STORY BY CORY WOODROOF | PHOTO BY ANDY COLLIGNON
The football season in Williamson County is already underway, with some teams flying high after early victories and others trying to find their first 2019 win.
Teams like Brentwood, Ravenwood, Brentwood Academy, Page and Battle Ground Academy proved to be the contenders we all knew they were, and upstart teams like Summit, Franklin Road Academy, Franklin HS, Nolensville and Lipscomb Academy waived us down to show what they were capable of this year.
Father Ryan got a last-second win against Bowling Green, and Spring Hill came just short of winning the Mayor’s Cup game against Columbia Central.
Christ Presbyterian Academy, Centennial, Independence and Fairview will have to overcome hard road losses, all teams with the ability to bounce back.
Our Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Game of the Week will do just that, with CPA and Indy meeting again at the former’s house to see who gets a win and who falls to 0-2 on the year. More on that Thursday.
Here are the other Headliners for the week.
Brentwood at Cane Ridge
Brentwood High’s last-second win against MBA was a statement. With Ravenwood everyone’s favorite to win Region 6-6A, the Bruins reminded everyone not to forget about the reigning champs with an OT win against a D-II AAA program.
The Bruins have one of the hardest schedules in the county this year, a trip to Cane Ridge, a Class AAA foe, another test to see if Brentwood really has what it takes to take down the loaded Raptors. Quarterback Cade Granzow is poised to have another strong season, evident by his Player of the Week honor after leading the team on a game-winning drive.
Cane Ridge bounced Brentwood out of the playoffs in 2017 and lost last-minute to the Ravens in Week Two of 2018. You can bet that the Bruins would love to knock out two tasks at once: evening the score with a rival and proving they’re a serious threat for the region.
Lipscomb Academy hosts Pope John Paul II
One of the big stories to come out of local preps sports this year is Lipscomb Academy’s surprise hire of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer as the Mustangs’ new coach.
Dilfer’s first game with the program was an explosion of points against Glencliff, but this week’s bout against region rival Pope John Paul II will be the first chance we really see Dilfer’s team face a major challenge head-on. Will they be up to the task? You’ll want to key in on this one: it’s our first major look at how these Mustangs will be in 2019.
Ravenwood at Blackman
Perhaps one of the best football teams in the state, the Ravenwood Raptors put the hurt on Centennial last week. The Cougars are in a bit of a transitional period on offense after the loss of Jariel Wilson to graduation, so it wasn’t overtly surprising to see the Raptors chomp down as hard as they did.
Teams from Rutherford County are another story, however. Seeing how this Ravenwood team responds on the road to a stout Blackman outfit will be something to watch. Of course, if the score is as lopsided as it was last week, it’ll be further proof that Ravenwood could be as good as advertised this season. If it’s close, it’s a sign that the meshing process is still underway, and should give other 6-6A teams hope to play spoiler when the Raptors pop up on their schedule.
The rest of the slate…Brentwood Academy travels to Milton, Georgia to take on the namesake high school…Battle Ground Academy heads to Father Ryan for a D-II bout…Centennial will look to rebound against Smyrna at home…Fairview is off to East Hickman…Franklin has its home opener against Riverdale…Franklin Road Academy hosts Stratford…Grace Christian Academy opens at home against Clarksville Academy…Nolensville rings in the home schedule against Watertown…Page hosts Rutherford Co. opponent Siegel…Summit plays in a crosstown rivalry game at Spring Hill.
Five Games to Check Out:
- Our Game of the Week, CPA vs. Independence, should be a fascinating one for two teams in transition. More on that soon, but get over to the Lions’ Den if you can Friday to see these two go at it.
- Getting a look at the 2019 Summit Spartans should be a treat after last Friday’s sample, so if you’re out in Spring Hill, head over to the Raiders’ place and see how that one will go. It should be a great atmosphere.
- The Lipscomb Academy home football games are going to be practical events, with Dilfer trying to emulate the Friday Night Lights atmosphere that defines Texas football. Any preps fan should at least consider trying out one of their home stands this season, if only to catch the pre-game concert.
- BGA/Father Ryan will be interesting. The Irish struggled mightily in 2018, and BGA is coming off a D-II AA state appearance. Will the AA team (BGA) top the AAA one (FR)?
- Any game out at Nolensville shows the strong communal ties the program has already struck with its next-door neighbors. The home opener should be a fun one, particularly after the team’s monstrous Week One win.