Playoff positions up for grabs



 

 

The final week of region play is here and there is still a lot to be decided when it comes to the playoffs.

Appalachian is the only team that is assured of a playoff spot. The Eagles face 1A Region 6 champion Ragland this week and, win or lose, the Eagles are locked into the No. 3 spot.

After that, it gets tough although it is obvious that Cleveland, Locust Fork, and J.B. Pennington are out of the playoff chase.

Hayden still has a shot at the playoffs this week but the Wildcats need to knock off Mortimer Jordan and have Walker beat Curry. That would force a three-way tie for fourth place in 5A Region 6 with Curry, Hayden, and Mortimer Jordan all 3-4 in the region. With no team having an advantage in head-to-head, the Wildcats would then need to beat Locust Fork next week to have a chance.

 

 

Susan Moore simply needs to beat Glencoe to make the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in 3A Region 6. The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets would each be 5-3 in the region but the Bulldogs would hold the tie-breaker.

That leaves Oneonta. The Redskins need to beat Cleburne County this week to be assured of making the playoffs – probably as the No. 3 seed in 4A Region 6. However, the Redskins could still miss the playoffs with a loss and a St. Clair County upset of Alexandria. If Oneonta wins and Alexandria wins, the Valley Cubs are No. 2 and Oneonta is No. 3 (with Cleburne County No. 4). If Oneonta wins and Alexandria is upset by St. Clair, then Oneonta is in as the No. 2 seed. There is also the possibility of…well, let’s just say if the Redskins win then they are in. That’s enough for now.

As always, all games kick off at 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21

1A Region 6 Ragland (7-0, 5-0) at Appalachian (4-3, 3-2) Last year – Ragland 21, Appalachian 14

All-time – Appalachian leads the series 16-15

Ragland 35, Fayetteville 0
Ragland 46, Donoho 13
Ragland 73, Jefferson Christian 12
Ragland – Open
Ragland 40, Gaylesville 14
Ragland 54, Akron 21
Ragland 54, Jacks. Christian 14
Ragland 54, Coosa Christian 7

Appalachian 26, J.B. Pennington 13
Appalachian 54, Jacks. Christian 20
Appalachian 46, Coosa Christian 0
Akron 28, Appalachian 22
Berry 58, Appalachian 22
Donoho 34, Appalachian 8
Appalachian 57, Jeff. Christian 6
Appalachian – Open

The Eagles try to pull off the upset against one of their biggest rivals.

Ragland has made Region 6 its own personal punching bag. The Purple Devils have destroyed every team on the schedule with a simple game plan – win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Ragland has excellent size (avg. 240 lbs.) and plays a very physical brand of football along the line of scrimmage. The Purple Devils do not have a ton of depth along the line but no team on the schedule has been able to handle Ragland consistently. There are plenty of skill kids to make plays. JohnMark Mintz (6’2, 235 Sr) is hard-nosed FB/DE and Nicholas Daniels (5’7, 190 Sr) is nice combination of speed and power. Speedy Akron was able to get on the corners a couple of time early against the Purple Devils but none of the other opponents did much at all. Ragland pass defense is a bit of an unknown.

Appalachian has had a week to heal up and come up with a game plan. The Eagles walloped Jefferson Christian a couple of weeks ago and maybe that restored some confidence after a three-game losing streak. Ragland has rolled through Region 6 and Appalachian hasn’t played very well but keep this in mind – Appalachian may be the only team in the region that is equipped to deal with the size and strength of the Purple Devils. The Eagles haven’t played very well in big games this year and this is the biggest. If the Eagles can keep Ragland from just lining up and pounding the ball down their throat, the Appalachian offense should be able to make some plays.

Next week – Ragland travels to Collinsville; Appalachian hosts Cleveland.

