By Craig Harris for The News Examiner
The last time that Portland High football team was coming off of a win entering its annual clash with rival White House, current Panther senior quarterback Ethan Brummett was in the third grade.
Portland will be carrying the momentum of last Friday’s 36-28 win at Greenbrier into Friday evening’s 47th meeting between the rival programs at Dewey H. Whitson Stadium (7:30 p.m. kickoff).
“It’s the first time in a long time we’ve had music in the locker room after a game, since the Lebanon game (a 20-14, road victory during week 7 of last season),” Portland second-year head coach Greg Cavanah said.
Cavanah didn’t detail the exact type of celebratory music last Friday, though it was to his liking.
“(It was) some of the old stuff we used to listen to when I played football,” Cavanah said.
The Panthers claimed a 29-12 win over visiting Clarksville Northwest prior to their 2006 meeting with White House.
“Our kids have played hard the last two weeks,” Cavanah said. “We made some bad alignment mistakes the first week (in a 23-14 loss to visiting Franklin-Simpson, Ky.) that cost us.
“Then, we overcame their best punch and pulled out a win (at Greenbrier). That’s what you want going into a big regional ballgame like we have.”
Brummett led the Panthers last week, accounting for five touchdowns (three rushing) and 252 total yards (112 rushing, 140 passing).
“They’re a much-improved football team,” Blue Devil head coach Jeff Porter said. “The quarterback accounted for five touchdowns the other night. They’re not turning the ball over. The quarterback is making plays, and they have speed to get to the outside. They are physical on defense.
“You add all of those things up, and they’re a good football team. They’ve been in both games and won last Friday night.”
White House (2-0) has given up just seven points over its first two games, a 28-7 win over visiting White House Heritage and a 25-0 victory at Goodpasture. The Blue Devils allowed just 101 total yards last Friday.
“After watching film, I think we probably did better things than (I thought) when we were there,” Porter said. “We did some good things, and then, we were very sloppy as far as substitution patterns. We had to waste a timeout one time. There are many areas we can get better in. We’ll try to identify those in practice.
“The kids have played hard for two straight weeks.”
Special teams were also beneficial for White House last Friday as senior Logan Trimmer made three field goals.
“It’s that and his kickoffs, being able to pin people deep,” Porter said. “He punted the ball for about a 35-yard average. He gives you a legitimate threat when you cross midfield. He obviously helps our football team in those areas.”
It’s the Region 5-4A opener for the two teams.
“There’s three district games on Friday night,” Porter said. “Three teams are going to be 1-0. Three teams are going to be 0-1. That’s the magnitude.
“Everybody has the same goal, to try to get to week 11. In order to do that, you have to win region games.”
White House played without senior quarterback Steven Rankin last Friday. Rankin has been hampered by a leg injury, and his status for Friday night is uncertain.
Classmate Luke Hopkins quarterbacked the Blue Devils last Friday.
“They have a great kicking game,” Cavanah said. “They changed quarterbacks the second week. He’s a very savvy, little quarterback. He slings it. He does a good job of leading the offense. (Senior Trey Hyde) is a hard-nosed running back, and I don’t see them making many mistakes.”
Porter added, “Hopkins is having to play quarterback now, plays wide receiver and defensive back. He’s having to wear other hats now with the injuries. Injuries are part of it. We had it last year. Injuries are going to happen.”
The Panthers claimed a 28-7 victory over visiting White House in 2012, but the Blue Devils have won the last two games by scores of 31-0 and 35-6.
“I want to make it a football game,” Cavanah said. “I haven’t seen a (close) football game yet (against White House). Coach (Traye) Aric’s last year there (at Portland), in the first five minutes, it was out of hand. Last year, they beat us 35-6.
“I feel I have a different team.”
That 2012 victory is Portland’s lone win over the last nine meetings between the two teams.
The Panther program’s last victory on the Blue Devils’ home field came in 2005, a 38-14 win.
Cavanah challenged his players earlier this week.
“I said to them, ‘The question is, are you going to let that happen now,’” Cavanah said. “‘Are you going to stay focused? Are you going to keep doing what we have been?’
“I told them that this week is going to be a harder fight than last week. These guys know what they’re doing. They’ve played together a long time. They want to win this region as much as we do. I just want my team to go fight and play hard. If they do that, I’ll take whatever result comes.”
