As some teams hit the halfway point of their regular season schedules, here are some things that stood out from Week 5:
Independence is in the mix: I admit, I picked against the Eagles and they proved me wrong against Franklin. This is a good team and their games with Brentwood and Ravenwood in the second half of the season can’t be ignored. Jaxson Campbell is one of the area’s best quarterbacks and keeps proving it week in and week out. He’s also helping at safety and returning kicks, because one of your best players should be on the field as much as possible. But the Eagles’ defense is also getting it done. River Katina had two interceptions on Friday and Indy’s defenders helped hold Franklin to 3.3 yards per carry. The Eagles visit Brentwood in two weeks and host Ravenwood in Week 11. They’ll be in the mix.
CPA, Lipscomb Academy on a collision course: Oct. 2 features a showdown that will all but decide the Middle Region title in Division II-AA. CPA and Lipscomb Academy each picked up big region wins on Friday, the latter taking down previously unbeaten Goodpasture. Both Cade Law and Luther Richesson are hitting their stride, which will make that matchup a fun one just from a quarterback perspective alone.
DCA emerging: Donelson Christian Academy is 4-0 for the first time since 2016 and the Wildcats might be in good shape to get to their Oct. 16 home game against The King’s Academy unbeaten. Friday’s win at Friendship Christian was the first in the series since that 2016 season as well. On Wednesday, we graded their chances at going unbeaten and that the Commanders were one of those hurdles standing in the Wildcats’ way. That grade got bumped up on Friday.
Zeroes: Of the 45 games involving area teams in Week 5, eight were shutouts. Maybe a little more likely in region play because there tends to be some mismatches at this point in the season, but one notable team was missing from those that didn’t allow any points: Davidson Academy. The Bears gave up their first points of the season to Franklin Road Academy on Friday, ending their shutout streak at three games. Prior to the Panthers’ score with 7:56 left in the first half, Davidson Academy’s shutout streak elapsed 186:02, if you include the final 25:58 of last year’s BlueCross Bowl championship victory over USJ.
Battle of the Woods a classic: The annual Brentwood-Ravenwood rivalry brings out plenty of emotion and Friday’s edition turned out to be a barnburner. The Raptors are kicking themselves for committing four turnovers, including their first two offensive plays of the night. The Bruins’ special teams had an up-and-down night, doing a good job of keeping kickoffs away from Ravenwood’s return threats, but also missed two field goals (including a potential go-ahead attempt one with 20 seconds left). But the Bruins’ offensive line was better from the 10 and in when it counted in overtime, and that’s why Brentwood came away with the victory. We have seen this story before, however, and don’t be surprised if these two teams meet again in mid-November. They’ve done it each of the last two years, and both are good enough to make it happen again.
Banner to 1,000: La Vergne senior tailback Ray Banner hit the 1,000-yard mark in the Wolverines’ 32-27 victory over Stewarts Creek. He had another big night with 235 yards and four touchdowns on 35 carries as La Vergne secured a pivotal region victory. He’s playing like he wants a Mr. Football nomination and he certainly deserves to be in the conversation.