Football region play resumes FridayBy Stephen Dawkins Published 2:38pm Thursday, September 29, 2011
The conclusion of last week’s games marked the halfway point of the high school football regular season.
Last week brought non-region games for local teams, but this week begins a stretch of region contests that will decide who plays in the postseason.
If the playoffs started this week, three local teams would be included: Billingsley, Jemison and Maplesville.
Maplesville is tied with Autaugaville and Pickens County for first in Class 1A, Region 4 with a 3-0 region record, but the Red Devils still have their toughest tests ahead of them.
MHS hosts Pickens County and visits Autaugaville on successive weeks, Oct. 7 and 14.
Should the Devils defeat both those teams as they did last year, they would be rewarded by hosting the first round of the state playoffs, on Nov. 4.
The top four teams in each region are given playoff berths, while the top two teams in each region host first-round games.
Jemison also appears headed toward a playoff spot and would like for it to include hosting in the first round.
The Panthers are currently third in Class 4A, Region 4—behind Bibb County and Greene County—but will have a chance to make their move on Oct. 21 when they visit Greene County.
Billingsley is tied with Francis Marion for third place in Class 2A, Region 4 and thus is clinging to the region’s final playoff spot. The Bears host Marion on Oct. 14 but first must be on guard against upset-minded R.C. Hatch this Friday night.
A Hatch win would give them the inside track to the playoffs.
The region also includes local teams Isabella and Thorsby, but they have combined for only one region win.
Verbena is in a similar position in Class 1A, Region 3. The Red Devils are winless in region games and tied for last in the group.
Chilton County is also winless in Class 5A, Region 4 play. The Tigers still control their own destiny, though, with games remaining on the schedule against four of the five teams tied with or ahead of them in the region standings.
What team currently on the outside looking in has the best chance of making the playoffs?
- Isabella (40%, 12 Votes)
- Verbena (40%, 12 Votes)
- Chilton Co. (13%, 4 Votes)
- Thorsby (7%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 30
Friday night’s games
Thorsby (1-4) at American Christian (4-1)
Thorsby picked up its first win of the season last week, but now the task is much tougher: a visit to an American Christian team who has outscored opponents by an average of 58-18. Pick: American Christian
R.C. Hatch (2-3) at Billingsley (3-2)
This game between two teams that appear to be fairly evenly matched will likely decide who has the inside track to a playoff berth. Give Billingsley a slight edge for home field advantage. Pick: Billingsley
Selma (3-2) at Chilton Co. (0-5)
Sooner or later, something has to go Chilton County’s way, right? Right? The Tigers seem to be inventing ways to lose, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. CCHS is young and inexperienced, but they’re too talented not to win soon. Pick: Chilton Co.
Chilton Christian (4-1) at Faith
Chilton Christian Academy’s first-year football team is coming on strong. The Patriots have won four consecutive games, and two of them were away from home. Pick: Chilton Christian
Verbena (2-3) at Fayetteville (0-5)
Just when it seemed Verbena was heading in the wrong direction, the Red Devils pulled out an impressive win at Isabella last week. That outcome should give the Devils confidence and momentum. Pick: Verbena
Central-Hayneville (0-4) at Isabella (2-3)
Central-Hayneville is coming off a bye week, and Isabella is coming off a disappointing home loss to rival Verbena. But it shouldn’t matter. IHS has too much offensive and defensive firepower. Pick: Isabella
Southside-Selma (0-5) at Jemison (4-1)
This is a bad matchup for visiting Southside-Selma. The Panthers are allowing an average of 54 points per game, while host JHS is scoring an average of 45 per game. Pick: Jemison
Maplesville (5-0) at John Essex (1-4)
Unbeaten Maplesville doesn’t appear to be slowing down. The Red Devils have scored at least 35 points in every game this season, highlighted by a season-high 54 points against Billingsley last week. Pick: Maplesville
Picks record: 20-11