Taking a different approach to this week’s Saturday six, as we focus on region title races and who’s still in contention for No. 1 seeds:
As we wait for the weather to actually cool off, here’s some notable items from Week 8:
Regions locked up: Three area teams have wrapped up their respective region titles to this point, with all of those doors shut in Week 8. Cane Ridge claimed Region 6-6A on Thursday with a win at Overton, while Page took down Region 6-5A and Summit claimed Region 7-6A on Friday.
Who’s next to clinch?: White House (idle on Friday) is next in line to clinch a region championship, as the Blue Devils can do so if they win at Stewart County in Week 9. So, too, is Lebanon, but only if Warren County loses to Shelbyville this week. Other than Region 4-6A (more on that in a bit), most other region title races will come down to the final two weeks.
Hillsboro climbing back in the playoff race: It hasn’t been the smoothest start to a season for Hillsboro and first-year head coach Anthony Brown. But the Burros have certainly learned from a tough early schedule during their 0-6 start, as those opponents (Pope John Paul II, Station Camp, Smyrna, East Nashville, Green Hill and Brentwood) have a combined record of 32-12. With wins over region foes Hunters Lane and White County in the past two weeks, Hillsboro pulled into a tie for fourth in Region 5-5A with Wilson Central, their opponent in the regular season finale on Oct. 29. The winner of that game will likely grab the fourth and final playoff spot in that region.
Rutherford County’s Week 9 scramble: Week 9 is a pivotal week in Region 4-6A. Riverdale visits Oakland in the annual Battle of the Boro rivalry. If Oakland wins, the Patriots can win the region title with a Rockvale loss to Blackman. If the Warriors win, they clinch the region title. Both Rockvale (hosting Blackman) and Stewarts Creek (hosting Siegel) can lock up the two remaining playoff bids with wins.
MBA defense keeps rolling: Since MBA’s 24-10 loss at CPA on Sept. 10, the Big Red defense has become tougher to break. No team has reached 20 points since that loss, and MBA has outscored its last four opponents 81-38. The latest of those was a 30-14 victory over Ensworth on Friday, with Marcel Reed returning from a rib injury a week earlier. MBA is in line for the East’s No. 2 seed in the Division II-Class AAA playoffs but will need to beat Baylor and Knoxville Catholic to secure it.
Light schedule, part II: Fall break sends many teams to their open dates each year, with a two-week period in October serving to cover many teams’ off weeks. Week 8 was the first of those with 23 teams sitting out, while Week 9 will take care of the majority of the remaining teams, with 44 area schools off next week. Williamson County, Metro Nashville and Montgomery County make up most of the teams off in Week 9.