Local privates have Week 9 monopoly as publics take fall break

Friendship Christian linebacker Carson Kennedy (4) tries to put pressure on Mt. Juliet Christian quarterback Noah Kleinmann during their Week 2 matchup. The Commanders and Saints are the only Wilson County teams with games this week.

With just about all schools in Wilson County out for fall break, all of the public school football teams are taking Week 9 off, putting the brakes on some hot region/playoff races for a few days.

There is one game Friday night of big interest to Lebanon. Shelbyville will travel to Warren County where a Golden Eagle victory over the host Pioneers would give the outright Region 3-6A championship to the Blue Devils. Otherwise, Lebanon will have to win in McMinnville in the Week 11 finale to clinch its first outright championship since 1990.

Private schools Friendship Christian and Mt. Juliet Christian will be on the road.

Friendship Christian at Red Boiling Springs

Commander coach John McNeal picked up this game with the Bulldogs after their game in Memphis against the homeschool Nighthawks was canceled a few weeks ago.

The Nighthawks was a late addition after Grace Baptist, an East Region opponent, pulled out of 11-man football for eight-man after the schedules were made out.

“We had called a lot of people,” McNeal said. “Thought we had Antioch, and they wanted to. That fell through.

“Luckily, Red Boiling, I guess if it wasn’t them, we wouldn’t have a game.”

This is a one-year deal as Red Boiling Springs had a couple of cancellations the first couple of weeks and an open date this week. Those earlier games which were canceled are still under contract to be played next year, meaning McNeal will have to find a game for this week (or Week 8) in 2022.

Red Boiling Springs is 2-4, coming off a 42-34 win over Coverna (Ky.). The Bulldogs beat Cosby 20-0 last month. They have blowout losses to Jo Byrns, North Greene, Whitwell and Clay County.

“Don’t know much,” McNeal said of the Bulldogs. “They’ll run multiple sets.

“We just got back to working (Monday). We’re working on things we were getting better at before fall break. They things we do, they should apply to whoever we’re playing. We do have formations we’re lining up to that we’ve seen.”

Friendship is 4-3 for the season coming off its bye week and will have two big East Region games — homecoming against Lakeway Christian and at Middle Tennessee Christian — to finish up as they can still win the region. As it is, the Division II-A playoff bracket has the second- and third-place teams hosting first-round games while the fourth would travel. The No. 1 seed will get a first-round bye.

While most players should be rested and healed, McNeal said running back Morgan McGregor, out since Week 1 with a foot injury, would be held out at least one more game.

Mt. Juliet Christian at Donelson ChristianMJCA coach Dan Davis said last week his Saints would need to win out to snag a spot out of the Middle Region in the Division II-A playoffs.

That run begins this week as the 2-5 Saints take on 6-1 DCA at Ken Redmond Field. Mt. Juliet Christian also has games remaining with 6-1 Nashville Christian (the Eagles and Wildcats are 2-0 in the region and likely headed toward a Week 11 clash for the championship) and 5-3 (but winless in the region) Clarksville Academy.

In other words, the Saints have their work cut out for them.

“If you don’t believe in the impossible, then you wouldn’t have faith,” Davis said Wednesday.

The Saints had few issues with their offense in a 72-67 shootout at Sale Creek last Friday.

“We had five chances to put them away and didn’t do it,” Davis said. “Defensive busts, penalties — pick your poison.

“We had a chance, just didn’t finish it up.”

Davis said the Saints are healthy enough for this week.

“We’ll be good for Friday,” he said.

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