Early top 10 region match-ups of the 2016 season

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Last week, we brought you our top 10 non-region games this upcoming season. We had a lot of great feedback on some other great games and we can’t wait until all of the games get underway.

Now we turn our focus to the best region games this season. Intense rivalries will ensue as some of the top teams in high school football in the state will face off for coveted region championships and top seeds in the playoffs.

Here are ten region games that we are definitely looking forward to this season.

7A Region 3: Spain Park at Hoover (September 9)

We couldn’t start this list without these two city rivals at the top. Last year marked the first time the Jaguars beat the Bucs on the field since Spain Park came into existence. Technically the record books show 12-3 in favor of Hoover, but that counts the 2007 game where Hoover had to forfeit games, including their 23-7 win over the Jags. This year’s contest heads back to the Hoover Met as reclassification gave Hoover the home game for the second year in a row. The Bucs only put up 6 total points on the Jag’s tough defense last season, but Spain Park didn’t have much offense either, only scoring 24 points total between both games. This year’s game will be great, and set the tone early for how the region will play out.

6A Region 6: Clay-Chalkville at Gardendale (September 30)

We thought this would be a great game last year as well, but after a close first half, Clay opened it up to win 52-27. Clay holds the series lead in this one 4-0, but all of us here at JoxPreps think this could be Gardendale’s year to grab a region title – and it starts with beating Clay. Clay loses Ty Pigrome and TJ Simmons, both all-star players who are playing for power five conferences this upcoming season. This is the year for the Rockets to strike and finally get a win over Clay, and possibly get their first region title since 2006.

3A Region 3: Gordo at American Christian (October 7)

This 3A match-up includes two teams we have fighting for not only the region title, but the state title as well. Gordo loses Ben Davis, and both teams are losing multiple all-state players, but both are returning multiple all-state players as well. This will be a huge game when it takes place this season, and will definitely be for the region title in our minds. This game is in Tuscaloosa, so expect ACA to be hungry to try and win their first region title since 2011.

5A Region 1: St. Pauls vs. Jackson (September 30)

Although St. Paul’s has won two state titles in a row, they actually lost this game last season to allow Jackson to grab the region title. However, St. Paul’s has dominated this series for the most part with 10+ point victories in every other game. While it’s a new rivalry, as Jackson used to be 4A in the old system, it’s definitely one of the best in south Alabama as one of these two teams is typically projected to play in the Super 7. This game will be in Jackson this year, and the Aggies will look to win the regular season meeting again, then try to hold on and win the rematch later in the year as well, if it happens.

6A Region 1: Blount at Saraland (September 9)

While Spanish Fort has been the big dog in this region the last two years, Saraland and Blount have been right there as well, with Saraland playing in the state title game just two years ago. Last year, Blount won this match-up by 4 points to end the season and get some momentum heading into the playoffs. This season, the game is a little earlier in the season, but we think both of these teams can possibly challenge for the region title.

7A Region 4: James Clemens at Hewitt (October 21)

The final region game for both of these teams comes on October 21 in Trussville. It’s Hewitt’s last game of the season, but James Clemens still has Austin on their schedule. We like both of these teams to be near the top of region 4, so if that’s the case, this could end up being a region title game. The Huskies are in a completely new region, after being bumped up to the Huntsville area region, so they will have a lot of traveling to do. The Jets defense last year was great, so we’re looking to see if they can head south and play as well as they did last year.

7A Region 2: Prattville at Central-Phenix City (October 21)

This one is always great, but especially now with former Prattville coach Jamey Dubose at the helm for the Red Devils. Dubose won a couple of state titles with the Lions, and since coming to Central, has won both region titles. Prattville struggled last year, not even making the playoffs after losing three straight games to end region play. Central opens with Hoover, and that will show us a lot about the Red Devils this year, which will feature Alabama commit LB Markail Benton, along with CB Karon Delince.

1A Region 2: Georgiana at Brantley (September 16)

After missing out on the region title last year thanks to a loss from Georgiana, the Brantley Bulldogs are looking to get back in the swing of winning titles this season. They have won 20 region titles in the last 24 seasons, and are typically a dominant program. They were on a 4-year title streak until Georgiana stopped them last season. This season, they head to Brantley as the Bulldogs will be out for revenge.

3A Region 5: Randolph County at Piedmont (September 9)

Last year’s state title winner is looking to repeat again as both region and state champion. They pick up Randolph County from 2A into their region this season, and find out quickly whether the Tigers can hang in 3A this season or not. Piedmont has been on fire since winning the state championship in 2009, winning four region titles, earning 11+ wins in all but one season, and going 14-5 in the playoffs with another state title last year. Randolph County got close last season, but ended up falling to Fyffe in the semifinals. This will be a good test for both team early on in the season to see where they stand this year.

6A Region 4: Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa at McAdory (September 16)

McAdory has dominated the Tuscaloosa/Bessemer region, winning the last four region titles, and winning nine titles since 2004. However, they have only ever made the state title game once, losing to Spanish Fort 45-14 in 2012. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa returns running back Brian Robinson, who was lights out last year and looks to be even better this season. Robinson has already committed to Alabama to follow in the long line of successful running backs there, so he can make a stamp on this season by helping his team beat McAdory and win a region title, and possibly even more.

What games are you looking forward to this season? Hit us on @JoxPreps and let us know!