BY CORY WOODROOF | PHOTO BY KINDALL BUCHANAN
Here in Williamson County, it’s week five of the football season, and things are getting interesting.
Our Game of the Week needs no introduction. We’ll get into the Battle of the Woods soon enough, with undefeated Ravenwood hoping to get to 5-0 over 3-1 Brentwood. Both teams are fielding young quarterbacks in Brian Garcia and Cade Granzow, and both teams have stout pass rushes. That one will be important for any myriad of reasons. Just get there early to park.
Though, that’s not the only heavyweight bout of the week, with other undefeated teams Battle Ground Academy and Christ Presbyterian Academy set for their yearly scrap, as are a massively-improved Franklin squad and Independence with their high-power offense.
Let’s dig into what’s ahead.
BGA, CPA will determine who owns district
This week, the BGA Wildcats will face something foreign to them in 2018.
For the last four weeks, it’s been the high life for the undefeated squad, riding the enormous debut of QB Nick Semptimphelter, our most recent Player of the Week. They’ve nary had much of a contest, though Friday, that’ll change.
They’re set for a home tussle with undefeated CPA to determine who owns the Division II-AA district.
Semptimphelter has plenty of help on offense, with Georgia Tech commit and receiver Chico Bennett Jr., receiver Antonio Stevens, running back Kaleb Seay, versatile weapon Tiy Reed, receiving option Garnett Hollis Jr. and reserve back Briston Bennett to flank him. It’s a loaded unit that’s averaging about 40 a week this season, though this week, they’ll face a defense with Kane Patterson in tow.
As for CPA, senior QB Ryan Eledge, along with Patterson and Sam West, guide the Lions’ offense that hit the rails a bit against a tough Pearl Cohn defense after spending the last few weeks riding high. Plus, they’re on the road for this one, which won’t help matters.
This one will come down to defense, as so many heated rivalries do. Both have offenses that can score in bunches, but which defense will come alive and slow down the titan long enough for its own titan to flourish? It seems like an obvious point, but then again, the stakes are obvious, too.
Whoever wins this one can assert itself as a D-II state contender, while the other will need to hope for better results in the playoffs should they meet again.
Franklin, Indy will mean a lot to either team
The Franklin Rebels might be the best 2-2 team in the county. Both wins have come by double-digits over solid opponents in Riverdale and McGavock, and both losses have come at the last second to division heavyweights Ravenwood and Brentwood.
Though, that still puts the Rebels at 0-2 in the district and fighting upward in those standings.
They can catch a breather with a win Friday, as long as they can slow down the visiting Independence Eagles’ offense.
Indy’s offense has been the real deal all season — QB Nathan Cisco, WR T.J. Sheffield (off to Purdue) and WR Isaiah Collier will all pose drastic threats to Franklin’s defense. If the Rebels can slow those three down, they’ll get their third win of 2018 and their first district victory.
But, y’know, that’s easier said than done.
The trio of QB Josh Nichols, WR Chancellor Bright and RB Matt Gaca will get a chance to shine against a struggling Indy defense that’s let up gulps of points each week. The Eagles will need to field their best defensive performance of the year to win this one.
That defense really does need a win. Indy’s 1-3 right now, which feels a bit inexcusable with all that offensive firepower. But in football, games are not won on offense alone, so a win for the defenders on the road against a district foe would be a win for the ages.
However this one goes, rest assured. There’s a ton at stake for both teams, and this one will be one both teams will look back on in November as either a big boost or a glaring missed opportunity.
Here’s the rest of the slate.
Page will host Antioch…Centennial has a district bout with Dickson County…Brentwood Academy will welcome West Toronto Prep…Nolensville will head to Lawrence County…Spring Hill will visit Tullahoma…Summit will visit Colombia…Grace Christian Academy will face off against Richland.