What did we learn?
– McGill-Toolen stands alone in the southern half of Class 7A after a dominant win over Murphy. With the way Central Phenix City played in Week 0, we need to see how they handle Opelika on the 23rd and the rest of their region schedule. McGill is clearly the measuring stick to hurdle to get to Auburn for Regions 1 and 2.
– Spain Park and Hewitt-Trussville look to be on a collision course for the northern half semi-final if the early part of the season is indication. We’ll find out who takes the lead in Region 3’s race between the Jags and Hoover as they meet at The Met. Meanwhile, Hewitt will still have to go through Bob Jones and James Clemens. The first of those is still a few weeks away, but their offense needs to look more like it did against Manatee (FL) and less like it did against Gadsden City.
– Something’s wrong in Homewood. The Patriots have lost their last two games, and while there may be growing pains, Homewood is already in a bad spot with a loss to a potential region winner in Parker and an upcoming game at hungry Jackson-Olin. That’s not to forget how good Ramsay has looked so far and Hueytown’s 3-0 start. The Pats better right the ship fast if they want to have a shot at the region title, perhaps even to have a first round home game.
– Gardendale handled their business out of region play with Pell City. Three region opponents (Carver-Birmingham, Clay-Chalkville, Minor) as well as Hueytown, Albertville, Oxford, Southside-Gadsden, and Hartselle are all out to 3-0 starts from the north. Conversely, the southern half has just three teams at 3-0. Scheduling and competition throughout the north may play a factor in this, or maybe the northern half of 6A is better this year than expected. Time will tell, and at least one of those 3-0 teams is bound to be 3-1 when the Rockets host Carver.
– Russellville found out how tough their revamped Region 8 will be these next two years as Lee-Huntsville took them to the brink in a great match-up. The Golden Tigers survived 38-35 as they’ll next face Lawrence County. Beware of Brooks and Mae Jemison when Russellville finally faces them.
– Meanwhile on the other side of the state, Jackson and St. Paul’s continue their roads toward intersecting in the most anticipated 5A game the last few years. That’ll take place at the end of the month, but enjoy the ride getting there for now. The Aggies won 48-20 over Faith Academy while the Saints decimated Wilcox Central, 49-8.
Who stood out?
Enterprise – There was no bigger development in 7A on Friday night than what happened in Prattville. The Lions hosted Enterprise for Homecoming, first big mistake. They then fumbled the ball which was returned for the first of many touchdowns for Enterprise, second big mistake. Prattville’s offense then proceeded to amount just 47 yards in the first half and 10 yards in the third quarter. The Lions added 122 yards in the fourth quarter against the Wildcats’ backups. That is just ridiculous. Oh how the mighty Lions have fallen.
Chelsea – The Hornets stood tall and fought tooth-and-nail with Wetumpka to a 35-28 win at home. Chelsea is coming off another improved year under Chris Elmore, finishing 3rd in Region 3 with a playoff appearance. These Hornets want to take that to the next level, but if to do it they’ll need to first beat one of the two teams that have beaten them the last two years when they head to Alexander City and face Benjamin Russell.
Carroll – The only real head-turner on opening week for region play in 5A came from Region 2 where the Eagles not only knocked off but beat up Charles Henderson. It was certainly unexpected considering the Trojans were in the state title game just two seasons ago. Carroll made it clear not to underestimate them in their new but familiar region home.
Players of the Week
Devin Kimbrough (QB, Sparkman) – Went 25-of-36 for 320 yards and three touchdowns and a rushing touchdown to help Sparkman upset Buckhorn in New Market, 29-22.
Jacoby Johnson (RB, Huffman) – Johnson helped the Vikings get off to a good start in 7A Region 3 with 247 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in a 27-11 victory over Oak Mountain.
Jalen Wayne (WR, Spanish Fort) – Wayne finished with 194 yards and three scores on seven catches in a 38-10 win over Gulf Shores to help the Toros start 2-0 in Region 1.
William Gray (QB, Briarwood) – Not often is someone picked only throwing five passes, but Gray went 5-for-5 for 190 yards and had four touchdowns in the first quarter (three pass, one rush) and a fifth touchdown in the second quarter in a 42-6 rout of Moody.