High School Football Expert Predictions – Week 10

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 (25-9)

Chase Hoke: Color commentator at the Upper Cumberland Reporter (25-9)

Rusty Ellis: Sports Director at the Upper Cumberland Reporter (28-6)

Kailee Means: Sports Reporter at the Upper Cumberland Reporter (25-9)

Justin Matheney: Color commentator at the Upper Cumberland Reporter (25-9)


Game 1:

Watertown (5-3, 4-0) vs Livingston Academy (0-8, 0-4)

Last week:

Watertown: Bye Week

Livingston Academy: Bye Week



Pick: Watertown 38 – Livingston Academy – 0

Comments: Yeah, these last two to close the season for LA are just tough. Watertown is one of the best teams at the 2A level, and as winners of five of their last six, they are red-hot. Add in that the defense has given up eight points in the last two games, and I think the Purple Tigers (top-5 mascot in the state) roll.


Pick: Watertown 56 – Livingston Academy 0

Comments: The Wildcats have unfortunately missed their chances to have wins this season. Watertown is a great program and plays in a good region. I give this to Watertown.


Pick: Watertown 42 – Livingston Academy 0

Comments: This is where picking the game isn’t fun. Watertown is a staple and LA’s in a rebuild with a first-year coach and a roster made up of mainly sophomores. Purple Tigers big in this one.


Pick: Watertown 28 – Livingston Academy 0

Comments: Watertown is a good team. While Livingston has shown improvement in recent weeks, and will come out of the BYE well rested and ready to play. The problem is Watertown will as well. Give me the Purple Tigers!


Pick: Watertown 42 – Livingston Academy 7

Comments: The last two games of the schedule are not friendly to LA. They are playing better football, particularly offensively with the help of the emergence of Jaden Lawrence, but Watertown is a 2A powerhouse. I’ll take the Purple Tigers.


Game 2:

Walker Valley (4-4, 1-2) vs Upperman (7-1, 4-0)

Last Week:

Walker Valley: 42-21 loss vs McMinn County

Upperman: 24-14 win at Dekalb County



Pick: Walker Valley 17 – Upperman 31

Comments: I think last week was a wake-up call, as the Bees escaped Smithville with a win. Because of that, I think you’ll see the version of the Bees that dominated Macon County from here on out. I’ve learned not to pick against teams that play this physically, so I’ll trust that three-headed rushing attack. On defense, I have a feeling Jyron McClellan will have a monster game.


Pick: Walker Valley 7 – Upperman 45

Comments: I think this is the toughest opponent on Walker Valley’s schedule. They have some wins but their record just doesn’t impress me based on who they have played. Upperman will pull away with this win easily.


Pick: Walker Valley 20 – Upperman 27

Comments: This a tough matchup for the Bees stylistically. Walker Valley’s going to throw the ball around the yard. If Upperman can make thing uncomfortable for the Walker Valley QB they have a great chance to win and win big. If not, they are in a dawg fight.


Pick: Walker Valley 14 – Upperman 34

Comments: Upperman has really found a groove on both sides of the ball, and I feel like they are one of the top 4-A teams in the state. There’s no way I can pick against them until they give me a reason to. Give me the Bees!


Pick: Walker Valley 14 – Upperman 31

Comments: This Walker Valley team is fun to watch. They’ll throw it around the yard and are a real threat to the Bees if UHS struggles to slow down their offense. Ultimately, I expect a few big plays out of the UHS big-three rushing attack and a couple of more in the passing game. The UHS defense will bend between the 20s, but get some red zone stops as they earn their eighth win of the season.


Game 3:

Monterey (5-3, 2-1) vs Bledsoe County (3-3, 1-2)

 Last week:

Monterey: 20-13 loss at Oneida

Bledsoe County: 41-24 win over Tellico Plains



Pick: Monterey 17 – Bledsoe County 14

Comments: This is going to be an old-school brawl-type game, as both teams love to run the ball between the tackles and dominate the line of scrimmage. I give this one to Monterey, because I think a lot of their loss against Oneida had to do with the weather and the Wildcats more so than the home team. They’ll get the defense right in this game with a late turnover to seal the win and the offense will do what needs to be done to leave with a W. 