Gallatin (2-0) at Hunters Lane (0-2)
Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Warrior Stadium
Last week: The Green Wave captured a 27-21 victory over visiting Springfield. The Warriors suffered a 39-0 loss at Hillwood.
Last meeting between the two programs: Gallatin claimed a 37-20 victory over visiting Hunters Lane in 2008.
The two teams are heading in opposite directions so far.
The Green Wave have started the season with back-to-back wins for the first time since 2011.
“It’s amazing,” Gallatin junior defensive tackle Wyatt Springer said. “We are always getting (excited) in the locker room, keeping that mindset that we will always do what’s right.
“We have to keep getting better every week.”
While the Green Wave have been led by junior tailback Jordan Mason’s 436 rushing yards and eight total touchdowns, the Warriors are still looking for their first points of the 2015 season.
Hillwood returned a pair of Hunters Lane interceptions for touchdowns last Friday, and Clarksville Northwest also returned an interception for a score in the season opener, a 20-0 loss for the Warriors.
Hunters Lane is looking to snap a six-game losing streak. The Warrior program has produced just six wins over the previous five seasons.
Gallatin has won four of the last five meetings between the two programs.
Westmoreland (0-2) at Forrest (2-0)
Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Murray E. Holton Field
Last week: The Eagles suffered a 33-15 loss to visiting Macon County. The Rockets captured a 22-0 victory at Moore County.
Last meeting between the two programs: The Eagles captured a 34-7 victory when the two teams met in the quarterfinal round of the Class A playoffs in 1977.
The Eagles are on the road for the first time this season, while Forrest is playing in its home opener.
It’s the Region 4-2A opener between the two teams.
The Rockets have yet to give up a point this season, rolling to a 35-0 victory at Huntland in their season opener prior to last Friday’s win at Moore County.
Forrest employs a run-oriented, wing-T offense that has gained 534 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns through two games, while amassing just 52 passing yards.
Westmoreland didn’t score until the fourth quarter of last Friday’s loss, after producing just seven points in its season-opening loss to visiting Trousdale County.
The Eagles also struggled defensively last week though, giving up 389 total yards last week.
Westmoreland is hoping that senior Brandon Green – a starting tailback and linebacker – is back in action on Friday after he missed last Friday’s game.
Cane Ridge (2-0) at Hendersonville (2-0)
Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium
Last week: The Ravens captured a 27-0 win over visiting Mt. Juliet. The Commandos claimed a 35-15 victory at Siegel.
Last meeting between the two programs: First meeting
Hendersonville’s stock is rising after a 20-point victory at Siegel last week, but the Commando football squad – now ranked third in Class 5A in this week’s Associated Press statewide poll – opens region play against a new foe on Friday when Cane Ridge visits for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium.
The Ravens (2-0) haven’t allowed a point in victories over Antioch and Mt. Juliet, and the defense accounted for two scores in last week’s 27-0 shutout of the Golden Bears.
“I can’t say enough good things about them,” Hendersonville head coach Bruce Hatfield said. “They’ve done an outstanding job the first two ballgames.”
Both Noah Bayless and Jordan Bell returned interceptions for touchdowns in that game.
It’s also Hendersonville’s homecoming week, but the Ravens are providing plenty of distraction without the pageantry beyond the game itself.
Senior Mike Harris rushed for 220 yards and two touchdowns in the 35-15 victory at Siegel, but the Commandos (2-0) may have a bigger challenge with Cane Ridge’s defense. It’s another virtually-unknown opponent for Hendersonville over the first three weeks of the season.
“Just like McGavock and Siegel, we’re not real familiar with Cane Ridge,” Hatfield said. “We don’t know, even from film study, exactly how they’ll choose to play us.”
It could make the first couple of possessions a feeling-out process for each team, but Hatfield warns that the process needs to take place – and conclude – quickly.
“We better not take too long,” Hatfield said. “I think Cane Ridge played one of the best football games I’ve ever seen somebody play against Mt. Juliet. We’ve got a lot of respect for Mt. Juliet, what they do and what they’ve accomplished. Cane Ridge played outstanding.”
