KREAGER: Bulldogs have chance to prove doubters wrong

KREAGER: Bulldogs have chance to prove doubters wrong

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KREAGER: Bulldogs have chance to prove doubters wrong

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MURFREESBORO

Smyrna can silence a season worth of doubters tonight and show it belongs in the conversation as a District 7-AAA front runner.

The 10th-ranked Bulldogs (4-0) faces second-ranked Oakland (4-0) at 7 p.m. today at Oakland’s Ray Hughes Stadium. It is the biggest test to date for the Bulldogs, who are off to their best start since 2010.

Prior to the season, this didn’t look like a must-see game. But then Smyrna cracked the Associated Press’ Class 6A top-10 poll this week.

And all of a sudden, this league game became one of the biggest Week 4 contests in the Midstate.

However, Smyrna faces a huge challenge in Oakland — literally. The Bulldogs haven’t seen an offensive line this big this year. They haven’t seen a team with as many offensive weapons as the Patriots.

But right now the Bulldogs are playing with a chip on their shoulders, wanting to prove to everyone they are a legitimate contender.

Make no mistake. The Bulldogs are significantly better than a year ago. Oakland, though, is still a step ahead.

The Patriots have passed every test ahead of them. They have won with a suffocating defense and a dominant run game.

That will again be the ingredients for another Oakland win tonight.

Kreager’s pick: Oakland 27, Smyrna 14

Riverdale at La Vergne

Sixteen times these two football teams have met on the field. Sixteen times Riverdale has walked off the field victorious.

However, this may finally be La Vergne’s turn. Quarterback C.J. Fore has lit up defensive secondaries the past three weeks. If he is given time to throw behind his front line, receivers Quinn Jernighan and J.J. Horner will have big nights. But La Vergne must also find a way to figure out the Warriors’ Wing-T offense.

Kreager’s pick: La Vergne 36, Riverdale 28

Science Hill at Siegel

The scoreboard at Ken Nolan Stadium will get a workout tonight.

High-scoring Science Hill meets high-scoring Siegel in a matchup of state-ranked opponents. Science Hill is ranked sixth in 6A. Siegel is eighth.

The two teams have scored 310 points in their combined seven games this season. Siegel scoreboard operator Dallas Hill will earn his money tonight.

Kreager’s pick: Science Hill 48, Siegel 45

Stewarts Creek at Blackman

It’s a trap game for Blackman High.

Next week, state-ranked Independence rolls into the Inferno with three SEC commitments. But that game is still a week away.

If the Blaze aren’t focused, Creek will have an opportunity to grab a lead like the Red Hawks did a week ago against Gallatin.

Kreager’s pick: Blackman 49, Stewarts Creek 7

Eagleville at Forrest

This remains a good rivalry despite the Eagles winning the past three meetings.

Chris Hale will have his work cut out running against a much-improved Forrest defense for first-year coach Brian Coleman.

Kreager’s pick: Forrest 20, Eagleville 17

Community at MTCS

The Vikings have had MTCS’ number the past two seasons.

However, Community has struggled mightily scoring points. The Vikings have yet to score a touchdown and have tallied just three points this season.

Look for the Cougars to try and collect shutout No. 3 tonight.

Kreager’s pick: MTCS 35, Community 6

Cannon Co. at DeKalb Co.

Cannon County snapped a 22-game losing streak a week ago at Red Boiling Springs behind a dominant run effort by the Lions. But to beat DeKalb County, Cannon County must find a way to throw the football.

Kreager’s pick: DeKalb Co. 35, Cannon Co. 7

Last week: 7-3. Season: 27-5 (84 percent)

Tom Kreager is prep editor of The Daily News Journal. Contact him at 615-278-5168 or tkreager@dnj.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.

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