The halfway point in the 2012 high school football season has arrived and teams’ identities are beginning to show. Along with that, district races are starting to become clear.
With Brentwood Academy on a bye, Battle Ground Academy is Williamson County’s only Division II-AA team in action. They host two-time defending champion Ensworth.
The Wildcats (4-1, 1-1) will need to do a better job against the run this week after allowing Montgomery Bell Academy 352 yards on the ground one week prior.
That is easier said than done, as they will be going against reigning Mr. Football Award winner Corn Elder. The 5-foot-10 running back has run for 988 yards and 18 touchdowns through five games.
A four-star prospect, Elder has offers from Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.
Ensworth(5-0, 3-0) will rely on Elder’s speed and allusiveness in the open field to move the ball, something BGA must game plan against.
The Tigers won last year’s meeting 33-7 in coach Roc Batten’s return to his former school.
District 11-AAA teams have a break from each other Friday as each of the six squads face out-of-league foes.
Brentwood (5-0, 2-0) hosts a Gallatin team in which they have a long history against. The Bruins and Green Wave have met 15 times with Gallatin winning 11. This stat is misleading though as the majority of those wins came early in the series. Gallatin had an eight-year winning streak from 1985 to 1992.
The Bruins had won back-to-back in the series before last year’s 31-24 loss.
Gallatin (2-3) has not had the same type of success as last year’s squad that went 10-2 and reached the second round of the Class 6A playoffs. They fell last week to Station Camp 41-7.
Expect the Green Wave to play three quarterbacks against Brentwood. Marcus Williams and Julian Banks are Gallatin’s primary passers while Darian Banks is more of a threat to run. He had 97 yards on 11 carries against Station Camp last week.
Centennial (3-1, 1-1) looks to bounce back from their first loss of the season against a much-improved Wilson Central team.
The Wildcats were 2-8 last year and are off to a 5-0 start in 2012. It is the first time they have won their first five games since 2007.
Wilson Central was dominant in their 45-7 win over Lebanon in Week 4. Quarterback Jordan Roundtree had 202 yards and four touchdowns while the Wildcats’ ground attack gained 247 yards.
Centennial struggled to stop big plays against Independence as three Eagle touchdowns came on plays of more than 35 yards.
Independence (3-2, 1-1) looks to keep the momentum going from their 31-3 win over the Cougars against Coffee County (0-4).
The Eagles make the more than 60-mile trip to Manchester to face a team they defeated 68-7 in 2011.
Look for Indy to continue to pound the ground attack with senior Jalen Wade and junior Vic Wharton. Wade is the county’s third-leading rusher with a total of 584 yards. Wharton falls just outside the top 10 with 207 yards.
Franklin (3-2, 1-1) travels to Rutherford County to face fellow traditional power Smyrna. The Bulldogs are in a rebuilding mode though as they are off to a 1-4 start. It is Smyrna’s worst start to a season since opening 1-4 in 1996.
The Rebels and Bulldogs met twice last season in memorable contests. Smyrna won 20-17 in the regular season while Franklin won 29-26 in the Class 6A playoffs.
Ravenwood (0-4, 0-2) faces arguably the toughest test this week, traveling to Murfreesboro to face Siegel (5-0). Fresh off a 49-28 win over Riverdale, the Stars are the No. 3 ranked team in Class 6A.
Adding to the intrigue of the contest, Siegel has never started a season with six-consecutive wins.
Quarterback Brent Stockstill is the Stars’ most highly touted weapon. The 6-foot-1 signal caller has offers from Memphis, Texas Tech, Toledo, and Western Michigan.
District 12-AA continues league play as Fairview (3-2, 2-1) travels to another highly improved squad – Hickman County. The Bulldogs have suffered through three-consecutive losing season but look to be turning a corner. They are currently 4-1.
The Yellow Jackets have had a great deal of success over Hickman County in recent years, winning 10-of-12 dating back to 2001.
With the return of Garrett Wall, Fairview is as close to full strength as they have been this year and should be a contender to finish strong.
Page (3-2, 3-0) looks to continue their winning ways in district play against Lewis County (3-1, 1-1).
The Panthers defeated Creek Wood 27-0 last week while the Patriots handled Summit 40-6. Last year’s meeting between the schools ended in an 18-15 Lewis County win.
Expect this year’s contest to be a higher-scoring affair. Page has averaged 27.8 points per game to this point in the season.
Summit (1-3, 0-2) has another shot at their first district win as they travel to East Hickman (3-2, 1-2).
Now in their sixth year of varsity football, the Eagles have never won more than three games. Summit, now in their second year, looks to avenge a 42-21 loss in last year’s contest.
The Spartans have the ability to run the ball and control clock – something they believe gives them their best chance to win football games.
Look for Dee Hunter, John Gomoljack, and Anthony Diloreto to play a key factor Friday night. The trio has combined for 137 carries for 826 yards.