Glencliff (1-1) at Beech (1-1)
Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Shackle Island Stadium
Last week: Glencliff suffered a 40-20 loss at Stratford. Beech suffered a 48-46 loss to visiting Rossview.
Last meeting between the two teams: Beech suffered a 32-17 loss at Glencliff in 2004.
Glencliff surrendered 34 first-half points to Stratford last week and allowed two 100-yard rushers. That could bode well for Beech, but the Buccaneers will have to improve on the defensive side of the ball after allowing 344 passing yards and six touchdowns to Rossview quarterback Jordan Justice last week.
Buccaneer senior Rodrick Napper added five touchdown rushes to his total, and sophomore quarterback Nelson Smith connected with senior wide receiver Ian Hafner five times for 170 yards and a touchdown to aid in Beech’s offensive attack.
The Region 6-5A opener for both teams also serves as Beech’s homecoming game.
Station Camp (0-2) at Hillsboro (1-1)
Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Burros Stadium
Last week: Hillsboro suffered a 36-28 loss to visiting Oakland. Station Camp suffered a 21-20 loss to visiting Wilson Central.
Last meeting between the two teams: First meeting
Station Camp can’t lick its wounds after back-to-back losses by a total of two points to Clarksville and Wilson Central, because the Bison open Region 6-5A play at Hillsboro on Friday.
The Burros – who are ranked fifth in Class 5A – were limited to 66 yards rushing by Oakland’s defense last week. Junior quarterback Daylon Murphy completed 13 of 22 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw three interceptions and was sacked seven times.
The Bison gave up 290 rushing yards to Wilson Central last week, but they still had a chance to win with junior Marcus DeVault’s 40-yard touchdown reception in the final minute. However, Wilson Central stopped the two-point conversion, sending Station Camp to its second one-point loss to open the season.
Pope John Paul II (1-1) at Brentwood Academy (1-1)
Kickoff at 7 p.m. at Eagles Stadium
Last week: Pope John Paul II captured a 34-21 win at Coffee County. Brentwood Academy suffered a 31-13 loss to visiting Trinity (Ky.).
Last meeting between the two teams: Brentwood Academy handed the visiting Knights a 50-10 loss last season.
Brentwood Academy didn’t take much of a hit in the Associated Press Division II poll this week after falling to national power Trinity (Ky.) at home last week, falling to third.
Trinity led 17-13 after three quarters and put the game away with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
A pair of Southeastern Conference schools have commitments from two of the Eagles’ starting offensive linemen – Bryce Matthews, an Ole Miss commitment, and University of Tennessee commitment Ryan Johnson.
“Brentwood Academy is a very good football team,” PJP II first-year head coach Justin Geisinger said. “They have a lot of high-level talent in a number of areas. They are very strong up front on both sides of the ball with a number of Division-I players. They have athletic and gifted skill players that make plays on both sides of the football.”
The Knights’ ground game cashed in at Coffee County, with senior tailback Quer’Derius Hunter scoring three touchdowns and rushing for 109 yards on 23 carries.
Portland-White House Series
1945 Portland N/A
1946 Portland N/A
1966 Portland N/A
1967 Portland N/A
1976 Portland 32-7
1977 Portland 27-7
1978 Portland 17-0
1979 Portland 27-6
1980 Portland 14-0
1981 Portland 28-7
1982 Portland 16-14
1983 Portland 29-12
1984 White House 14-13
1985 Portland 21-12
1986 White House 14-6
1987 White House 22-18
1988 White House 21-7
1989 White House 24-7
1990 White House 28-0
1991 White House 27-14
1992 White House 19-7
1993 White House 35-24
1994 Portland 21-14
1995 Portland 28-0
1996 Portland 22-21
1997 White House 28-7
*1997 White House 21-13
1998 White House 39-22
*1998 White House 21-14
1999 Portland 26-14
2000 Portland 28-7
*2000 Portland 19-10
2001 Portland 13-12
2002 White House 35-14
2003 White House 31-28
2004 White House 28-7
2005 Portland 38-14
2006 White House 31-14
2007 White House 20-6
2008 White House 35-17
2009 White House 32-2
2010 White House 21-7
2011 White House 22-3
2012 Portland 28-7
2013 White House 31-0
2014 White House 35-6
*TSSAA playoff game
White House leads the series 24-22.