By Zach Womble for The Gallatin News
2021 RECORD: 13-7
As we head into week four action, my record takes a bit of a bump following a 6-1 week.
Congratulations to the Hendersonville Commandos on winning the Battle For Drakes Creek and handing me my lone blemish on picks.
There are only four games in Sumner County this week:
Gallatin hosts Station Camp in the Mayor’s Cup.
Pope Prep hosts Independence in non-league action.
Portland travels to White House to renew its annual rivalry.
Westmoreland will travel out of the county to Smith County while Beech and Hendersonville enjoy their bye week.
As for where I am headed, I will make my way to the Wave Yard for the first time this regular season to see the Green Wave and Bison battle for the Mayor’s Cup.
So, who have I chosen in this week’s Pick ‘Em? Let’s dive right in.
Gallatin (1-1) vs. Station Camp (3-0)
The Battle for the Mayor’s Cup is officially here as the Green Wave welcome in Station Camp Friday night for what is sure to be a classic battle.
Gallatin head coach Chad Watson is trying to improve to 3-0 over his crosstown rival, while second year Bison head coach Brent Alexander is trying to lock down his first over his alma mater.
In three games this season, Station Camp has proven many things, but I think the thing that stands out the most is this — the Bison have figured out how to win football games.
Offensively Station Camp hasn’t been a juggernaut outside of their 33 points over Hillsboro. Still, by that same token, Gallatin’s offense will not wow you with how many points they score each week — outside of last week’s blowout win over West Creek, who has a defense that is susceptible to big plays.
Station Camp’s defense has surrendered just 10 points per game this season, and the Green Wave defense is guaranteed to be sharp as well.
Points may be hard to come by Friday night, but with the contest taking place at Gallatin, a venue challenging to win in, I’m rolling with the Wave in a close one.
GALLATIN 17, STATION CAMP 14
Pope John Paul II (3-0) vs. Independence (1-2)
Pope Prep enters this contest Friday night, eying 4-0 for the second season in a row. Coming off maybe their biggest game of the season against Father Ryan, one can’t help but wonder if Friday night is a let down opportunity for the Knights.
Justin Geisinger has preached his culture has never been better from a competitive standpoint, but with a significant region game looming at Baylor the following week, this is an excellent opportunity for Pope to show the progress they have made.
Independence may be 1-2, but the Eagles will certainly be no pushover come Friday night.
That said, Pope John Paul II seems to be on a different level than the Eagles, so I think Friday night could prove to get some opportunities for guys that don’t see the field as much.
4-0 for the second year in a row.
POPE 45, INDEPENDENCE 21
Portland (2-1) vs. White House (2-1)
The Purple Panthers make the quick trip to White House Friday night to take on their most heated rival in the Blue Devils. Both teams are coming off impressive week three victories — Portland at Northwest and White House versus Cheatham County. While I believe Portland should be the favored team in this matchup, you can never count the other team out with this contest.
Over the last 11 meetings, Portland trails 5-6 in the win/loss column but is 3-2 in their previous five against the Blue Devils. White House will indeed present Portland with problems come Friday night, but I’m a big believer in this Panthers team, and I think they come out Friday night and flex their muscles a little bit.
While the starting 11 for both teams will compete hard for all fourth quarters, I think Portland will find success in its depth. The strength of this team is the offensive and defensive line, and after four quarters of wearing on the Blue Devils, I think it takes its toll.
PORTLAND 28, WHITE HOUSE 14
Westmoreland (0-3) at Smith County (1-2)
Westmoreland could be the best 0-3 team in Class 2A heading into their week four matchup at Smith County. Last season, these two teams met with the Owls on top 26-0, but expect 2021 to be a different contest.
The Eagles are heavily tested against Portland, Macon County, and Watertown through the first three weeks, so a Class 3A team shouldn’t worry the Eagle faithful.
Since their 28 point outburst against Portland in week one, Westmoreland has scored just six points throughout two games, but the Owls defense looks susceptible to giving up 21 points per game.
Points will be at a premium come Friday night, and with that in mind, I’m sticking with the Eagles to find a way to get their first win of the season.
WESTMORELAND 18, SMITH COUNTY 14