What did we learn?
– There were some significant losses in big games this past week for 4A. Leeds went down at the hands of 3A #1 Piedmont. North Jackson was handled by 5A Scottsboro. Thomasville lost to rival Jackson. Tallassee was edged out at home by T.R. Miller. Bibb County lost to Montevallo for the first time 2004. 4A took their lumps this past weekend even though they got good wins from Cherokee County, Rogers, Cordova, and Andalusia.
– Heading into Week 6, there will be no match-ups between region unbeatens, but there can be some shakeups. An Andalusia win over Thomasville would keep a three-way tie for first in play for Region 1. Same with Oak Grove and West Blocton in Region 4. Saks can muddy up the race led by Jacksonville and Cherokee County when they face the Warriors. Most of the games this week will be teams trying to stave off challengers from the bottom half of region standings. This creates plenty of upset opportunities.
– Week 5 continued to see the dominance of Region 5. While they did suffer their first losses outside of region play with Glencoe and Pleasant Valley, their combined record is still 26-11. Piedmont and Ohatchee continue to lead the way at 6-0 a piece. They’ll have some tough match-ups this week with Weaver and Walter Wellborn, who would like nothing more than to turn the two-horse race into a four-team battle royal.
– North Alabama takes center stage this week as there are three games between region unbeatens. In Region 6, Fultondale travels to Blountsville to take on J.B. Pennington. Region 7 will feature North Sand Mountain heading to New Hope. And in Region 8, a three-team race will be guaranteed at least one less unbeaten as Lauderdale County hosts Lexington. Region pictures will be just a little clearer as we enter the back end of region play.
– G.W. Long survived a grueling battle at home with New Brockton. The Gamecocks have been so close this year to beating some of the best 2A has to offer, but they can’t get over the hump. Long finished the clash with a 47-yard field goal as time expired, likely retaining their #1 ranking. Meanwhile, Elba was stunned by 3A Daleville to drop their first game of the year. Fyffe, Cleveland, and Sheffield all made nice statements in interclass victories.
– 1A had one of the better weekends of any classification. While there are plenty of opportunities to hand out upsets, we didn’t actually expect so many to follow through. Maplesville beating Dallas County wasn’t surprising. Beating them by 38 was. Same with how Linden destroyed Washington County by 48. Region 4 had wins over three teams from 2A. And of course, South Lamar pitched a shutout over 5A Curry.
Who stood out?
Hale County – The Wildcats were 1-4 coming into Week 6 and had only beaten Holt in region play. They were giving up 36.2 points a game coming in. Then, lightning struck in Centerville as Hale County rode four Xavien Banks second half touchdowns to a comeback road win in the first match-up between the two schools since 1979. Now, the Cats must walk from the frying pan and into the fire when they take on West Blocton back home in Moundville. Its the worst possible time to face the Tigers as theyre reeling from a six-point loss to Oak Grove that has thrown the region title race into a mess. If Hale County can overcome that hurdle, they may just find themselves in the midst of that race.
North Sand Mountain – The Bison notched a massive win in their belt by beating reigning region champion New Hope, 28-14. With the victory, North Sand Mountain is one win over Geraldine away from clinching the title outright and the top seed in the playoffs from Region 7.
Lamar County – The Bulldogs of Vernon just keep rolling. After losing their two opening non-region contests with South Lamar and Oakman, Lamar County has won five straight, including Berry-Fayette and Red Bay. Next up is a bye week followed by hosting region co-leader Sheffield. If Sheffield defeats Red Bay this week, that game on October 14th will be for the region title and top seed from Region 8.
Players of the Week
Tacorrie Russell (RB, Munford) – 12 carries, 178 yards, three touchdowns in 52-28 win over Elmore County
Xavien Banks (RB, Hale County) – 16 car, 183 yards, all four TDs came in 2nd half of comeback win 38-27 over region leader Bibb County
Tyson Teague (RB, West Morgan) – 207 rushing yards and three touchdowns as the Rebels beat East Lawrence 25-22
C.J. Cook (RB, Notasulga) – 8 carries, 273 yards (34 yds/carry), four touchdowns in 53-0 win over Ellwood Christian