What did we learn?
– Andalusia and UMS-Wright have made it to Week 3 nearly unscathed if not for a 7-6 loss to Mary Montgomery for Wright. As we’ve watched these two teams Weeks 0 through 2, it’s looked like Andalusia is the better team coming in, but Wright’s lone loss is to a 7A squad and the game is in Mobile. It will indeed be a dog fight, perhaps the most intense game of the week next to Hoover vs Spain Park. The winner will be in the driver’s seat of Region 1.
– Haleyville has a chance to prove their legitimacy this weekend. Coming off a 42-0 thumping of Hamilton, the Lions are playing some great football at the right time, because they’ll be hosting the top-ranked Cordova Blue Devils. The winner will control their destiny with Fayette County moving forward and perhaps set the tone for where the road to Auburn will run through.
– Hillcrest-Evergreen picked up the biggest win of the weekend in 3A with a 19-13 victory over Flomaton. In a five-horse race for four spots, beating the Hurricanes was critical for the Jags to get a head start. With the four 1-0 Region 1 teams all playing each other, that win will be extremely beneficial to have out of the way.
– The Cinderella season hit a bump in the road for the Holly Pond Broncos. Holly Pond had a lead over J.B. Pennington but couldn’t hold on as the Tigers knocked off the Broncos, 34-32. Holly Pond, who had suffered a 29-game losing streak from 2013 to 2015, was in the middle of a three-game winning streak looking to make it four. Still, Holly Pond has a chance to make this season their most special in a long time. They’ll take on winless Susan Moore. If they lose to the Bulldogs, it could make things a lot more difficult for their playoff chances.
– Elba held serve at home against upset-minded New Brockton. The 28-14 score is not indicative of how close the game really was, and thankfully there was no on-field brawl in this year’s match-up. New Brockton was down 20-14 and driving with under a minute to go before Rob English picked off a late pass and took it back for a touchdown to seal the win for the reigning 2A champions. Let’s hope we get to see this one again in November.
-Maplesville put the rest of Region 3 to shame when they took Notasulga out to the woodshed with a 40-0 beatdown. In a week where region opposition Highland Home (57-12), Loachapoka (82-44), and Isabella (48-12) made their own statements to Maplesville, the Red Devils drove the point home that they’re the king of not only Region 3 but Class 1A in their first game of the regular season.
Who stood out?
Jacksonville – What has gotten into the Golden Eagles? Jacksonville made their initial statement holding down a great Alexandria rushing attack. This past week, the Eagles whacked Saks, a team who’s been a consistent region contender recently, 63-24. It could not have been a more emphatic declaration to the rest of Class 4A that a new player is involved in the hunt to Auburn.
Ohatchee – Who thought the Indians would be one of Piedmont’s biggest challengers coming into 2016? With Glencoe, Weaver, Walter Wellborn, and Randoplh County all involved in the race, Ohatchee seemed like another notch in the belt for the others. News flash: that isn’t happening. Ohatchee went into Weedowee and made sure everyone was clear the Indians want to be a factor in the Region 5 race and Piedmont’s chase for back-to-back state titles as they whipped Randolph County, 34-6.
Leroy – When the Bears beat 4A Satsuma in Week 1, it was written off as a victory over a proverbial below average Gators squad. Boy was that the wrong impression. Leroy followed that win up with an offensive clinic over region favorties Washington County. The Bears had fallen on tough times and average seasons since losing Danny Powell and Johnny Wright. They finally turned the corner with their 55-32 win and are firmly locked in as the new favorites for a region title.
Players of the Week
Omar Brown (RB, North Jackson) – Brown ran for 273 yards on 24 carries and scored five times as the Chiefs cruised to a 40-18 victory over D.A.R.
Troy Young (RB, Mobile Christian) – Young helped Mobile Christian bounce back from forfeiting their first win due to an ineligible player during the week. He finished with 13 carries, 170 yards, and a touchdown in the 37-14 win over Excel.
Jayson Jones (QB/DB, Fultondale) – The freshman did it every way possible against Hanceville. Jones led the Wildcats with a rushing touchdown, a pick-six, and a punt return touchdown in the 59-8 win.
Chadarius Townsend (ATH, Tanner) – The Alabama commit had a big night with four touchdowns and 291 yards on 18 carries as the Rattlers took care of West End, 41-16.