Our game of the week this week takes us to Hendersonville for a Sumner County showdown between Beech and Hendersonville. This rivalry should be a fun one Friday, as both teams come in with equal records and equally high hopes for this season in region five of 6A ball.
Both teams fell in week one to quality opponents, Beech to Farragut and Hendersonville to Oakland, but bounced back nicely in close week two contests. These two will be looking to get it done on the ground. Last week both team’s rushing totals came to a combined 512 yards, while their passing just 116.
MaxPreps Tennessee Rank: 8
Head Coach: James Beasley (5th year 33-19 overall)
The Commandos are coming off a season where they went 10-4 with a 5-0 record in district and made it all the way to the state semifinals where they fell to Summit. Last season Hendersonville averaged 33 points a game and that will be tested against a stout Beech defense.
The Commandos will look to Stevin Mack to crack the Buccaneers defense. Mack rushed 14 times for 100 yards and three touchdowns in week 2.
MaxPreps Tennessee Rank: 25
Head Coach: Anthony Crabtree (18th year 158-60)
2021 Record: 9-4
Beech is coming off a season where they lost to who else but Hendersonville in the quarterfinals of the Tennessee state championship playoffs. Beech is one of those teams that always seems to be around come post season time, and this year is no different. This season Coach Crabtree’s team features a tenacious defense led by a group of four seniors that are all averaging over seven tackles a game. Bronco Hanks is leading the pack, averaging nine tackles a game. This extremely experienced and equally impressive defense could be the X factor for Beech this weekend.
Hendersonville is coming off a win against the defending Kentucky 5A state champions in The South Warren Spartans and a blowout loss to the defending Tennessee 6A state champions in The Oakland Patriots. Beech is coming off a win against a 2021 state semifinalist and favorite to win region 7 this year in Henry County. In week one they lost to 2021 6A quarterfinalist Farragut. These teams may know who and what they have, but the fans may not. With both having 1-1 records in similar fashion this should be a close one and this early season rivalry matchup will be the perfect measuring stick for both teams.
These two do not like each other. They met in the playoffs last year with Hendersonville knocking out Beech in the quarterfinals as well as beating them in the regular season. The Commandos will be looking to retain Sumner County rule and Beech definitely has this one circled on the calendar. I have high hopes for this game just as both these teams have high hopes for their respective seasons.
My prediction: Beech 31 Hendersonville 24 with Beech’s defense making the difference.