Top high school football games for Week 8

Top high school football games for Week 8

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Top high school football games for Week 8

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Here’s a look at the top high school football matchups for Week 8, along with predictions from Tennessean staff writer Michael Murphy:

Top high school football games for Week 8

Top high school football games for Week 8

Last week’s record: 9-1 (.900)

Season record: 52-18 (.742)

Brentwood Academy takes the field prior to last week's game at Ensworth.

Brentwood Academy takes the field prior to last week’s game at Ensworth.

GAME OF THE WEEK

MBA (7-0, 3-0 DII-AA E/M) AT BRENTWOOD ACAD. (5-1, 3-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

These two Division II-AA East/Middle Region foes have been on a collision course since opening week, and whichever one of these private school powers can secure a victory on Friday will have a huge leg up in their quest for a region title. MBA, ranked atop The Tennessean Midstate Top 10 for the fifth week in a row, is led by junior running back Ty Chandler, who has churned out 1,163 yards and 17 scores for the unbeaten Big Red. Second-ranked Brentwood Academy, which is averaging 45.2 points, is coming off a decisive 49-7 win at Ensworth. Eagles quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall has accounted for more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns. MBA owns a 16-10 advantage in the series that dates back to 1995. Murph’s pick: Brentwood Academy 31, MBA 30.

Independence's Hunter Dupree (right) wraps up Brentwood quarterback Carson Croy.

Independence’s Hunter Dupree (right) wraps up Brentwood quarterback Carson Croy.

INDEPENDENCE (6-0, 3-0 5-5A) AT SHELBYVILLE (5-1, 2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Shelbyville will be looking to get back on track following its first loss of the season — a 34-7 setback to Lincoln County in which Golden Eagles quarterback Mason Cunningham was picked off three times. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Cunningham has completed nearly 60 percent of his throws for 997 yards and 10 touchdowns with four interceptions. Independence, the top-ranked team in Class 5A, scored fewer than 30 points for just the second time all season a week ago, but the Eagles still came away with a 27-0 win over Stewarts Creek. Independence quarterback Andrew Bunch, who has been sidelined since suffering a Week 2 elbow injury, will “hopefully” make his return Friday, according to Eagles coach Scott Blade. Independence 31, Shelbyville 24.

Lipscomb coach Scott Tillman.

Lipscomb coach Scott Tillman.

LIPSCOMB (5-1) AT FRANKLIN ROAD ACADEMY (7-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Franklin Road Academy, ranked 10th in The Tennessean Midstate Top 10, has encountered little resistance en route to its 7-0 start — at least not since the squad’s 42-41 Week 2 overtime win at Columbia Academy. The Panthers have  at least 35 points in each of their wins, and their defense has allowed just two touchdowns in the previous month. Lipscomb, winners of three in a row, is coming off an impressive 28-14 Region 6-4A victory over Montgomery Central in which Mustangs quarterback John Merrit completed 9 of 10 pass attempts for 113 yards and a touchdown. Lipscomb 42, FRA 41.

Centennial senior linebacker/running back Tyrel Dodson (25).

Centennial senior linebacker/running back Tyrel Dodson (25).

CENTENNIAL (6-1, 4-0 7-5A) AT BRENTWOOD (4-3, 4-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Centennial, coming off an impressive 42-5 win over one-loss Clarksville, has strung together five in a row, and the Cougars, ranked sixth in this week’s Tennessean Midstate Top 10, have been getting it done on the ground. Junior Mondu Sawyers has racked up 453 yards rushing and six touchdowns in his last three games, and Texas A&M commitment Tyrel Dodson has added 136 yards and five scores during that stretch. Brentwood, winners of three in a row, has dropped two straight to Centennial, but coach Ron Crawford and the Bruins are off to their best start since 2012. Centennial 28, Brentwood 14.

BGA takes the field prior to its Week 6 win over Page.

BGA takes the field prior to its Week 6 win over Page.

BGA (5-1) AT KNOXVILLE WEBB (3-3)

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Prior to last week’s surprising 17-7 setback to district foe Davidson Academy, Battle Ground Academy hadn’t been beaten since the 2014 state championship game — a decisive 38-21 loss to Knoxville Webb. The two-time defending Division II-A champion Spartans, coming off a 20-17 defeat at Donelson Christian Academy, have also lost to Alcoa and Christian Academy of Knoxville, but they haven’t been beaten by the Wildcats since 2008. BGA quarterback Clayton Beathard, who threw three interceptions in last week’s loss, is the Midstate’s top passer with 1,698 yards and 16 touchdowns. BGA 21, Knoxville Webb 17.

