The ninth game of the football season did not exactly clear anything up, but it did leave teams trending up or down at a crucial point, as the post-season playoffs begin one week from this Friday. Here’s my view of the teams that look like they are headed to the post-season, and some that are on a slippery slope:
• TRENDING UP – Sycamore War Eagles: Thanks to their week three win over Stewart County, the War Eagles (4-5 overall, 3-1 in Region 6-AAA) face visiting Camden (also 3-1 in the region) with a chance to secure the #2 seed and host a playoff game for the first time in 18 years. It will be an uphill battle to beat Camden, but the War Eagles have been getting better over the last three weeks and playing the tougher out-of-region competition seems to have prepared them for this opportunity.
• TRENDING UP – Clarksville Wildcats: It took them a while, but the Wildcats are starting to look like their preseason billing: a hard-nosed running game and bend-but-don’t-break defense. While it isn’t happening in time to secure a home game, if Clarksville High continues to improve, they could win their first-round game albeit on the road out west. Now on a three-game winning streak and having their skill players healthy should serve them well. But they have to take care of business this week against a hot-and-cold West Creek bunch with talented playmakers.
• TRENDING NEUTRAL – Kenwood Knights: Despite the many negative things that could be discussed about Kenwood’s season, here is the most important fact: they won the right games in the region. Likely now to finish 2-8 overall and 2-4 in Region 7-5A, because they beat Northeast and Northwest. If they were to beat Dyer County on the road (not likely) and West Creek beats Clarksville High (also not likely), they could end up the third seed. But all likely scenarios lands them in the fourth seed, which considering their record, is definitely a win in Les Greer’s first year at Kenwood.
• TRENDING DOWN – Stewart County Rebels: Theirs has been the “feel good” story for most of the year, considering the dramatic turnaround from last year’s 1-9 season. But based on the challenges ahead, 6-5 looks like the likely finish after starting 6-1 through the first seven. The Rebels finish the regular season on the road against #1 seed Fairview this Friday, and then will be on the road again for their first-round playoff game. A win over Fairview will be bigger than a playoff game in some respects, considering no one in the region has beaten the Yellow Jackets since Camden beat them in 2015. It will take a herculean effort–and no turnovers, the thing that has bitten the Rebels in their other two region losses.
• TRENDING DOWN – Montgomery Central Indians: Perhaps we should conclude that the Indians (7-2, 3-2 in the region) like having their back against the wall, after losing a crucial region game on this road this week against White House, 27-17, which dropped them into third place in the region. So first the bad news: after actually being in a position to win the region and maybe play TWO playoff games at home, the Indians could conceivably finish 7-3 now, and out of the playoffs all together. But here’s the good news: If they beat White House Heritage, they will end up the #2 seed (because Springfield and Creek Wood play each other Friday and MCHS owns the tiebreaker with both of them). That is certainly not a great position, but at least they hold their fate in their own hands.
• TRENDING DOWN — Rossview Hawks: While the opportunity for Rossview (4-5 overall, 1-3 in Region 4-6A) to make the playoffs is still in front of them, the effort will have to be much better against Lebanon (4-5 and 2-2) than it was against Hendersonville. The Hawks suffered an absolute beat down against the Commandos (48-21) and Lebanon beat Hendersonville back on September 20. What may be in Rossview’s favor is that the entire region has been down, but the question remains: do the Hawks want to win? Didn’t look like it last Friday.