2A Region 7 Cleveland (2-6, 1-6) at Cold Springs (0-8, 0-7) Last year – Cleveland 49, Cold Springs 13

All-time – Cleveland leads the series 14-9

Oakman 27, Cleveland 6
Westminster 35, Cleveland 2
Cleveland 44, Falkville 8
Fultondale 47, Cleveland 7
Cleveland 27, DAR 0
Sumiton Christian 23, Cleveland 21
West End 12, Cleveland 6
Tanner 48, Cleveland 7

Phil Campbell 27, Cold Springs 14
Oakman 55, Cold Springs 12
West End 42, Cold Springs 14
Westminster 41, Cold Springs 0
Sum. Christian 35, Cold Springs 0
Falkville 6, Cold Springs 0
Tanner 62, Cold Springs 13
Fultondale 70, Cold Springs 6

Cold Springs has now dropped 33 games in a row. The Eagles’ last win was a 29-15 victory over Hanceville on Sept. 26, 2008. The Eagles have played hard but 2A Region 7 has taken its toll. Cold Springs has decent size (avg. 225 lbs.) across both lines but the Eagles are lacking in speed and quickness. The three quickest teams in the region ( Tanner, Fultondale, Oakman) have averaged almost 63 points per game. The Eagle defense has struggled to stop the run each week while the Cold Springs offense has not been able to consistently move the ball and keep the defense off the field.

Cleveland hung with Tanner early last week (tied 7-7 after one quarter) but the Rattlers got a couple of big plays in the second quarter and never looked back. Cleveland should be able to run the ball right at Cold Springs and that will make the misdirection (and the passing game) that much more effective. Cold Springs has not been able to throw the ball with any success so look for the Panther defense to stack the line of scrimmage and take away the run. Panther special teams were burned twice on big returns last week but Cleveland is capable of doing the same thing to Cold Springs.

Next week – Cleveland travels to Appalachian; Cold Springs goes to Carbon Hill.

4A Region 6 Springville (3-5, 3-3) at Locust Fork (1-7, 0-6) Last year – Springville 35, Locust Fork 7

All-time – Springville leads the series 23-9

Fort Payne 43, Springville 12
Springville 41, St. Clair County 18
Oneonta 43, Springville 14
Springville 24, Anniston 21
Pinson Valley 55, Springville 27
Springville 35, Jacksonville 21
Alexandria 39, Springville 29
Cleburne County 51, Springville 21

Locust Fork 28, Crossville 18
Jacksonville 46, Locust Fork 12
St. Clair County 28, Locust Fork 16
Oneonta 56, Locust Fork 20
Corner 48, Locust Fork 20
Anniston 67, Locust Fork 0
Cleburne County 70, Locust Fork 40
Alexandria 74, Locust Fork 37

Can the Hornets find enough defense to upset the Tigers.

Springville is not completely out of the playoff race but the Tigers now need a lot of help after last week’s big loss at Heflin. The Tigers have talent at the skill positions but the offensive and defensive lines got whipped last week. Locust Fork has struggled to stop anyone and Springville has more than enough weapons to put up points this week. Locust Fork has gotten big offensive numbers the last two weeks, especially in the passing game where – when given time – Geoffrey Bramblett has thrown the ball all over the place to Clay Smith, Logan Short, and Kyle Hornbuckle. This could be another shootout. However, Springville appears to have too much ammunition. Look for a game in the 50s (and maybe more) as both defenses will struggle to contain the opposition’s offense.

Next week – Springville hosts Arab; Locust Fork hosts Hayden.

5A Region 6 Mortimer Jordan (3-5, 3-3) at Hayden (3-5, 2-4) Last year – Mortimer Jordan 35, Hayden 14

All-time – Mortimer Jordan leads the series 20-10

Pin. Valley 69, Mortimer Jordan 42
Walker 45, Mortimer Jordan 21
Mortimer Jordan 48, West Point 21
Mortimer Jordan 55, Brewer 20
Center Point 40, Mortimer Jordan 20
Mortimer Jordan 42, Curry 14
Cullman 46, Mortimer Jordan 27
Hartselle 49, Mortimer Jordan 13

Hayden 20, Corner 13
Cullman 40, Hayden 0
Hartselle 57, Hayden 0
Curry 23, Hayden 22
Oneonta 47, Hayden 6
Walker 46, Hayden 6
Hayden 28, West Point 21
Hayden 49, Brewer 12

Playoffs? Not entirely out of the question for the Wildcats but they need to win and get some help to have a chance.

