COVID 4, Mostradamus 0.
The pandemic has taken its biggest toll to this point of the season on this week’s schedule, with four games canceled as a result of positive cases or contact tracing involving one of the two planned participants.
With that, a Week 5 that promised some pivotal league contests has lost some – some – of its luster. There are still, though, some matchups that will bear on regional standings and resultant postseason prospects for area squads.
Let’s see what the turbaned prognosticator sees coming out of the games this weekend does have to offer.
Columbia Acad. (0-3, 0-1) at Nashville Chr. (1-3, 0-2): Somebody’s going to get their first Division II-A West Region win of the season, and it’s going to be a big one that allows the victor to stay in the midst of the playoff chase. Both CA and the host Eagles have a loss to Davidson Academy on their ledger – the Bulldogs falling 36-0 at home last week, after Nashville Christian fell 35-0 in Week 3. The Eagles bounced back last week to defeat visiting Battle Ground Academy 28-14 – getting a combined 114 rushing yards and three TDs from RBs Deion King and Martease Edwards. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Nashville Christian junior PK Macy Crampton, who doubles as a member of the Lady Eagles’ girls soccer team. In her first year on the gridiron, Crampton is 5-for-6 on extra-point tries. CA, with three touchdowns in three games, has been hampered by turnovers – 10 to this point – and has been unable to establish its gamebreakers. RB Franklin Walker, the team’s leading rusher a year ago, is averaging just 40 yards per game on less than 10 attempts, while WB Chris Modeste picked up 21 yards on his only carry late in last week’s loss. Early success on the road is nearly a must for the Bulldogs this week. Nashville Chr. 27, Columbia Acad. 16.
Independence (2-1, 1-0) at Franklin (2-2, 0-1): The Admirals’ 27-20 win last week at Summit brings some extra attention to this Region 6-6A clash, considering Independence’s only loss was by a 40-34 decision to the visiting Spartans in the season opener. And while comparing scores is a dicey proposition, it’s of interest that Franklin was able to limit a dual-threat QB much like the Eagles’ Jaxson Campbell — who in three games has accumulated 864 offensive yards with 12 TDs through three games – a week ago. If the Admirals are able to achieve that for a second straight week, and put together another productive performance with the offensive combination of QB Connor Beavon, RB Bryce Sparks and WRs Taylor Spierto and Carson Repass, this could be one of the area’s more interesting matchups. Independence 28, Franklin 24.
Lakeway Chr. (2-2) at Zion Chr. (2-2): Talk about deceptive records: The Lions, based out of Jefferson County, have two ‘COVID’ wins; the first-year program lost to South Greene and Knoxville Grace – the latter ranked third in the Associated Press Division II-AA poll this week – by a combined score of 93-19. Zion, meanwhile, looks to continue its roll after consecutive on-field wins over the visiting Memphis Nighthawks (36-0) and against ‘host’ Sale Creek (48-42). Those two victories come on the heels of a promising 41-16 loss to highly touted Fayetteville. QB Luke Perko has come on of late, posting 712 offensive yards with nine TDs through four games. After making a long trip last weekend, expect the Eagles to respond positively to the comforts of home. Zion Chr. 31, Lakeway Chr. 21.
Lewis Co. (4-0, 1-0) at Summertown (3-1, 0-0): The visiting Panthers will come in determined to retake their role atop Region 5-2A, having lost at home to Summertown 21-14 last season in a game that helped prevent them from winning the league championship. Ranked No. 3 in the AP Class 2A poll this week, Lewis County prepped for this matchup with a 28-9 win at East Robertson and won its only region contest in Week 3, downing Community 55-6. Moreover, since an 8-7 win at Decatur County Riverside to open the season, the Panthers defeated Cheatham County, Community and East Robertson by a combined score of 125-15. The ninth-ranked Eagles, meanwhile, struggled in their most recent outing – falling at DII-A No. 4 Donelson Christian 31-14 – after a ‘COVID’ win over Collinwood and on-field victories against Class 1A foes Wayne County and Mt. Pleasant. RB Javen Edmiston (291 rushing yards, five TDs) has been the most consistent offensive weapon for Summertown; if QB Colton Shaffer and the Eagle passing game can’t balance the team’s attack, it could be a long night. Lewis Co. 26, Summertown 20.
Lincoln Co. (3-1, 1-0) at Columbia Central (2-2, 0-1): In the aftermath of back-to-back losses to visiting league rival Summit and at Giles County (by a combined score of 77-13), this Region 5-5A contest looms large for the host Lions. For a team with designs on a state playoff home game – its first since 2012, when Central hosted all the way to the BlueCross Bowl state finals – falling to 0-2 in region play with both losses at Lindsey Nelson Stadium would not bode well. Avoiding such will require the offense to get on the same page and get junior RB Christian Biggers going; 3.7 yards per attempt (72 carries, 266 yards) is hardly what the coaching staff had in mind as he comes off an 1,100-yard campaign as a sophomore. He and the Lion attack will need to be more productive than in recent weeks against a Lincoln County team that opened with a 20-13 win at Giles County and rallied for a 37-32 league victory over Franklin County in Week 3. Most recently, the Falcons gained a ‘COVID’ win over Spring Hill last week after the Raiders were sidelined on Sept. 9. Dual-threat QB Parker Webb has emerged as an early key for Lincoln County; keeping him in check will be paramount for the Central defense. Columbia Central 26, Lincoln Co. 24.
Cornersville at Mt. Pleasant, canceled
Overton at Summit, canceled
Richland at Lookout Valley, canceled
Spring Hill at Tullahoma, canceled
Last week: 5-2 (.714)
Season: 18-6 (.750)