Pick: Monterey 21 – Bledsoe County 14

Comments: Monterey played a good Oneida team in a monsoon last week and I think that influenced their performance. I think the Wildcats will show out this Friday and redeem themselves from last week. 


Pick: Monterey 28 – Bledsoe County 20

Comments: Monterey’s lost their last two games. They need this one to keep pace for a home playoff game. Can the Wildcats find any offense outside of Mason Bowman? They need to find additional options for a playoff run.


Pick: Monterey 21 – Bledsoe County 20

Comments: Monterey is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Oneida, and unfortunately they are facing another good team in Bledsoe County. At the end of the day, I feel like Monterey’s stingy defense will get the job done. I expect another big night from Mason Bowman as well. Give me the Wildcats in a close one! 


Monterey 21 – Bledsoe County 14

Comments: The Wildcats are in desperate need of a get-right game. They have a tough task going on the road to Bledsoe County, but I think the defense does a nice job and the offense does enough to get a nice win.


Game 4:

Blackman (3-5, 0-4) vs Cookeville (1-7, 0-3)

Last week:

Blackman: 50-45 loss at Rockvale

Cookeville: 27-7 loss at Coffee County



Pick: Blackman 31 – Cookeville 14

Comments: Make no mistake, the effort-level is there for the Cavaliers. I can see this team getting better, even if scores aren’t reflecting that. That being said, I’m going to take Blackman in this battle of former region foes, mainly because I think they’ll hit on a few more big plays than the Cavaliers will.


Pick: Blackman 28 – Cookeville 14

Comments: I feel like these two schools are in the same situation. They both are just looking for a win late in the season and they do not care how they get it. I feel like Blackman has played some bigger competition than Cookeville and these two teams are familiar with each other as they used to be in the same region. I am going to give this to Blackman.


Pick: Blackman 35 – Cookeville 7 

Comments: As a Cookeville football alumni, it kills me to see the state of the program right now. I know they have had their string of bad luck as well this season. Matching up against a Murfreesboro school at this point of the season is bad news for my Cavaliers.


Pick: Blackman 42 – Cookeville 7

Comments: Blackman is a team that can score a lot of points and in a hurry. I really don’t expect this to be close at all. Give me the Blaze!


Pick: Blackman 24 – Cookeville 7

Comments: Blackman hasn’t been overly impressive this year, but neither have the Cavs. Ultimately I think CHS will struggle to put up enough points, but it would not stun me if they pulled off the home upset on senior night.


Game 5:

White County (3-5, 0-5) vs Hunters Lane (1-7, 0-4)

Last week:

White County: Bye Week

Hunters Lane: Bye Week



Pick: White County 35 – Hunters Lane 10

Comments: White County will get their first region win of the season in this one. I think the bye week came at the right time to get these kids away from the game to recharge, and I think Mark Fraiser will have this team ready to play come Friday night. Malaki Dowell will continue his phenomenal season, and the defense will put together their best showing since the Cookeville game.


Pick: White County 28 – Hunters Lane 21

Comments: This is White County’s chance to gain their first region win of the season and I fully believe they can do it. While looking at Hunters Lane’s’ schedule, I noticed they lost to Maplewood who is having a rebuilding year. While they only lost by eight, that loss among some other losses to great programs solidified my White County pick for them to win this game.


Pick: White County 28 – Hunters Lane 12

Comments: White County’s playoff hopes have come and gone this season. Let’s be sure to enjoy watching Maliki Dowell this season and next because players like him don’t come around the Upper Cumberland very often.


Pick: White County 38 – Hunters Lane 21

Comments: It is the habit I just cannot break. I hope to see the Warriors defense come out ready to play, and not allow 40+. White County has proven they can score on anybody, but the defense has a lot to prove. Nevertheless, I expect White County to get back in the win column this week. Give me the Warriors!


Pick: White County 34 – Hunters Lane 28

Comments: The playoff chase is over, but the Warriors need this game bad. You do not want to be entering your second year back in a region without a win from the previous year. Two wins to end the season would give the Warriors some momentum before a 2022 featuring Malaki Dowell’s senior season, not to mention a senior class this season which has given its all for Sparta. White County gets this win.