Second season always more intense
It’s time to forget just how you did during the regular season because the postseason begins tonight. I must say this is my favorite time of the year. The intensity and effort always goes up this time of year for all teams.
This year, we have teams like Chilton County who can erase the memory of a losing season by upsetting some teams in the playoffs. Then, you have others like Billingsley, Isabella and Jemison who are trying to let their good seasons carry over.
Let’s see just who is going where tonight.
CCHS at No. 3 Shelby County
The Tigers from Clanton have a tall order tonight as the Wildcats from Columbiana just finished up an undefeated season. Tae Lewis and Darion Sutton are a tough duo to stop. Just ask Jemison. CCHS’s offense must take control of the line of scrimmage and run the ball effectively. That will take pressure off the passing game and the defense. If CCHS cannot run the ball, then it could be tough sledding against mighty Shelby County.
Jemison at No. 9 Handley
The Panthers have a big load to bring down in Handley’s 260-pound running back, Ladarious Phillips. However, I’m hoping Jemison’s Merell Morrow will help the Panthers keep Phillips off the field on offense. Whoever runs the ball better will likely win this game. I expect this to be a pretty even matchup.
No. 6 Loachapoka at Maplesville
The Red Devils may appear to be the underdog, but I think these two teams are much more evenly matched. Maplesville will have to rely on their new game-breaker, Hunter McCay. He has the ability to take it to the house. When the defenses try to key on him, then the Red Devils must have another playmaker step up to make the defense pay.
Isabella at Saint Jude
This is a team the Mustangs are familiar with. Brian Donovan must continue to be the game-breaker he has been all season, and the defense must not allow any big plays. If Saint Jude scores, Isabella must make them drive it down the field.
Billingsley at No. 4 Wadley
The Bears are familiar with Wadley, but this Billingsley team is different from the one that lost to Wadley last year. Billingsley cannot afford to get intimidated. They can’t get down on themselves, especially if they fall behind early. The Bears have shown they can play with the best in Class 1A, and they can prove it with a win tonight.
Marbury at Gordo
The Bulldogs are going to try to surf the Green Wave tonight. I don’t really know what to expect, but I do know Pierre and Wesley Warren will be the offensive leaders. How they perform is how well Marbury will compete tonight. For them to work well, the Dawgs’ offensive line must win the battle of big-man-on-big-man.