The marquee event of the 2019 Williamson County football season will be when the Brentwood Bruins and Ravenwood Raptors go at it again.
The Battle of the Woods is becoming the talk of the county when it rolls around every season, and very often, it carries a sequel with the way the playoffs are bracketed in 6A.
Our first installment of this fierce rivalry found Brentwood pull of a surprising double-digit victory of a visiting Ravenwood. The Raptors, as they did last year, rallied to better meet their roster's potential as the season went on and haven't lost a game since that September 'Battle.'
Brentwood only slipped up once to visiting D-II AAA school Knox Catholic, but their perfect region record gave them a second-straight region banner and home field advantage in the early goings of the playoffs.
The rematch will be a heavyweight fight between two of the best teams in the state, and it's anyone's guess as to how this one will go.
This Brentwood team feels much more poised to defend its home turf after losing by double-digits to Ravenwood in last year's playoff edition.
This year's game will live and die on one thing: Brentwood quarterback Cade Granzow being able to guide the Bruins past the fortress Ravenwood's defense has become.
You hear all about the college prospects the team boasts, but look at their success as a unit. The team has allowed an average of 6 points per game in the seven games it has played since it last met Brentwood.
That's not even an actual 7-point touchdown play.
They've not allowed a touchdown in the playoffs, either, so Brentwood's hands are going to be full trying to keep its versatile game plan functioning properly.
You figure the Ravenwood offense will score its points and the Brentwood defense will get its stops. Both are quite consistent week-in and week-out.
But it'll be very dependent on if Brentwood can match what this version of Ravenwood will do on offense with its own.
You might think, "well, they've certainly done that once this year," and indeed, Brentwood was far and beyond the better team when these two played in September. But Ravenwood is now warmed up.
They're the fierce giants many thought they'd be going into the season, so despite being at home, the Bruins will be the underdogs.
Can they band together to take down a the Raptors?
It'll be fascinating to see how this latest 'Battle' plays out, and who will be left to plan for a semifinals game next week.
PREDICTION: Brentwood 27, Ravenwood 24
This feels like one of the hardest games to predict on the schedule thus far this year, but I'll throw out a name for you: Thomas Day.
The Brentwood kicker has been as clutch as anyone in the county this year and always comes up big for the Bruins when it counts. Brentwood will need him in this one if the red zone gets stingy, and don't be surprised if he nails the game winner late to get Brentwood to the semis.
This could just as easily be Ravenwood, and that's the logical pick here. The Raptors may very well win this; my head *and* my gut tell me so. But I have a hunch it'll be the Bruins. We'll see how it goes when Friday arrives.