By SAM McGAW
The Brentwood Bruins and Christ Presbyterian Academy Lions have crucial region contests with playoff implications Friday, while Ravenwood aims to bounce back from last week’s loss.
See below for a closer look at their matchups:
Henry County (5-2, 5-0) at Brentwood (4-4, 3-2), 7 p.m. Friday*
One win in the next two games or a Clarksville Northeast loss will secure the Brentwood Bruins a spot in the Class 5A playoffs.
Their first shot at controlling their own fate comes Friday when they host the Henry County Patriots.
Henry County is tied with Centennial for first place in Region 7-5A. Brentwood lost to Centennial 27-17 last week to fall to fourth in the region standings.
“We knew it was going to be a physical football game, and the team that was the most physical would have the best opportunity to win,” Brentwood head coach Ron Crawford said. “We played with great effort. The bottom line was, we met them head-on and they were a little bit more physical than us.”
The opponent may be different this week, but the point of emphasis remains the same for the Bruins: The more physical team will win.
Just like Centennial, Henry County brings a run-heavy attack that’s designed to pound teams into submission.
Led by the trio of quarterback Savon Stewart and running backs Lukas Reynolds and Caleb McCutcheon, the Patriots average 276.6 rushing yards per game and 6.2 yards per carry.
Brentwood gave up 287 rushing yards in last week’s loss.
“We’re facing the same type of offense as Centennial’s, even though Henry County plays with more two tight-end sets,” Crawford said. “Their quarterback is also a little bit more of a runner than Centennial’s is. They run about 85% of the time. We’ll have to present them with some challenges that we didn’t present Centennial with. I think we have a good plan together, and it’s up to us to go execute it.”
If Brentwood wants any shot of taking down the Patriots, it has to find consistency in its run game.
Last week’s 68-yard effort on the ground was the second straight game the Bruins rushed for 83 yards or fewer.
They’ve had 100-yard rushers in a game only twice his season.
“We have to play total team football,” Crawford stated. “We haven’t put together a night all year in which our offense played well – both running and passing – and also played well defensively.
“We’ve hung in there, but we just don’t have any consistency on offense. We’re not the type of team that can throw it every snap, and we can’t run it every snap. We have to find a way to run the ball.”
Wilson Central (6-2, 3-2) at Ravenwood (4-4, 3-2), 7 p.m. Friday*
Ravenwood’s season of woes continued last week with its 34-16 loss against Overton.
The Raptors will aim to bounce back Friday when they host the Wilson Central Wildcats.
Wilson Central is on the heels of a 42-35 loss against Franklin two weeks ago. It was its second loss in its last three games.
The Wildcats feature an explosive offense that averages 40 points and 384 total yards per game. It posted 293 passing yards and 186 rushing yards against Franklin.
Ravenwood heads into the matchup averaging 20.88 PPG.
Last week’s defeat was the fifth time this fall the Raptors were held to 16 points or less.
Christ Presbyterian Academy (3-5, 3-1) at Goodpasture (6-2, 3-1), 7 p.m. Friday*
The CPA Lions can secure second place in Region 5-3A with a win at Goodpasture Friday.
CPA, which started the season 1-5, is tied with the Cougars for the No. 2 spot after securing its second straight region victory with a 49-13 win against Greenbrier last week.
The Lions have been lifted by the recent play of running back James Deaton.
The senior has carried the ball 32 times for 265 yards and two touchdowns over the past two games.
He’ll be leaned on for production against a Cougars’ defense that allows an average of 12 points per game.
Goodpasture’s offense is led by quarterback Dylan Brooks and running backs Jermaine Mason and Julius Elders.
The trio has led the unit to 22.75 PPG this season.
CPA’s defense has allowed 19 points over the past three weeks.
Sam McGaw is sports editor of Home Page Media Group. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcGawSports.