Kreager: Patriots win rivalry tonight

Kreager: Patriots win rivalry tonight

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Kreager: Patriots win rivalry tonight

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MURFREESBORO

Football coaches within District 7-AAA have coined this “rivalry weekend.”

It fits the bill.

Tonight at Tomahawk Stadium, the annual Battle of the ‘Boro resumes. That is followed a night later with Blackman traveling to Siegel’s Ken Nolan Stadium, and concludes Saturday night with Smyrna playing at La Vergne’s Freedom Field.

Count me as one of the folks that applaud Oakland coach Thomas McDaniel’s idea. The opportunity to see three games to kick off the season should appeal to all fans. Sure, there is a part of me that wishes that the biggest rivalry in Rutherford County remained Week 10.

But the Battle of the ‘Boro has moved to different weeks in recent years. And the rivalry isn’t what it once was with the addition of two new schools in Murfreesboro.

There is still a strong dislike among the two schools. It doesn’t take much, just a simple reminder on past scores to motivate these teams.

Riverdale has won back-to-back contests since Oakland won a triple-overtime thriller in 2010.

On paper, this one should be a dominating victory by the Patriots. Oakland has been labeled the overwhelming favorite by various publications, including this one.

Tonight, the Patriots can show why. They have depth at virtually every position. Their offensive line is as big as any other prep team in Middle Tennessee. They should be able to play smashmouth football if they choose.

But if Oakland chooses to revert to past antics — fumbles, offsides, holding and blocks in the back — Riverdale will keep things close and have a chance to pull off a big upset in front of a huge crowd.

Kreager’s pick: Oakland 31, Riverdale 14

Blackman at Siegel

There won’t be a better game played in Rutherford County this weekend than this one.

Siegel whipped Blackman 42-7 to open 7-AAA play a year ago. That win was used as a wake-up call for the rest of the league to show just how talented the Stars are on the field. And while many of those players from 2012 are gone, there are still enough pieces to make Siegel a very dangerous team.

Dakota Crane was superb in the jamboree at quarterback. Blackman must be ready for Crane and the surrounding skill players. Blackman’s secondary is much improved over a year ago.

Kreager’s pick: Blackman 34, Siegel 31

Smyrna at La Vergne

A year ago was supposed to be La Vergne’s year to get win No. 2 over the Bulldogs.

It didn’t happen.

La Vergne again has enough skilled players to beat the Bulldogs on Saturday night. Smyrna’s offense looked stagnant against Riverdale in last week’s jamboree.

But how much stock can you put in a jamboree when every coach tells you they were looking ahead to this week.

Kreager’s pick: Smyrna 22, La Vergne 21

Stewarts Creek at Ravenwood

The first chapter in Stewarts Creek football kicks off Friday night in Williamson County on the same night former La Vergne coach Will Hester begins his Ravenwood tenure.

There will be butterflies and mistakes for both teams Friday. But Ravenwood will make fewer mistakes.

Kreager’s pick: Ravenwood 28, Stewarts Creek 14

Cannon Co. at MTCS

One of these two teams will pick up its first win since the 2011 season on Friday.

Both teams have reason to be optimistic about Friday night. MTCS had a strong preseason. Cannon County is coming off a good performance against Cornersville in a jamboree.

The difference will be the Cougars’ passing attack.

Kreager’s pick: MTCS 21, Cannon Co. 7

Eagleville at Mt. Pleasant

Eagleville coach Steve Carson didn’t do himself any favors scheduling Mt. Pleasant. The Eagles’ passing attack will be tested right away.

And Eagleville must defend the pass to have a shot at winning.

Kreager’s pick: Mt. Pleasant 28, Eagleville 24

Last season: 60-14.

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

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