Now that we are near the midpoint of the season, some teams appear to have their identities figured out while others continue to work on some kinks.
This week will feature all region affairs, as teams are either looking to make up ground, keep pace, or in one team’s case, garner some breathing room atop the standings.
Here’s a quick glance at this Friday’s slate of action.
Benjamin Russell @ Pell City
Last week: BRHS beat Eufaula 55-0, Pell City lost to Class 6A No. 4 Opelika 53-0
Series: BRHS leads, 8-0
2013 result: Have not played each other since 1999 (BRHS won, 28-7)
The low down: After its most impressive outing of the season, BRHS heads into this contest sitting at a strong 3-1 but with no region victories to its credit.
The Wildcats will try to change that against a Pell City team fresh off a game it would like to forget. A win for BRHS puts the ‘Cats right in the mix for the No. 2 slot in Class 6A-Region 2.
However, it won’t be easy, as the Panthers are also 3-1 and have a leg up in region play, having beaten Chilton County two weeks ago.
Dadeville vs. Holtville
Last week: Dadeville beat Childersburg, 15-0; Holtville lost to Handley, 55-0
Series: DHS leads, 20-6-1
2013 result: DHS won, 32-13
The low down: The Dadeville Tigers were able to right the ship enough to get a shutout win over Childersburg and keep pace in region standings. With 0-4 Holtville coming to town, DHS has a shot to get on a roll.
However, given the offensive struggles Dadeville has contended with this season, no game is to be considered a lock for the Tigers. Holtville also features one of the most dominant defenders Dadeville will see in defensive lineman Will Hogan (111 tackles – 42 for loss – and 14 sacks in 2013).
Central-Coosa @ Randolph Co.
Last week: Central-Coosa lost to Midfield 41-6; Randolph Co. beat Woodland 28-12
Series: Randolph Co. leads 8-6
2013 result: Have not played since 2001 (MHS won, 38-6)
The low down: The short-handed Cougars were no match for the Midfield Patriots last week, and look to put up a better fight against an improved Randolph County squad that claimed a comfortable win over Woodland.
Central-Coosa, which has had some trouble slowing down opponents in the run game, may come into this game battered at pivotal positions, which may leave them vulnerable to RCHS. If Coosa wants to avoid an 0-4 start, they’ll have to shore up their defense and get more contributions from those healthy enough to step on the field.
Horseshoe Bend vs. Reeltown
Last week: Horseshoe Bend beat LaFayette 14-0; Reeltown was idle
Series: RHS leads, 12-0
2013 result: RHS won, 34-14
The low down: Horseshoe Bend got in the win column with an exceptional defensive effort, and the Generals will try to keep it going against the Class 2A No. 7 Rebels. Reeltown will have had roughly two weeks to rest up and prepare for the Generals’ Wing-T attack by the time kickoff rolls around.
Expect a physical contest between the two run-based teams, where success will be determined by which team’s stable of backs is able to find the most running room. This game also features Reeltown’s Paul Hodges and Horseshoe Bend’s Thristian Millen, two of the best defensive linemen in the area.
Lyman Ward vs. Sherwood Christian (Ga.)
Last week: Lyman Ward lost to Crenshaw Christian, 48-14; Sherwood Christian beat Fullington Academy (Ga.), 28-0
Series: First meeting.
2013 result: First meeting
The low down: The Rangers continue to show fight in every game that they play, but it has yet to translate to victories to put on the board. Lyman Ward will step up and try again when they welcome Sherwood Christian Academy from Albany, Ga.
After a 20-13 loss to Abbeville Christian Academy to open the year, Sherwood has since reeled off two straight victories, with the most recent triumph a shutout win.
Sherwood has kept most of its opponents under wraps, and have typically been involved in defense-dictated games this year. If Lyman Ward can hold the fort against Sherwood’s offense, perhaps the Rangers can find a way to pull the upset.
See The Outlook throughout the week for in-depth previews.