27-15
Last week: 2-1
We’re down to the final two weeks of the high school football regular season. That means the playoff picture is starting to clear up for Robertson County-area teams.
The skinny: East Robertson and Springfield are locks for the postseason, Jo Byrns and White House Heritage can still qualify, and Greenbrier and White House have been mathematically eliminated.
East Robertson can finish as high as second in Region 4-2A. Springfield can do the same or even take the Region 5-4A title (with some help). Jo Byrns needs to beat either Gordonsville or Pickett County to clinch its spot.
Things are a bit more complicated for White House Heritage. The Patriots’ upset loss to Greenbrier in late September made their path to the playoffs more difficult. But if Portland loses to Creek Wood this week and the Patriots beat Montgomery Central next week, Heritage will snag a playoff berth.
Now that you’ve got the postseason update, it’s time for this week’s picks:
Greenbrier at Springfield (Friday at 7 p.m.)
The Pitt-Carroll Trophy, which Springfield has owned for the last five seasons, will be on the line Friday night.
Greenbrier (2-6, 1-3) should be well rested after its open date last week. After starting 0-4, the Bobcats have been better over the last month, picking up wins over White House Heritage and Cheatham County.
Springfield (5-3, 3-1) is trying to rack up another region win in hopes of securing a home game for the first round of the playoffs. The Yellow Jackets are in contention with Creek Wood and Montgomery Central for the top two spots in Region 5-4A.
Greenbrier has already pulled one region upset and another is not out of the question here. But the Yellow Jacket defense has found its groove over the last two weeks, allowing just 22 total points. And Springfield QB Kevontez Hudson and RB Kevontay White are going to be tough to stop on the ground.
PICK: Springfield 31, Greenbrier 14
White House Heritage at Westmoreland (Friday at 7 p.m.)
White House Heritage (5-3, 2-3) is in a much different spot now than it was this time last year.
The Patriots have a winning record and a chance to make the playoffs after going 1-19 over the past two seasons. Heritage has not qualified for the postseason since 2015.
Meanwhile, Westmoreland’s season has fallen off the rails over the past month. The Eagles (4-4, 1-3) are in danger of missing the playoffs after dropping three straight region contests to Trousdale County, Watertown and East Robertson. However, Westmoreland can still make the postseason by beating Cascade next week.
This non-region game doesn’t matter in terms of playoff seeding, but the Patriot offense is going to put up points on Friday. Westmoreland won’t be able to contain the Will Wilson-Trenton Tuttle aerial connection or the rushing attack of Parker Deaton and Jackson Mapes.
PICK: White House Heritage 49, Westmoreland 14
Harpeth at East Robertson (Friday at 7 p.m.)
East Robertson (4-4, 3-1) is playing pretty good football heading into the final two weeks of the season, having won three of their last four contests.
The Indians beat Westmoreland 27-6 last Friday to move into third place in Region 4-2A. If East Robertson can upset Watertown (7-1, 4-0) on Nov. 1, the Indians can take second place and secure a home playoff game.
Harpeth (1-7, 0-4) has struggled and lost starting QB Thomas Sloan for the season. Its lone win was a narrow 17-14 victory over Jo Byrns – a team East Robertson shut out 30-0 on Sept. 27.
East Robertson should have no trouble celebrating Senior Night.
PICK: East Robertson 35, Harpeth 7
Montgomery Central at White House (Friday at 7 p.m.)
These two squads are in very different situations entering Week 10.
Montgomery Central (7-1, 3-1) is trying to lock up the Region 5-4A title with wins in its final two games. The Indians have the inside track thanks to wins over region contenders Creek Wood and Springfield. Meanwhile, White House (3-5, 0-4) has been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
The Indians are led by senior RB Lakendriez Sanders, a 1,000-yard rusher who throws his 240-pound frame at opposing defenses like Jerome Bettis once did for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
White House is on a five-game slide after starting 3-0. But the Blue Devils were close to having a much better season – their only blowout loss was a 28-8 defeat at Watertown on Sept. 27.
The Blue Devils can try to spoil Montgomery Central’s title hopes, but I don’t see that happening.
PICK: Montgomery Central 20, White House 10
Gordonsville at Jo Byrns (Friday at 7 p.m.)
Gordonsville entered the 2019 season as a favorite to win Region 4-1A, but the team hasn’t lived up to that billing. Instead, the Tigers (2-6, 2-1) have struggled defensively and lost four of their last five games.
Jo Byrns (1-7, 1-2) is in a similar position coming off its open date. The Red Devils were without starting QB Ryan Dowlen and leading rusher Jake Chennault (258 yards, six TDs) in a 34-7 loss to Moore County in their last outing on Oct. 11.
However, both teams are still likely to make the playoffs. Gordonsville can clinch its spot by beating Jo Byrns, and the Red Devils can get in with a win this week or against Pickett County (1-7, 0-3) next week.
But the Tigers will probably pull this one out. Jo Byrns’ struggles on the offensive and defensive lines (coupled with injuries) might be too much to overcome.
PICK: Gordonsville 36, Jo Byrns 26