What did we learn?
– Enterprise looks to be the real deal from a distance. But it may just be smoke and mirrors if they can’t get by Auburn this week. The Wildcats took down 6A stragglers Dothan and Northview (combined 1-7) before they beat up on a lost Prattville (1-3) program in Week 2. This past Friday, they pitched a shutout against Jeff Davis (2-2) but in ugly fashion. There’s no telling just how good Enterprise is until these next three weeks play out. They’ll host Auburn on Friday, then play Central-Phenix City on the 30th with a non-region game against Theodore sandwiched. If the Wildcats get by Auburn, Central better be on notice for more than just Lee-Montgomery.
– This past week was a perfect example of why Region 3 is seen as a “Region of Death.” While Hoover poked a giant hole in Spain Park’s plans to go for back-to-back region titles, Huffman (yes, Huffman!) was busy the night before stamping their name as tied for the region lead with the Bucs after a big win over Tuscaloosa County. The team the Vikings beat the week before, Oak Mountain, dominated Vestavia Hills to put the Rebels at 0-2 in region play. Mountain Brook, who had been exposed last week by Hoover, bounced back to take down Thompson and muddy up the early playoff picture. It’s a game of Russian Roulette with these match-ups, none bigger in the grand scheme of things than Huffman heading to Vestavia. If Huffman, who was written off as dead to rights in the preseason, can spring a win over Vestavia to move to 3-0, it’d take an epic meltdown to keep them out of November.
– Pinson Valley pulled off the biggest stunner of the weekend when they ended Clay-Chalkville’s 77-game streak of scoring at least 20 points when they took down the Cougars 21-14 in overtime at Willie Adams Stadium. The Indians played as well on defense as ever under Matt Glover, holding the Clay offense to just 230 yards and seven points in four quarters. The loss clears the way for the Gardendale-Minor winner Friday to gain control of their destiny in the region title hunt. Clay’s not out but their wounded, and Pinson put themselves into the conversation.
– This week is full of early possible region champion deciders. While Spanish Fort is very much their biggest threat, Blount has a chance to take B.C. Rain out of the conversation in Region 1. Sidney Lanier and Carver-Montgomery will decide who has the best chance to take down Park Crossing in Region 2. Benjamin Russell vs Opelika, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa vs McAdory, Parker vs Ramsay, and Gardendale vs Minor are all match-ups of the only two remaining unbeaten teams in their respective regions. Albertville vs Oxford and Muscle Shoals vs Hartselle will eliminate another unbeaten from Regions 7 and 8 with Pell City and Hazel Green waiting in the wings.
– Like 6A, 5A has a big week for separation at the top. Carroll hosts Eufaula in Region 2. Demopolis at Calera in Region 3. Cleburne Co. at Central Clay Co in Region 4. Fairfield at Briarwood in Region 5. Mae Jemison at Russellville in Region 8. It is truly a Frantic Friday coming in a few days. And the crazy thing is we still have potential for more like this in coming weeks in Regions 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7. Buckle up.
– Etowah’s win over Guntersville has turned things in Region 7 a bit upside down in some eyes. Scottsboro, Etowah, and Arab lead the way while Alexandria and Guntersville are left a game behind early. Guntersville has a chance to bounce back and muddy up the picture even more when they host Scottsboro. The amazing thing is the possibility of an Etowah-Scottsboro quarterback showdown between Arkansas commit Daulton Hyatt and sophomore prodigy Bo Nix on October 21st, the last week of region play, with a region title on the line.
Who stood out?
Huffman – Say it with me: the Huffman Vikings are tied with Hoover for the lead in 7A Region 3. Now pinch yourself. Nope, you’re not dreaming. It was seen as unthinkable that Huffman could get two wins in this region let alone within the first two games they played. We thought perhaps they could play spoiler to someone’s playoff dreams and open the way for another team, but never in our wildest dreams did we think this was in the realm of possibility. Alas, Huffman has put themselves in an enviable position to take control of their playoff future with wins over Oak Mountain and Tuscaloosa County. A win over Vestavia Hills this week would make it near impossible for them to stay home in early November.
Blount – Yes, they’re #3 in 6A. So how could they stand out? Easy, they took Saraland to the woodshed in a battle that was supposed to be about a quarterback dual. Instead, Jack West took lumps from Blount’s defense while Kadarrius Toney showed why he’s considered one of the best in the state. Toney accounted for four touchdowns (three on the ground) in a 42-7 rout of the Spartans. It’s all lining up for a showdown with Spanish Fort, but the Leopards have an unexpected challenge from B.C. Rain in Mobile this week.
Eufaula – The Tigers encountered an early snag against 6A Wetumpka, but they’ve shown out otherwise. This past week reiterated how serious Eufaula is about winning a region title. They went into Liveville and took down Central Clay County 17-10 in a battle of potential region winners. The Tigers are looking just as good on defense as last year and with Greenville looking down, they have a great chance to take a league crown home. Their biggest roadblock comes this week when they head to Ozark to take on unbeaten Carroll. These two have met 71 times with Eufaula 47-22-2 and on a 13-game winning streak in the series. Carroll’s last win over the Tigers came in 1998.
Players of the Week
James Clemons (WR, Davidson) – Clemons finished with 5 catches for 147 yards and three touchdowns as the Warriors won 41-21 over Baker.
Garrett Morris (RB, Auburn) – Morris added to Prattville’s woes with 193 yards on 13 carries, two rushing touchdowns, and a passing touchdown in the 31-14 win.
Reynard Ellis (RB, Shades Valley) – Eillis pulled the rarely seen Ironman performance with 140 yards and three scores on eight carries as well as 15 tackles with two for loss on defense.
Keyshawn Harper (RB, B.C. Rain) – Harper got some momentum going into the Red Raiders’ big game against Blount. He finished with 36 carries for 292 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-24 win over Gulf Shores.
Diamonte Douglas (QB, Lee-Huntsville) – Douglas pulled off a miracle for the Generals as he scored all five touchdowns for Lee in their 34-28 overtime win against Brooks. The first four came in the fourth quarter trailing 14-0. He finished 19-of-25 for 222 yards, three touchdowns and an interception as well as 147 yards and two scores on 24 carries.