Mortimer Jordan is a banged-up football team. The Blue Devils were forced to use safety Cameron Holzhauer (6’1, 165 Sr) at quarterback last week. He was third-string at best in preseason but was forced under center due to injury. The one consistent threat for Mortimer Jordan is Marquis Dobbs (5’8, 180 Sr), who had a 73-yard touchdown run early last week against Hartselle. He has excellent speed and is capable of making a big play. The Blue Devils have been banged up across the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and really struggled last week against Hartselle. The Blue Devil defense had all kinds of problems the last two weeks against Cullman and Hartselle. Blue Devil special teams are normally very good but these units have not been consistent this season.

Hayden has put together solid efforts in back-to-back weeks and still has a shot – albeit a long one – at the playoffs. With head coach Steven Kerby back on the sidelines last week, the Wildcats put together a solid game and ran Brewer off their own field. This week, the Wildcats must play well against a wounded, but dangerous, rival. The Wildcat defense must keep Dobbs from making big plays. Mortimer Jordan will rely on him probably more than usual because of injuries to other players. Offensively, the quarterback duo of Corey Ward and Brandon Butts had plenty of time to find receivers last week and the Hayden offensive line needs to give the same protection this week. Hayden special teams have been decent and this would be a good week to make a play or two.

Next week – Mortimer Jordan hosts Gardendale; Hayden travels to Locust Fork.

4A Region 6 Cleburne County (5-3, 4-2) at Oneonta (6-2, 4-2) Last year – Cleburne County 39, Oneonta 34

All-time – Cleburne County leads the series 1-0

Lineville 10, Cleburne County 3
Anniston 49, Cleburne County 35
Cleburne County 45, Jacksonville 35
St. Clair County 28, Cleburne Co. 20
Cleburne County 33, Cherokee Co. 7
Cleburne County 42, Alexandria 28
Cleburne County 70, Locust Fork 40
Cleburne County 51, Springville 21

Oneonta 28, Southside 7
Alexandria 28, Oneonta 27
Oneonta 43, Springville 14
Oneonta 56, Locust Fork 20
Oneonta 47, Hayden 6
Oneonta 35, St. Clair County 7
Oneonta 42, Jacksonville 6
Anniston 34, Oneonta 31

The Redskins look to rebound against the hottest team in the region.

Cleburne County has won four in a row and the Tigers are a much better football team than the one that lost three of the first four to start the season. The Tiger offense looks to be the strength of the team. QB Matt Norton (6’3, 205 Sr) has a great arm and maybe the most accurate quarterback the Redskins have seen. He has plenty of weapons but Rocky Hayes (5’10, 170 Sr) is the one to watch. Cleburne County will move him around to try to get him the ball in space and exploit mismatches against the defense. He has scored on runs and receptions and in the return game. Oneonta needs to locate him each time the ball is snapped. The Cleburne offensive line has been solid and has good size (avg. 230 lbs.). The Tiger defense hasn’t been dominant but this unit is playing better than it was. Pass defense has been a problem. Tiger special teams are good and Hayes is scary on any return.

Oneonta has to put last week behind them or they might miss the playoffs (if St. Clair beats Alexandria). The Redskins let another one get away against Anniston but a win this week would mean that all of the goals that this team had are still in reach. Oneonta’s offense was a little off last week. There were open passes that were not completed and blocks that were missed – correctable mistakes that a good week of practice should address. Cleburne has struggled to stop the pass and it would be huge if the Redskin passing game turned in an efficient night. The Oneonta defense did a solid job about 80 percent of the time last week against an explosive Anniston offense. Cleburne County has talent on offense and has put up some big numbers. The Redskins need to pressure Norton and not him get comfortable, just like they did early in the year to Springville’s Brandon Gilliland. Redskin coverage units need to get to Hayes quickly while Oneonta’s returners may cause problems for Cleburne County coverage teams that have had problems.

Next week – Cleburne County hosts Munford; Oneonta travels to Susan Moore.

3A Region 6 White Plains (1-7, 0-7) at J.B. Pennington (0-8, 0-7) Last year – White Plains 33, J.B. Pennington 0

All-time – White Plains leads the series 1-0

Glencoe 42, White Plains 7
Weaver 39, White Plains 7
Saks 44, White Plains 3
Weaver 36, J.B. Pennington 0
Ashville 26, White Plains 14
Hokes Bluff 34, White Plains 7
Susan Moore 34, White Plains 7
White Plains 17, Pleasant Valley 14

Appalachian 26, J.B. Pennington 13
Glencoe 45, J.B. Pennington 14
Piedmont 40, J.B. Pennington 0
Piedmont 45, J.B. Pennington 0
Saks 47, J.B. Pennington 0
Ashville 39, J.B. Pennington 12
Hokes Bluff 41, J.B. Pennington 0
Susan Moore 42, J.B. Pennington 0

The Tigers try to pick up a region win.

