Week 4 brings rivalry games and epic story lines to the forefront of the high school football world in Williamson County with Franklin’s contest against Hillsboro getting top billing.
Craig Clayton makes his first trip to Howard Gamble Stadium as Hillsboro’s head coach after being fired from Franklin in January after seven seasons. Over that time he compiled a record of 65-22.
The game is important to Clayton because it is a District 11-AAA contest, not for any other reason according to the coach.
“I think people make more out of it then I probably will,” he said of playing his former school. “I’m happy where I am now.”
It will be the first time in Clayton’s career he plays a former team the year after he has left.
Clayton’s new and old teams are very similar in 2012 – they are both young. Hillsboro’s varsity roster consists of 60 players – 26 of which are first-year members of the program. Franklin’s youth has been well documented as they returned two offensive starters and two defensive starters from the 2011 squad.
“I understand what Franklin’s going through because we are too,” Clayton said. “We’re probably the two youngest teams in the district.”
Hillsboro (3-1,1-0) has outscored opponents 86-23 in home games this season while they lost their only road contest 24-17 at Franklin Road Academy. Clayton said he was more worried about how his team reacts to a loud, hostile crowd than his own personal emotions.
Franklin (2-2, 0-1) has won four-straight against the Burros, including last year’s 14-0 decision.
Page (2-2, 2-0) got a big win over rival Fairview in Week 3. They don’t plan to let that victory go to their head.
“We have to come back and get to work,” Patriot coach Charles Rathbone said moments after their win over the Yellow Jackets. “We’ll show them what they did right and pat them on the back, but we’re going to get back to work.”
The Patriots make their first trip to Summit (1-2, 0-1) and will face a much-improved Spartan team. Summit scored 86 points total in their inaugural season. Through three games in 2012, they are up to 55.
Summit has been competitive in every game this season thanks to a solid rushing attack. Quarterback Dee Hunter leads the way with 263 yards while Anthony Diloreto and John Gomoljack have combined for 438 yards.
Battle Ground Academy (4-0, 1-0) vs. Montgomery Bell Academy (2-2, 1-1)
Marty Euverard makes his return to the BGA campus for the first time as Big Red head coach after leaving in 2011. BGA beat Euverard and MBA 35-17 in last year’s meeting.
The Wildcats will celebrate Homecoming and will have a ring ceremony for their 2012 Division II-AA baseball state championship team at halftime.
Brentwood Academy (3-1, 1-0) vs. Pope John Paul II (2-2, 0-1)
BA has been dominant in their series with the Knights, defeating them each of the eight times they have met on the gridiron. The games have not even been competitive as the average score in the series is 50-11. BA has knocked JPII out of the playoffs in three-consecutive years.
Interesting to note will be the health of Eagle quarterback Max Staver. Staver, who transferred from JPII prior to his junior season in 2011, missed last week’s game against Stratford with a shoulder injury.
Brentwood (4-0, 1-0) vs. Ravenwood (0-3, 0-1)
The Battle of the Woods has gone in favor of the Bruins – on the football field – each of the last three seasons. Brentwood has dominated the Raptors to the tune of 103-14 in that span. It could be a fourth-straight year for Brentwood as they have beaten their opponents by an average of 38.25 points in 2012.
Ravenwood’s last victory over the Bruins came in a 17-14 decision in 2008.
Centennial (3-0, 1-0) at Independence (2-2, 0-1)
The Cougars have never opened a season with four-consecutive wins. Their best start to a campaign came in 2002 with they started 3-0 before losing to Brentwood 17-12. Independence needs a win against Centennial to keep pace with Brentwood in the District 11-AAA standings.
Fairview (2-2, 1-1) vs. East Hickman (3-1, 1-1)
The Yellow Jackets look to bounce back from a loss at Page with another District 12-AA game against East Hickman. Fairview has not lost to East Hickman in the Eagles five years of varsity football.