High School Football Expert Predictions – Week 7

This season, a group of experts will predict the outcomes of the high school football games for Cookeville, Livingston Academy, Monterey, Upperman and White County.

The experts all have experience covering high school sports in the Upper Cumberland with a variety of outlets.

Note: These predictions are purely opinions. The Upper Cumberland Reporter wishes each of the teams in the Upper Cumberland good luck in their contests.

Our experts:

*Prediction record noted by ()

Noah McKay: COO and play-by-play announcer at the Upper Cumberland Reporter (18-6)

Chase Hoke: Color commentator at the Upper Cumberland Reporter (18-6)

Rusty Ellis: Sports Director at the Upper Cumberland Reporter (19-5)

Kailee Means: Sports Reporter at the Upper Cumberland Reporter (18-6)

Justin Matheney: Color commentator at the Upper Cumberland Reporter (18-6)

Game 1: Macon County (5-1, 2-0) vs Upperman (5-1, 2-0)

Last week:

Macon County: 24-21 win at Portland

Upperman: 16-8 win over Watertown



Pick: Upperman 17 – Macon County 14

Comments: Whew! This is going to be a great game. I think what it comes down to for me is that I trust Upperman’s defense with the game on the line. They’ll likely have to close the game, so give me the Bees in a close battle that’s essentially the region championship.


Pick: Upperman 21 – Macon County 14

Comments: I think this game will be very good for the Bees. I’m giving this win to the Bees because they always look prepared to go out and play a game and have such good chemistry.


Pick: Upperman 21 – Macon County 14

Comments: For my entire life the saying defense wins championships has held true in the game of football. However, I believe that’s beginning to change. Upperman has the better defense in this matchup. Macon County will throw the kitchen sink at Coach Caine and the Bees defense Friday night but I believe that the better defense in this “Region Championship” game will win.  


Pick: Upperman 24 – Macon County 13

Comments: I think Upperman is clearly the better team in this ball game. This is a huge game in deciding the champion of this region. If the Bees are able to find their offensive rhythm in this one, it could get ugly. Give me the Bees!


Pick: Upperman 27 – Macon County 13

Comments: I think this is the defacto Region 4/4A title game. The Tigers will come into the Hive highly-motivated, but they have only played one team the caliber of UHS this season (Trousdale County) and were blown out. I think the Bees defense solves the wing-T, and the offense finds a rhythm. I’ll take the Bees in rather convincing fashion.


Game 2: Wilson Central (4-2, 1-2) vs White County (3-3, 0-3)

Last week:

White County: 56-27 loss at Green Hill

Wilson Central: 7-14 loss at Mt. Juliet



Pick: Wilson Central 24 – White County 17

Comments: Okay hear me out Sparta. The biggest thing in this pick for me is that I need to see the Warriors win a region game against a team that has more athletes like Wilson Central does. Could they do it? Sure, but I’m in prove-it mode now, and this is a must-win.


Pick: Wilson Central 27 – White County 14

Comments: I want to give this win to the Warriors so bad but they have not proven to me that they can win a region game. I love their offense but it seems the defense is what the main problem is for the Warriors. If they piece together what they need to do, especially now with Owen Adams out, then it might be a close game.


Pick: Wilson Central 20 – White County 16

Comments: White County and Wilson Central have both played Mt. Juliet and Green Hill. Both teams have lost to those two respective schools. Wilson Central lost those games by less points than Sparta has. That is my reason for the Wilson Central pick in this one. Since the Warriors smacked rival Cookeville around they have ran into faster more athletic defenses that have been able to give up yards but not as many touchdowns. Sparta could use a win here in the worst way.


Pick: White County 20 – Wilson Central 17

Comments: The Warriors have started flat two weeks in a row. This is a must win game if they want to make the playoffs. I expect White County to come out focused, well-motivated and have a sense of urgency about them. With their backs against the wall, give me the Warriors in a close one!


Pick: Wilson Central 31 – White County 21

Comments: The Warriors have to win this game. If they can start fast, they can do it, but after two slow starts I need to see it. Malaki Dowell is going to get his yards and touchdowns, but the pressure is on the defense to get stops.