Houston County's Nolas Seay runs the ball against rival Stewart County earlier this season.

Houston County’s Nolas Seay runs the ball against rival Stewart County earlier this season.

WAYNE COUNTY (6-0, 3-0 6-1A) AT HOUSTON COUNTY (5-1, 2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

With exception of its one-point, Week 2 win over Scotts Hill, Wayne County has steamrolled the competition, outscoring its other five opponents by a combined 228-32. Houston County, coming off a disheartening 55-14 loss at Huntingdon, is looking to avoid its second straight Region 6-1A defeat. The Fighting Irish are led by senior Nolas Seay, who has 598 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Wildcats junior Preston Rice has completed more than 70 percent of his throws for 815 yards and 15 touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Rice has yet to throw an interception. Wayne County 45, Houston County 27.

Hendersonville running back Jack Towe runs the ball against Station Camp.

Hendersonville running back Jack Towe runs the ball against Station Camp.

GALLATIN (4-3, 2-2 6-5A) AT HENDERSONVILLE (6-1, 3-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

After an impressive 3-0 start, Gallatin has hit a bit of a rough patch, dropping three of its last four games — including a 42-point defeat at Henry County, as well as a 38-point loss at Beech — despite having one of the Midstate’s top rushers in junior Jordan Mason, who has piled up 1,140 yards and 15 touchdowns. Hendersonville has strung together a pair of impressive victories since suffering a 49-21 Week 5 loss to a talented Hillsboro team. The Commandos, who are atop the Region 6-5A standings, ran for 277 yards on and three touchdowns in last week’s 31-0 win over Station Camp. Hendersonville 34, Gallatin 26.

Fairview quarterback Hunter Zimmerman

Fairview quarterback Hunter Zimmerman

SYCAMORE (5-2, 3-0 6-3A) AT FAIRVIEW (4-2, 2-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Fairview, riding a four-game winning streak, has been on an offensive tear as of late, averaging just under 45 points in  wins over Stewart County, Waverly, Hickman County and Cheatham County. Yellow Jackets quarterback Hunter Zimmerman has thrown for 561 yards and eight touchdowns in that stretch. Sycamore, putting up just over 20 points per contest, doesn’t have quite the same kind of offensive firepower, but the War Eagles’ backfield duo of Bailey Baker and Chase Hamilton combined for 300 yards rushing on 16 carries in last week’s 21-14 triumph over Harpeth. Fairview 31, Sycamore 27.

Oakland junior JaCoby Stevens (left) and senior Ty Nix

Oakland junior JaCoby Stevens (left) and senior Ty Nix

HAYWOOD (4-2) AT OAKLAND (5-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Oakland’s defense, led by senior defensive tackle Ty Nix and junior safety JaCoby Stevens, has been lights out the last three weeks, surrendering a combined 14 points in lopsided wins over Blackman, Coffee County and Warren County. Stevens, an LSU commitment, has three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a pair of defensive scores this season. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder has been equally effective on offense, amassing 541 yards from scrimmage and nine total touchdowns. Haywood, which is coming off a 21-20 setback to Hardin County, has averaged 36 points in its four wins. In their two losses, however, the Tomcats are averaging just 14. Oakland 35, Haywood 21.

Lincoln County's Meadows-Thompson Stadium, also referred to as "The Pit"

Lincoln County’s Meadows-Thompson Stadium, also referred to as "The Pit"

COLUMBIA (3-3, 0-3 5-5A) AT LINCOLN COUNTY (5-1, 2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Lincoln County has been dominant over the past month, outscoring Giles County, Franklin County, Tullahoma and Shelbyville by a combined 165-27. Falcons running back August Hill had 197 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries in last week’s 34-7 win over Shelbyville. Columbia, coming off back-to-back losses to Franklin County and Stewarts Creek, is still looking for its first Region 5-5A victory. Lions senior Orrin Delk threw for 125 yards and a pair of scores in last week’s 33-14 defeat at Franklin County. Lincoln County 28, Columbia 17.

Reach Michael Murphy at 615-259-8262 and on Twitter @Murph_TNsports.

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