Hitman likes what he sees
Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012 7:00 pm
In my hand,
Is there a greater guru
In all the land?
— The Messenger, Sept. 10, 1992
Clearly, the answer to that question is the same today as it was when first posed some 20 years ago.
The paper’s practically-perfect prep pigskin prognosticator remains far and away the superior sideline soothsayer after 25 consecutive seasons of eclipsing the once-coveted .800 mark.
Three straight weeks of again exceeding that mark to open the current campaign — including his 6,000th career correct call — have only fortified the fairest Friday football forecaster’s footing as truly the awesome all-knowing augur.
While admitting a couple of local slip-ups the past two weeks were uncharacteristic of the sensational seer, his present 51-11 (.822) portfolio is proof positive that like the video tape, mirrors indeed never lie.
Hoping to reflect on another big week and not seven years of bad luck, the Hitman takes a shot at this week’s games.
See you there.
HUNTINGDON @ UNION CITY — After a three-week undercard for both teams in which each has measured up to their respective preseason billing, one of a couple of regular season main events is here for the Mustangs and Tornadoes. Those enamored with the video game offenses and high-tech defenses might be better served to find another venue as these two are as old-school as one can get by today’s standards. Each program is based on the ‘hit-somebody-in-the-mouth’ philosophy in the trenches and generally believes that a ‘pass’ is something that a man makes at a woman. UC, which fancies itself on being physical and imposing its will on opponents, will get all that it bargained for against a Huntingdon front that is believed to be as good as the Ponies have had since their 2003 Class 2A state title team. The Twisters, meanwhile, may be far more multi-dimensional than they’ve ever been during the Darren Bowling Era with game-breaking speed on the perimeter and actually a legitimate throwing game — but only if need be. A word of caution to the victor though: Don’t get too excited as a second meeting in the playoffs with considerably higher stakes — much like three times before in this series — could be looming in mid-November. Until then, — UNION CITY.
OBION CENTRAL @ CROCKETT CO. — This one’s a role reversal from a year ago when OC was unbeaten and riding high while the Cavs were searching for their identity. Central is actually homecoming bait this year in the matchup, but one capable of ruining the party for a CC team that has had to rally each of the last two weeks to stay without a loss. Inconsistency has been the Rebels’ Achilles heel in the first three weeks, with first the defense and last week the offense failing to measure up to winning standards when the opportunity was there. Crockett may actually be a little ahead of schedule in restoring its proud tradition after widely-respected head coach Kevin Ward took over the program that figured to struggle and did in his first season. The Cavaliers showed some diversity on offense that had been secretly hidden away in a comeback triumph against an athletic Haywood team last week, but will see their road get considerably more difficult the next three weeks with Covington, Milan and Dyersburg in that order on the schedule. While spoiling CC’s dance-night party should be incentive enough for Central, the Hitman will add to the Rebs’ motivation factor with his pick. — CROCKETT CO.
SOUTH FULTON @ FULTON CITY — With a 1-2 start and despite the fact that their Twin-Cities’ brethren are again numbers-challenged, this one comes with a little sense of urgency for the Redmen. Wins — the bottom-line factor in Tennessee’s complicated playoff system — figure to be at a premium for a SF squad that has a tough row to hoe with still Union City, Trenton, Gleason and Lake County remaining on its slate. The Devils’ tackling issues through three games cannot be overstated as that shortcoming has been the difference in possibly another victory and easily the team’s most glaring weakness to-date. Fulton City, meanwhile, comes in feeling as good as it can with a roster of around 20 players after beating Jackson Prep — the same Jackson Prep it beat a year ago to break a long losing skid. The Bulldogs do have some good players, too, namely big tackle Kahalil Frame and running back Devon Jackson. And if the Big Red gets caught in the trap of looking ahead to more heralded opponents, the crosstown rivalry that has been one-sided the past four years will suddenly take on new meaning in 2013. The Hitman says, Not! — SOUTH FULTON.
In other games, it’ll be — Trenton over McKenzie, Camden over Westview, West Carroll over Greenfield, Gleason over Halls, Lake Co. over Reidland, Scotts Hill over Bruceton, Dresden over Stewart Co., Milan over Ripley, South Gibson over TCA, Covington over Brighton, Dyersburg over Chester Co., Dyer Co. over Haywood, Ripley over Kirby, ECS over USJ, Jackson Northside over South Side, Lexington over Hardin Co., Adamsville over McNairy Co., Riverside over Perry Co., Harding Academy over Jackson Christian, Corinth (Miss.) over Bolivar and Heath over Fulton Co.
Published in The Messenger 9.6.12