MURFREESBORO — Smyrna High entered the Associated Press’ Class 6A statewide poll this week at No. 10.
The Bulldogs will have a chance to jump farther up the poll this week if it can upset Independence on the road.
Independence, which moved down from Class 6A a year ago with the TSSAA’s reclassification, enters Friday as the No. 1 team in Class 5A. The Eagles have two Division I commitments in Nate Johnson (Purdue) and Kylan Stribling (MTSU).
However, they likely won’t have talented quarterback Andrew Bunch, who sat out because of an elbow strain. He’ll remain sidelined until it is healed.
That should bode well for the Bulldogs, who are coming off a dominant performance at Coffee County. Smyrna is the lone undefeated team remaining in Rutherford County.
But that might change.
Kreager’s pick: Independence 35, Smyrna 21
Tucker at Blackman
Blackman’s track record against out-of-state competition doesn’t bode well for the Blaze. Blackman is 0-4 since 2013 against out-of-state teams, including a 38-7 loss to Clay-Chalkville, Alabama. Tucker, which is located north of Atlanta, is the latest team to add to that total.
Kreager’s pick: Tucker 45, Blackman 27
Hillsboro at Riverdale
This one looked like a dandy prior to the season with two of the top Midstate programs meeting in a rare contest. Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott won a state title at Hillsboro prior to coming to Murfreesboro.
However, the Warriors have struggled to score points all season and were shut out by rival Blackman last week.
Those woes may continue.
Kreager’s pick: Hillsboro 28, Riverdale 14
Stewarts Creek at La Vergne
This one might be the most intriguing game of the night. Both teams share a narrow loss to Smyrna. Both teams are coming off region wins.
Stewarts Creek is notably better this season after struggling its first two years.
La Vergne, though, also is on an uptick.
Kreager’s pick: La Vergne 26, Stewarts Creek 17
Wilson Central at Siegel
Siegel is right where it was a year ago at this time — searching for win No. 1.
Siegel’s schedule has been a difficult one. The Stars have played three ranked foes with a combined 8-1 record.
Wilson Central is 2-1 and are eager to expose a porous run defense. But QB Jordan Middleton and teammate Greedy Howse are set for big games.
Kreager’s pick: Siegel 31, Wilson Central 21
Loretto at Eagleville
Ethan Cobb’s introduction to high school football has been an easy one. The freshman quarterback has 491 passing yards and just one interception on 61 attempts.
He’ll add to those passing totals against the Mustangs.
Kreager’s pick: Eagleville 21, Loretto 16
MTCS at Monterey
MTCS faced an extremely physical Jo Byrns team a week ago, suffering the Cougars’ first loss of the season. The Cougars will get back on track this week.
Kreager’s pick: MTCS 27, Monterey 13
Cannon Co. at Red Boiling Springs
This isn’t your dad’s Red Boiling Springs team, that once had the state’s longest losing streak.
That doesn’t bode well for the Lions, who have scored just 28 points in three games.
Kreager’s pick: Red Boiling Springs 28, Cannon Co. 7
Last week: 8-0.
Season: 23-3 (88 percent).
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.