Game 3: Cookeville (1-5, 0-2) vs Alcoa (5-1, 2-0)

Last week:

Cookeville: 12-28 loss against Gallatin

Alcoa: 21-20 overtime win at West



Pick: Alcoa 41 – Cookeville 0

Comments: Cookeville’s been in tough environments before, but Alcoa will ultimately prove to be too much for them.


Pick: Alcoa 69 – Cookeville 0

Comments: Alcoa is one of the scariest opponents in the state and they have so many good athletes and such a good program. Alcoa wins state this year…again.



Pick: Alcoa 42 – Cookeville 7 

Comments: Another tough loss for the Big Red. Offensively, the Cavaliers are just too far behind to keep up against Alcoa, who year in year out has one of the best defenses in the state.  


Pick: Alcoa 48 – Cookeville 0

Comments: It is Alcoa. Cookeville has no chance.


Pick: Alcoa 49 – Cookeville 0

Comments: Alcoa is one of the top-5 (or 3) teams in the state, Cookeville is not. Tornadoes roll.


Game 4:

Waverly (4-1, 2-1) vs Monterey (5-1, 2-0)

Last week:

Monterey: 48-24 win over the TN Heat

Waverly: 53-33 win at Stewart County



Pick: Waverly 27 – Monterey 17

Comments: I think this game is going to be really competitive, but I like Waverly because of how explosive their offense is. I think Monterey comes out of this game better as a team, but it will also come with their second loss of the season.


Pick: Waverly 21 – Monterey 7

Comments: This is probably the toughest opponent that Monterey has on their schedule. I think ultimately if they study film and piece together what they need to do then I think it can be a close game but I’m giving it to Waverly.


Pick: Monterey 24 – Waverly 21 

Comments: Toughest pick of the week right here. Before I really studied this game my gut told me Waverly. BUT! After comparing schedules I couldn’t pick against the Wildcats. Waverly has only played one team with a winning record and lost 36-34 to 3A Whitehouse. I believe Monterey’s strength of schedule will pay big dividends Friday night.


Pick: Waverly 21 – Monterey 17

Comments: I believe the Waverly Tigers are the best team Monterey will face so far in this season. I think this will be a really good game, but I believe Waverly’s offense will be just a little too much for the Wildcats in this one. Give me the Tigers!


Pick: Monterey 35 – Waverly 24

Comments: These are two good teams, and it’s Monterey’s toughest test yet, but I think they’ll pass it. Waverly’s offense is legit, but so is this Monterey defense, and they are the best defense WHS has faced this season. Monterey makes a statement and defends their home field.


Game 5:

Dekalb County (3-2, 1-1) vs Livingston Academy (0-6, 0-2)

Last week:

Livingston: 0-21 loss at Jackson County

Dekalb County: 49-7 win over Cannon County



Pick: DeKalb County 31 – Livingston Academy 7

Comments: Livingston is another team that needs to prove it to me for me to pick them. DeKalb County has a new quarterback with Axel Aldino graduating, but Isaac Knowles is one of the best playmakers in the entire Upper Cumberland. Give me the Tigers.


Pick: DeKalb 69 – Livingston 0

Comments: There will come a point within this game where Coach Trapp will pull his starters but even at that point I don’t think Livingston could capitalize off of it. DeKalb is a really good team and always has been and while Livingston is having their rebuilding year, they will not win this game.


Pick: Dekalb County 42 – Livingston Academy 0

Comments: This just isn’t LA’s year. Young across the board in both sides of the ball. Coach Trapp and DeKalb County loves to throw the ball all over the yard. I believe we see a lot of big plays from the Tigers Thursday night.


Pick: DeKalb 45 – Livingston Academy 0

Comments: DeKalb is my alma mater, so I guess you can call me a homer. I just do not see anyway that Livingston wins this game. With the Wildcats being shutout four times already this season, they will have to show me they can score before I give them any points. Give me the Tigers!


Pick: Dekalb County 35 – Livingston Academy 0

Comments: Livingston is just trying to get better. They’ve had their chances, but haven’t been able to capitalize and get into the end zone. I’ll take the Tigers in convincing fashion.