There’s no such thing as a bad game this week. If you are still playing, you are a good football team. The stakes also couldn’t be any higher. It’s win and become one of the best eight teams in the state in your classification or lose and get ready for basketball season. I could easily put all 22 games being played in the mid-state tonight in a tie for first place. Big match-ups dot the map of the mid-state tonight. Here are my top 5 in order.
Beech (8-3) @ Cane Ridge (11-0)
Beech went on the road in Round 1 and won in impressive fashion with a 44-30 triumph over a really good Shelbyville team. This week, their road gets even tougher as the Buccaneers travel to undefeated Cane Ridge. Led by D.J. Thorpe and a defense that’s surrendering a mere 16 points per game, the Ravens have been stout all year long. They’ve also shown an ability to both blow teams away and win close four quarter defensive struggles. One of those struggles came back on September 16th when Cane Ridge beat this Beech team on the road 17-16. The re-match shouldn’t disappoint. Click Here
Ravenwood (6-5) @ Mt. Juliet (9-2)
In another re-match, Mt. Juliet will try to avenge one of their two losses on the season as they host a Ravenwood squad that held the Golden Bears to only 7 points in their first meeting in Week 3. Ravenwood is battle tested in a tough Region 3-6A and their experience against tough opponents showed in a 45-14 beat down at Houston last week. The offensive turnaround for Mt. Juliet has been remarkable. After their loss to Ravenwood, Mt. Juliet was averaging 17 ppg. In their last 8 games, they are averaging 43 ppg. They are also 8-0 in those games. Mt. Juliet Head Coach Trey Perry joined the “High School Football Hour” and discussed how tempo is a major reason for the offensive turnaround. You can hear that interview here.
Hillsboro (7-4) @ Independence (11-0)
Talent is the key word in this one. Both of these teams have a lot of it. They also have a lot of coaching talent with Independence’s Scott Blade carrying a 26 game winning streak and a 5A state championship into this one. Hillsboro’s Craig Clayton has been a successful head coach for a long time and his experience has shown this season. The Burros rebounded from a 2-4 start to win their last five. Even more impressively, they’ve averaged 40 ppg and are giving up a measly 7 ppg over that same span. You can see this game tonight on MyTV30 WITH Brent Dougherty and Jonathan Hutton on the call. Kevin Smith dives deeper into the match-up in this week’s Coach Speak.
CPA (5-6) @ Stratford (11-0)
I know what you’re thinking. How does a match-up between 5-6 and 11-0 make my top 5? It’s simple. Stratford won 7-6 in the first meeting and there are no signs pointing to that outcome being a fluke. CPA played a brutal schedule this season and that’s by design. Coach Ingle Martin wants to challenge his team by playing the best in the state. Mission Accomplished. The Lions 6 losses came against opponents that are a combined 54-10. Kevin Smith has more on these two teams in this week’s Coach Speak.
Goodpasture (9-2) @ Fairview (11-0)
Yet another great match-up in 3A tonight pits two of the better stories in the state. Fairview is quietly one of the more successful programs in the area and their community support is unmatched. Goodpasture returned from the depths of back-to-back winless seasons to return to prominence. Kevin Smith has the specifics on both of these teams in his weekly Coach Speak column.