Last Week’s scores
Ragland 53 Victory Christian 14
Oneonta 39 Ashville 14
Central Clay Co. 41 Moody 7
Huffman 28 Pell City 14
Munford 45 Springville 14
Center Point 22 St. Clair 7
Leeds Green Wave (1-3) vs. Ohatchee Indians (4-0)
Leeds should not sit back and think they have an easy matchup at home against a Class 2A opponent. Ohatchee, ranked fourth in Class 2A last week, is a dominant offensive unit that runs over opponents with its explosive rushing attack. The Indians beat a highly regarded Westbrook Christian team last week with its body punching running combo of quarterback (#11) Grayson Alward and flashy tailback (#7) Domonique Thomas. The duo combined for nearly 300 yards rushing last week, and there is no reason to change strategy against the Green Wave. The Indians line up with eight guys on the offensive line, with Alward taking shotgun snaps, joined by Thomas and sophomore fullback (#40) Aiden Simpson. Leeds will need to outmuscle that line, and know that Simpson is the axis of attack. Get through Simpson, and slow down Alward’s designed quarterback runs and Thomas’ stretched out runs before they can follow their blockers downfield.
Ohatchee will have seen on game film the Green Wave’s defensive struggles this season and look to take advantage. Leeds is vulnerable defensively, having surrendered nearly 40 points per game this season. Still, this is a Class 4A vs. Class 2A matchup, so Leeds does have the numbers advantage.
Moody Blue Devils (1-3) @ Shelby County Wildcats (1-4)
Moody’s season is actually a tale of two seasons. The Blue Devils finished a brutal stretch of games against ranked opponents Etowah County, Sylacauga and soon to be ranked Central Clay. The next four games will reveal whether the Blue Devils can recover and beat some teams they are supposed to beat, starting with a very important non-regional road game in Columbiana.
The Blue Devils might be catching the Wildcats at the wrong time. After a demoralizing 0-4 start, Shelby County dominated last week in their 44-18 win against Marbury. The Wildcats have a well balanced triple-option attack, featuring two running backs (#6) senior Chase Franklin and (#4) Raheem Montgomery who both rushed for more than 100 yards last week. The Blue Devils will be wary of stacking the box to key on the run because Wildcats quarterback (#5) Chase Holliman is very effective at going over the top, proven last week with his three touchdowns through the air. Defensively the Wildcats are led by Franklin, who plays as an outside linebacker and seems to be all over each play.
Ragland Purple Devils (1-4) @ West End Walnut Grove Patriots (0-4)
Ragland roared to life last week, securing their first victory of the season in a scorching display of offense. The purple Devils hope to continue their winning ways with a visit to winless West End.
Class 2A West End is plagued with an anemic defense that has surrendered over 60 points in each of their last four games. Ragland has athletic talent, and playing sideline to sideline would give the Patriots’ defense more than they can handle. West End has trouble pursuing fast runners and have shown little ability to wrap up and gang tackle. Ragland’s running and play-action attack is perfectly suited to shred the Patriots’ defense. The Purple Devils may want to flow plays away from Patriots’ senior defensive end (#15) Michael Patton, who seems to be the best in a pretty pedestrian group.
Offensively West End has some performers. Quarterback (#4) Jacob Jones has an effective running back in junior (#34) Levi Armstrong. Ragland will surrender points this week, but should put up more points than West End.
Springville Tigers (1-4) vs. Crossville Lions (1-4)
For the first time in 20 years the Tigers will be taking on a Crossville team that has had a similar season to Springville out of Region 6. Aside from beating up on winless Douglas to snap a ten game losing streak, the Lions have been struggled to compete against the remaining teams on their schedule.
Springville’s defense can neutralize Crossville’s offense if they can neutralize quarterback Trent Bryant. The Lions’ senior play-caller has some wheels and plays with a lot of passion, but he is the leader of essentially a one-man band. Except for a couple decent wide receivers in (#3) Cameron Adkins and junior slot back Ethan Tully, the support is just not there for Bryant, and if he is stopped, Crossville will be stopped.
When Springville is on offense, look for a reliance on the running game and a battle in the trenches. The Tigers boast a bigger and more athletic o-line than Crossville, and should be successful on the ground. The best defensive player on the Lions squad is senior cornerback (#9) Jay Luther. Keep the plays away from Luther’s direction should be enough for Springville to take this home game.
Victory Christian Lions (3-1) vs. Coosa Christian Conquerors (2-2)
After an opening three game stretch in which the Lions looked unstoppable, a wakeup call came last week in a stunning regional loss to Ragland. This week Victory Christian must regroup and focus their efforts against a quality opponent in Coosa Christian.
The Conquerors’ offense is potent and dangerous. Quarterback Caiden Lipscomb is a three year starter who has the ability to look of defenders and attack through the air all over the field. Lipscomb also has great legs and a motor that lets him have big burst of long runs. Joining Lipscomb in the backfield is Coosa Christian’s most lethal weapon - Dartavious Britton, who seems always ready to break through the line and crack off a 50 yard touchdown at any moment. Through the air Lipscomb loves to target Caleb Cates, who has gathered up several long catches this season.
Pell City Panthers (2-3), Ashville Bulldogs (1-4), St. Clair County Saints (1-4) all have byes this week.