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September 23, 2011
Week 5: Middle Tennessee
When Baylor upset Ensworth last week, it sent shock waves throughout Middle Tennessee. Now, the Tigers must turn around and play undefeated BGA. With that upset, a new team sits at the top of the Middle Tennessee rankings.
Top 5 Games of Week 5:
No 1. Battle Ground Academy (5-0) at Ensworth (4-1)
Ensworth and BGA head into this key district match-up on opposite ends of the spectrum. BGA is coming off a big win over their former head coach and MBA. Ensworth is coming off a very disappointing 42-14 loss to Baylor. There is no time to sulk as Ensworth faces one of its biggest tests of the year. Under the direction of new head coach Roc Batten, BGA is off to a surprising 5-0 start. Senior quarterback C.J. Beathard leads the Wildcats. The Ole Miss commit has completed 61 of 88 passes for 829 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Blake Thomson and Jordan Smith are dangerous targets that the Tigers must account for. The biggest surprise for the Wildcats is the play of junior running back Keenan Bass. The small shifty back has made several big plays this season. The Ensworth Tigers will be ready to go today. Baylor may have woken a sleeping giant. To counter BGA's strong passing attack, the Tigers have one of the best secondary's in the state led by seniors Rodney Edmiston and Corey Batey. Junior Cornelious Elder is perhaps the top 2013 prospect in the state of Tennessee. He makes plays in every phase of the game, and he is a human highlight reel on Friday nights. Austin Prevost will lead the Tigers' front seven.
No 2. Macon County (2-2) at Smith County (5-0)
The Smith County Owls have long had this game marked on their schedule. The Owls only lost one regular season contest last season, and it was a 20-6 defeat to the Tigers of Macon County. This season, the Tigers make a trip to "The Hole" to face the Owls, which is a difficult place to play. To upset the Owls once again, the Tigers will count on the arm and legs of standout quarterback Dallas Grace. The senior quarterback does a great job of directing the double wing offense of head coach Mark Pemberton. Grace has 733 passing yards on just 70 passing attempts. Grace has two big targets in Tyler Manning and Jacob Salyer. Manning at 6-3, 175 pounds has had more than 100 yards receiving in the past couple of games including a 171-yard and two-touchdown performance against Goodpasture. A senior quarterback in Gage Scurlock, who has thrown for more than 500 yards and six touchdowns, also leads Smith County. He has also run for more than 300 yards and five touchdowns. Sophomore Jalen Manning is making a name for himself from the running back position. Manning has gained 588 yards and eight touchdowns on 64 carries. A big, physical offensive line should get much credit as well. Defensive lineman Trey Salisbury leads the Owl defense. He needs to have a big game to disrupt the timing of Macon County's double wing offense.
No 3. Riverdale (5-0) at Hendersonville (4-1)
Once again, the Riverdale Warriors are playing in a big game this Friday night. This time, the Warriors will travel to Sumner County to take on the Hendersonville Commandos. Hendersonville has surprised many across the state with their 4-1 start. With the loss of players like Joe Townsend and Troy Dye, the Commandos were expected to struggle, but the emergence of players like Hunter Brown, Jarrell Adams, David Priddy and Cody Dye has helped the Commandos reload. The Commandos have an explosive offense that has scored 30 or more points in four of the five games. They are led by quarterback Hunter Brown. The big quarterback has the arm to make all of the throws. He was 11 of 14 for 174 yards and two touchdowns last week. Jarrell Adams is an athletic wide receiver that has play-making ability. The Riverdale Warriors now sit at No. 1 in the Mid-state after Ensworth lost to Baylor last Friday. Junior quarterback Dillon Woodruff leads the Warriors offensively. In Riverdale's wing-t attack, Woodruff can attack a defense from several different angles as he has 574 passing yards, 359 rushing yards, and 13 touchdowns. Joining him in the backfield is Adam Davenport. The fullback who has an offer from Navy has more than 400 yards of total offense and five touchdowns. The defense may be the Warriors strong point behind linebacker DeAntae Glover and defensive back Marcelous Odom.
No 4. Smyrna (2-3) at Franklin (4-1)
The Smyrna Bulldogs are off to a slow start, but they have played one of the most difficult schedules in the state. Smyrna has lost to Riverdale, BGA, and Olive Branch (MS). These teams have a combined 14-0 record. Not to mention, Smyrna lost those three games by a total of 12 points. The Bulldogs look to get back on track this week against the Rebels of Franklin. The Rebels are led by under the radar quarterback Matt Kuivinen. The 6-4 quarterback, who has an offer from Syracuse. He has an accurate arm that fits well into the Franklin offense. Through five games, Kuivinen has completed 61percent of his passes for 873 yards for eight touchdowns and one interception. His top two targets are receiver Riley Manion and tight end David Page. At 6-4, 215 pounds, Page is a big target that has 17 catches for 224 yards and three touchdowns through five games. Smyrna is led by junior quarterback Joe Shelton. The quarterback position was a question mark heading into the season, but Shelton has surprised everyone with his arm. At the running back position, Demario Thompson is averaging more than six yards per carry. E.J. Majors[/db[ is returning from an injury, and is a game changer at the wide receiver position. Brandon Hathaway and [db]T-Ray Malone lead a speedy defense.
No 5. Brentwood (3-2) at Gallatin (5-0)
Last season, the Green Wave traveled to Brentwood in hopes of proving that Gallatin football was back. Instead, the Bruins handed the Green Wave a 42-0 loss. The Green Wave is now 5-0 with an impressive win over Oakland. The 2011 Green Wave looks like one of the Gallatin teams of old, but there are some doubters that wonder whether they are back or not. The Brentwood Bruins are in unfamiliar territory after suffering two early losses, but the Bruins are riding a two-game win streak in which they defeated their opponents by a total score of 89-0. Leading the charge for the Bruins is senior fullback Chudi Echetebu, who has 89 carries for 470 yards and six touchdowns. Echetebu must have a big night for the Bruins to win this game. Austin Winfree, son of offensive coordinator Dan Winfree, is the quarterback in the Bruins' option attack. Winfree has accounted for more than 500 total yards and five touchdowns, but he must find a way to not turn the ball over as he has also accounted for seven turnovers. Sensational seniors Tre Haynes and Maurice Box lead the Green Wave. Haynes is a load at defensive tackle and offensive tackle. Box is a physical linebacker with great speed. He is also a load at running back as he had 24 carries for 141 yards last week against Station Camp. Denzel Armstrong and Darian Banks lead the defense. Banks is a junior defensive back with major college potential.
Top 5 Teams
1. Riverdale (5-0)
Last week rank: 2nd
Last week: defeated Siegel 21-15
This week: at Hendersonville
2. Mount Juliet (5-0)
Last week rank: 4th
Last week: defeated Beech 49-25
This week: Bye
3. Gallatin (5-0)
Last week rank: 3rd
Last week: defeated Station Camp 30-7
This week: vs. Brentwood
4. BGA (5-0)
Last week rank: NR
Last week: defeated MBA 35-17
This week: at Ensworth
5. Columbia Central (5-0)
Last week rank: 5th
Last week: defeated Shelbyville 49-48
This week: Bye
Results of last week's Top 5 games
1. Riverdale 21, Siegel 15
2. Columbia Central 49, Shelbyville Central 48
3. Battle Ground Academy 35, Montgomery Bell Academy 17
4. Maplewood 35, David Lipscomb 0
5. Wilson Central 10, Lebanon 7