Given the first 10 weeks of the 2020 area high school football schedule, it would have been shocking if there had been no games canceled for Week 11.
There’s no shock.
The shutdowns were well spread out, though, as Summit’s Region 5-5A regular-season finale at Lincoln County was canceled last week because of COVID issues on the part of the prospective hosts. On Wednesday, Spring Hill learned that its Region 4-4A matchup with visiting Lawrence County would not take place because the Wildcats have had pandemic issues.
Most recently, similar concerns at Columbia Academy resulted in the Bulldogs announcing Thursday they will not travel to Fayette Academy for their Division II-A West Region contest.
There is still, though, a Week 11 slate that includes some contests with postseason implications.
Let’s see what Mostradamus sees for the final Friday night of the regular season.
Columbia Central (5-4, 1-3) at Shelbyville (6-2, 3-0): Both teams are expected to have their starting quarterbacks for this Region 5-5A tilt – which benefits the host Golden Eagles. Junior Kade Cunningham, who ran and threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns in Shelbyville’s Week 8 win at Cleveland, was unavailable for last week’s victory over Franklin County for COVID-related reasons. Central senior Brady McCanless (837 passing yards, six TDs) left the Lions’ Week 9 game at Page with a concussion and was held out of the Stratford game. Shelbyville is assured of the No. 2 seed for the Class 5A playoffs regardless of Friday’s outcome, while Central can lock up a berth with a win – but can also advance, win or lose, with a Page victory over Franklin County. A Page loss and a Central loss would end the Lions’ season. Shelbyville 27, Columbia Central 21.
Huntland (5-4, 2-2) at Richland (3-5, 1-3): The winner grabs the final postseason berth out of Region 5-1A, with region titlist Fayetteville, runner-up Moore County and Cornersville already decided. Huntland can advance as the No. 3 seed with a win, while the Raiders would advance as the No. 4 seed for a second straight season with a victory. The Hornets surprised host Cornersville last week, winning 24-14 for their third victory in their last four outings. Senior RB Kolbi Stewart (1,091 rushing yards, 15 TDs) homefield has been Huntland’s offensive constant, with five 100-yard efforts – including a 301-yard performance two weeks ago against Moore County. Richland’s playoff hopes, jeopardized with last week’s 35-7 loss at Moore County, now lie on its ability to generate offense behind QB Sam Edwards and senior RB Austin Seals; the two have teamed for 1,090 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, but the Raiders have scored 20-plus points just twice in eight games and has managed just 34 points in consecutive losses to Spring Hill, Cornersville and Moore County. Huntland 26, Richland 18.
Mt. Pleasant (1-7, 0-3) at Moore Co. (8-1, 3-1): The Bulldogs close out a season of struggle on the road, against a Moore County team that’s been impressive all year. Ranked fifth in this week’s Associated Press Class 1A Top 10, the Raiders’ only loss came to Region 5-1A titlist and sixth-ranked Fayetteville back in Week 5 by a 28-22 margin; Moore County’s four victories – including last week’s 35-7 win over Richland — since have been by an average of 25 points. QB Kyler Parker has rolled up 2,000-plus offensive yards with 25 touchdowns, with RB Tyler Smith providing a nice secondary punch. The Raider attack promises to be a challenge for Mt. Pleasant’s defense, led by senior LB Ethan Beasley (60 tackles, two sacks in five games) and S Jeffrey Williams. On the other side of the ball, QB Te’Varius Strayhorn comes off his most productive passing performance in last week’s 14-6 loss at Eagleville. The Tiger offense will have to execute and be balanced to have a chance here. Moore Co. 24, Mt. Pleasant 16.
Ravenwood (5-4, 3-1) at Independence (6-1, 4-0): The visiting Raptors, boasting a pair of Power 5 commits in TE Jake Briningstool (Clemson) and LB Junior Colson (Michigan), bring a less-than-glowing mark into this Region 6-6A clash. Don’t be fooled. Ravenwood’s losses are to league and crosstown rival Brentwood, perennial Division II-AA power Christ Presbyterian Academy and a pair of high-powered out-of-state in Pulaski Academy (Ark.) and IMG Academy (Fla.). Ranked 10th in the AP Class 6A poll after last week’s 51-10 win at Smyrna, Ravenwood eyes its eighth straight win in the series against Independence. The Eagles have not scored more than 14 points in any of the previous seven matchups. That’ll change this week. QB Jaxson Campbell (1,936 offensive yards, 25 total TDs) should be a Mr. Football candidate with a number of weapons at his disposal – including RB Tre Hartwell, TEs Tyler Kondra and Ty Lockwood and WR Calvin Wilson – in what may be the most diverse Independence offense since Scott Blade’s arrival as coach. With the region title at stake, expect the hosts to rise to the occasion. Independence 31, Ravenwood 24.
Summertown (3-5, 0-3) at Community (1-8, 0-4): Since a 3-0 start, things haven’t gone so well for the Eagles – though nine points separate them from a two-game winning streak entering their season finale. An 18-14 loss to visiting Region 5-2A rival Eagleville ended Summertown’s playoff hopes, and a 24-19 defeat at the hands of visiting Lawrence County denied the hosts bragging rights in the Battle of the Buffalo. Still, featuring nearly a dozen juniors – including QB Colton Shaffer, RB Aniken Johnson and RB/WR Javen Edmiston – the Eagles have the chance to take some momentum into the offseason with a win against a Viking squad that defeated Cannon County in Week 4 but has dropped five straight since and hasn’t scored more than 16 points in any of its eight losses. Summertown 28, Community 17.
Zion Chr. (4-5) at Cornersville (6-3): A depleted Zion Christian roster will wrap up the year against a Cornersville that is playoff-bound but coming off a loss to Huntland in league play. The Bulldogs will look to sharpen their play before an opening-round road contest, while Zion hopes to finish the year at .500 with a victory. The Eagles will be led yet again by junior QB Luke Perko (2,030 offensive yards, 25 total TDs), but will be without a couple of linemen and down a receiver as well. Cornersville 34, Zion Chr. 21.
Columbia Acad. at Fayette Acad., canceled
Lawrence Co. at Spring Hill, canceled
Lincoln Co. at Summit, canceled
Last week: 5-2 (.714)
Season: 44-15 (.746)