White Plains has had more than its share of problems this year. The Wildcats were totally dominated by the top teams in the region, especially along the offensive and defensive lines. The Wildcats do have some size (avg. 220 lbs.) but a lot of the bigger linemen on the roster are young and have been pushed around. The Wildcats do have a couple of skill kids with quickness, especially Mitchell Jones (5’7, 150 So). He scored the team’s only touchdown against Susan Moore and has enough speed to cause problems. The Wildcat defense has had trouble stopping the run. Almost every team on the schedule has put up more than 200 rushing yards against White Plains. Wildcat special teams have been very good.

J.B. Pennington got run over last week by a Susan Moore offense that has found the running game to be its strength. White Plains is decent on offense but this should be a pretty good match-up for the Tiger defense. The Wildcats do have some quickness in the backfield so the Tigers must tackle well to have a chance. The Pennington offense should be able to move the ball against a White Plains defense that has struggled against the run this year. The Tigers need to pound away at the Wildcat defensive front and try to wear down a Wildcat defensive line that doesn’t have a lot in the way of depth. Tiger special teams, especially the coverage units, need to have a good night.

Next week – White Plains hosts Ohatchee; J.B. Pennington travels to Holly Pond.

3A Region 6 Susan Moore (5-3, 4-3) at Glencoe (6-2, 5-2) Last year – Glencoe 27, Susan Moore 14 All-time – Glencoe leads the series 2-1

Weaver 18, Susan Moore 15
Piedmont 40, Susan Moore 14
Saks 15, Susan Moore 0
Susan Moore 42, Ashville 21
Susan Moore 14, Hokes Bluff 6
Susan Moore 41, Oakman 14
Susan Moore 34, White Plains 7
Susan Moore 42, J.B. Pennington 0

Glencoe 42, White Plains 7
Glencoe 45, J.B. Pennington 14
Glencoe 7, Sand Rock 6
Glencoe 14, Weaver 7
Piedmont 28, Glencoe 17
Saks 24, Glencoe 14
Glencoe 49, Ashville 0
Glencoe 20, Hokes Bluff 0

The winner makes the playoffs.

Susan Moore has shaken off the 0-3 start and can make the playoffs as the No. 4 seed out of the region with a win. However, Glencoe also needs to win to be assured of a playoff spot. The Bulldogs continued rolling along last week with the shutout of J.B. Pennington. The Bulldog running game continues to be the story on offense but that is an area where Glencoe has been tough. Susan Moore probably needs to open things up a bit this week and that may mean more playaction passing on first down. If the Bulldogs can loosen up the Yellow Jacket defensive front, the running backs may find some holes opening up as the game progresses. On defense, the Bulldogs must at least get a stalemate at the line of scrimmage. Glencoe has talent at the skill positions but in losses to Piedmont and Saks it was the Yellow Jacket offensive line that struggled. Susan Moore special teams have been pretty solid but this would be the week to make a play and change momentum.

Glencoe is coming off one its most complete performances of the year in last week’s 20-0 shutout of rival Hokes Bluff. The Yellow Jacket defense thoroughly shut down the Hokes Bluff offense, allowing just 49 yards of total offense and sacking the Eagle quarterback seven times. Susan Moore must run the ball to keep the Yellow Jacket defensive front from loading up on the pass rush. The leader of the Yellow Jacket defense is LB Daniel Warren (6’2, 215 Sr.), who simply makes plays all over the field. The Glencoe offense is led by QB Harrison Bright (6’1, 165 Sr.). He completed 8 of 15 passes last week for 142 yards and one touchdown last week and he is athletic enough to make plays when he is forced to scramble. The Yellow Jacket offensive line has good size (avg. 240 lbs.) but this group struggled against Sand Rock, Piedmont, and Saks. Hokes Bluff limited the Yellow Jackets to just 80 yards on the ground last week. Glencoe special teams have been very good this season.

Next week – Susan Moore hosts Oneonta; Glencoe travels to Douglas.