Oak Mountain playing inspired football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I owe the Oak Mountain Eagles an apology.

Since taking over the sports editor job in week four of the prep football season, I have twice picked the Eagles to lose in big games &045; once to the Pelham Panthers and again last week against the Decatur Red Rockets. Both times I was soundly proven wrong.

Oak Mountain is playing inspired football right now under the leadership of quarterback Richie Fordham and a talented backfield in Nick Anderson, James Hope and Zack Fowler. The Eagles (9-3) face a difficult opponent in the quarterfinal round of the 6A playoffs this week, however, as they host Clay-Chalkville (10-2) at Heardmont Park Friday night. The ninth-ranked Cougars defeated Mountain Brook last week, 28-14.

The old &8220;third time is the charm&8221; saying is out the window.

– Shelby County Game of the Week Prediction: Oak Mountain 28, Clay-Chalkville 27.

The Briarwood Lions find themselves in a rematch this week against Benjamin Russell, after defeating B.C. Rain in a shortened week, 30-0, in Mobile. The Lions are confident behind quarterback Barrett Trotter who has lit up defenses all year long. Benjamin-Russell defeated 10-1 Eufaula this week, 21-10. Briarwood defeated Benjamin-Russell, 34-20, in Week 7.

Look for more of the same this week as the Lions cruise into the semifinal round of the 5A playoffs.

– Prediction: Briarwood 35, Benjamin-Russell 13.

The Chelsea Hornets (10-2) have bent in the past two games but refused to break. Five interception against East Limestone last week helped move the Hornets into the quarterfinal round and a game against Alexandria (11-1). The Hornets head out on the road after playing their first two playoff games at home. Head coach Watt Parker said he is confident in his team’s ability to perform well on the road, however; and they have the track record to prove it. Chelsea only lost two road games this year, to Dora and Class 5A rival Shelby County.

– Prediction: Chelsea 21, Alexandria 10