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The Ravenwood Raptors and Independence Eagles have plenty of focus on in the last week of the football regular season.
While some teams might be trying to make it through this week injury-free to ensure health for the playoffs, Ravenwood and Independence are both trying to get that second spot out of Region 6-6A.
Both teams lost to Brentwood this season, and they'll have to contend with each other to see who gets more home field advantage when the playoffs get underway next week.
The game itself is a bit of a wild card, as it's going to be taking place at a neutral site at Nolensville High School. The Ravenwood field was a bit too muddy for use this week, making the Knights' house and its turf field the next-best option.
It's a closer drive for Raptors fans, of course, making this still a slightly Ravenwood affair.
The weather doesn't seem to favor this game recently: last year's game was a sloppy one because of the rain.
When you look at this game, the eyes go right to the quarterbacks. Ravenwood's Brian Garcia and Indy's Ethan Cash are in the midst of two stellar seasons and are driving reasons as to why these teams have winning records.
It'll be a duel of the signal callers Friday night, and it'll be fascinating to see which QB heats up first on what could be a bit of a chilly evening. A freeze warning will be in effect for the county the night before. You might want to bring a coat with you to Nolensville Friday night.
The Ravenwood defense is one of the most talented in the state, with a plethora of college players in tow. Cash will have his hands full trying to navigate this unit, perhaps the toughest he's faced all year.
But Garica will have to be vigilant, too. Indy's defense is sorely underrated and has made some big plays this season. They're a big reason the team is 6-3.
Chayce Bishop became Cash's top target this season at wideout and has played admirably. He'll be the guy the Ravenwood offense keys in on early, which will be fun, considering Bishop has college offers on the table, too.
This game feels very much like it'll be decided by the Ravenwood defenders. Like they do every week, this Raptors offense will score its points. It'll be on the defense to keep Indy in check and make sure they don't counter. Cash's strong arm and versatility as a scrambler makes him demand a ton of respect from those who defend him, so Ravenwood will need to be in top form Friday.
Region battles are always fun, with this being one of the best around. Both teams are coached well and are creative, so it'll be fun to see what these coaches have in store this week.
Playoffs are soon, with this game feeling very much like one with playoff vibes. The winner here gives themselves a big help come next week; the loser will likely have to be road warriors to make it to state.
We'll see what happens when Raptors and Eagles clash to close out the regular season slate.
PREDICTION: Ravenwood 27, Independence 17
These teams know each other pretty well and have a lot to be playing for, so I'll say it'll be closer than you might think. The Raptors are on a roll after their Battle of the Woods loss, and they'll be wanting to get back home after losing this game's location to field conditions.
Indy, on the other hand, will need to make sure it's scoring fast and early. I imagine Ravenwood will make that difficult. Expect this one to stay with the Raptors.