By Jake Evans:
Friday night, we have an outstanding matchup ahead of us, as Memphis Central (8-2) heads to Germantown (11-0) to take on the undefeated Red Devils. Last Friday, Central won a thriller over Cordova, 21-20, marking the second straight year that Central beat Cordova by 1 point in the first round. At the same time, Germantown took care of Arlington 51-14. That win over Arlington was the 7th time that Germantown beat an opponent by 30+ this season. Both teams are led by Memphis commits, Cameron Baker and Trevis Hopper. For Germantown, WR Cameron Baker has been their go to playmaker, a reason why he was named 1st team all region, and region player of the year. For Central, DT Trevis Hopper has been the main force by their defense. With Hopper, Central’s defense is allowing 75 rushing YPG, top 5 in the Memphis area.
The Red Devils are scoring 41.3 PPG this season, while giving up just 10.7 PPG. On the other side, the Warriors are scoring 25 PPG, and allowing 13.3 PPG. All season, Germantown’s games have been high-scoring affairs, with solid defense behind them. Their closest margin of victory was 10 points, showing that this team hasn’t really been tested much in close battles. For Central, their last three games have been decided by less than a touchdown. If Central can keep this game close, their strong running game and experience in close battles might work in their favor.
For Germantown, their offense dominates through balance. QB Ethan Payne has thrown for a little over 150 YPG, while RB B.J. Gardner has added 19 rushing TDs in 11 games. Payne’s top target, Cameron Baker has the 2nd most receiving yards in the Memphis area this season. The Red Devils’ offense is top 5 in the Memphis area, while their defense is statistically the best in the area. Despite their domination this season, they’ve played a difficult schedule. Germantown went 10-0 in the regular season for the 2nd straight year, beating 4 region champions, 9 teams that made the playoffs, and 5 teams that are still playing in round two. They’re as good a team as you’ll find in TN, from top to bottom, meaning that Central will have their hands full on Friday night.
For Memphis Central, their strength is the run game, behind Dylan Ingram, who had 2 TDs last week. The Warriors are averaging nearly 240 YPG on the ground, while allowing just 75 rushing YPG. In the regular season, Germantown took care of Central 28-7, marking the Warriors’ last loss, the only time that Central was held to less than 10 points this season. Under first year coach Major Wright, the Warriors have held their opponents to less than 10 points in 5 games, while scoring 30+ in five games too. Central wins games by shutting down the run game, and dominating the field with their run game. They own the ball for most of the game, giving opponents few chances throughout the night. If they want to beat the undefeated Germantown Red Devils, they will have to keep their offense off of the field, and rely heavily on Dylan Ingram. He has been their go-to guy all year, and this Friday cannot be an exception, if they want to win.
Kickoff for this Round 2 matchup is at 7:00 PM at Germantown High School. The winner of this game will face the winner of Houston and Whitehaven on November 16th.