It’s fondly called the battle for Memorial Boulevard. The winner tonight has bragging rights on Memorial for the next year.
If Oakland finds a way to upset second-ranked Siegel tonight, the Patriots will have reason to brag. Folks, on paper this is a mismatch. Siegel’s is firing on all cylinders on both offense and defense. The defense often gets overlooked with the amount of points the offense is putting up each week.
That doesn’t bode well for the Patriots.
But Oakland coach Thomas McDaniel will have a plan. It’ll include a heavy dose of quarterback Emmanuel Smith. He will run the ball. He’ll throw the ball. He’s even catching the ball these days.
And Smith has help. D.J. Hood is running the ball well. And while Travon Willis has been held out of the offense while recovering from a high ankle sprain, one would think now is the time to get back in the backfield if healthy.
Oakland’s defense must withstand Siegel’s quick offense. If it can, the Patriots can make this a close game. However, thus far six teams have failed at it.
Kreager’s pick: Siegel 35, Oakland 7
La Vergne at Riverdale
Riverdale finds itself searching desperately for its mojo. After a 4-0 start, the Warriors have lost two straight. In the process, the Warriors have lost three starters in fefensive lineman Rakis Ivy, right guard Daniel Morris and athlete Mariko Odom.
Odom broke a bone in his ankle. His status for the rest of the season is not clear.
What is clear is that both La Vergne and Riverdale need a win tonight. La Vergne has never defeated Riverdale, but a win over the Warriors would give the Wolverines victories over Oakland and Riverdale in the same season.
Riverdale has not lost three games in a row since 1990.
Don’t look for that to change 22 years later.
Kreager’s pick: Riverdale 20, La Vergne 13
Smyrna at Blackman
Like Riverdale, Blackman has lost two straight games and faces a Smyrna team that has given the Blaze fits the past three seasons.
The two teams are 2-2 over the past four seasons. All but one of those meetings have been decided by eight points or less.
But this should be Blackman’s year to win convincingly behind the running trio of Antonio Allen, Dee Mathers and Cole Notgrass.
Kreager’s pick: Blackman 24, Smyrna 7
Forrest at Eagleville
This rivalry is an intense one and should be a barnburner tonight. The two teams are evenly matched. The Rockets must find a way to slow down quarterback Ryan Jordan, who is on his way to putting his name all over the Eagleville offensive record books.
However, Chris Hale and Blake Solomon are likely still out for the Eagles, who have been hampered by injuries all season.
Kreager’s pick: Forrest 28, Eagleville 21
Community at MTCS
This may be the Cougars’ best shot at a District 9-A victory as both teams have struggled at times this season.
The Vikings have the edge behind an offense averaging 21 points a game — about 10 more than the Cougars.
Kreager’s pick: Community 28, MTCS 13
Last week: 4-3. Season: 31-10 (76 percent).
Tom Kreager is prep editor of The Daily News Journal. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/Kreager.