Week six preview: Chelsea looks to re-sharpen its sting

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Weaknesses were exposed Friday night when Chelsea traveled to Chilton County. Hornets’ fans learned Garrett Salter was not Superman, as the Chilton defense became the first team to eliminate Salter from a game, holding him to just 38 yards rushing. The Hornets will need Salter’s ground game when Anniston comes to town for homecoming Friday, but even more so, the burden will lay on the shoulders of junior quarterback Blake Yance, who threw for a season-high 262 yards against Chilton. Defending the Class 5A, Region 5 title is not out of the question for Chelsea, it’s just time for the Hornets to sharpen their stingers as they enter the second half of the season. Chelsea won last year’s meeting, 51-46.

JACKETS GET REVENGE

The Vincent Yellow Jackets avenged last season’s 56-2 loss at Verbena Friday with a 32-8 win at home. The Yellow Jackets must now return to the region schedule and Fultondale stands in the way. The Wildcats got the best of Vincent last year, 14-12, and the Yellow Jackets must win to keep playoff hopes alive.

EAGLES COME HOME AFTER LOSS

Following the first loss of the season to Class 5A Shelby County, the Calera Eagles return to region action Friday as they play host to Beulah for homecoming. The Eagles struggled to find the running game against Shelby County, netting -9 yards on the game. With four consecutive region games over the next four weeks, the Eagles will need to open the run if they want to get back into Class 3A state contender shape.

DAWGS REGROUP AT HOME

The Montevallo Bulldogs found there’s no place like home Friday as the team regrouped for the homecoming win after two consecutive road losses. This week’s opponent, Montgomery Academy, has been the cream of the crop in Class 3A, Region 3 in recent years, but have struggled to a 3-2 record this year. The Eagles dominated 49-19 last season, but the Dawgs are looking for the upper hand for playoff contention.

YANCEY TAKES A CHANCEY

Briarwood head coach Fred Yancey took a huge gamble Friday and it paid off as the Lions’ head coach elected to go for two in double overtime in the come-from-behind win over Homewood. The Lions take on Talladega for homecoming Friday and Yancey will need big plays from quarterback Barrett Trotter, who struggled Friday, and Bo Walters, who was ejected against Homewood, to keep the undefeated streak alive.

WILDCATS WILD OVER WIN

Although it is tough to call a win by a Class 5A team over a 3A team an upset, Friday’s win over previously unbeaten Calera was a huge step in the right direction for Ryan Herring’s Wildcats. The running game, led by Tyrone Buie and Darion Sutton, clicked on all cylinders for the Wildcats and Shelby County will need that same effort against Dallas County for homecoming Friday.

OM EAGLES STILL FLYING HIGH

Jerry Hood’s Oak Mountain Eagles improved to 4-1 with a win over Paul Bryant Friday, but the honeymoon is over as the team faces a brutal four-game region schedule over the next four weeks. The Eagles face Carver at home Friday before going on the road to take on Spain Park and Mountain Brook. The Eagles’ final region game is a showdown with Hoover at Heardmont Park Oct. 26. Carver, who was defeated 70-0 by Hueytown Friday, should be the perfect tune up before Spain Park.

PANTHERS TRYING TO HANG ON

The Pelham Panthers have fallen on hard times lately, losing two straight. The good news is Friday’s loss at Oxford was not a region game, meaning the Panthers still only trail Hueytown by two games. Friday’s game at Jackson-Olin is the first of four-straight region games for Pelham and it should also be a warm-up for Hillcrest Oct. 12.

JAGUARS IN NEED OF A WIN

The Spain Park Jaguars got a much-needed win over Bob Jones Friday, but the team is in need of an even bigger win at Homewood this week as region play resumes. The Jaguars have fallen behind early in Class 6A, Region 6 play, but a win Friday could go a long way. Homewood is coming off an emotional 45-43 double-overtime loss at Briarwood and now is the perfect time for the Jags to unleash the defensive attack.

WARRIORS FACE HUGE TEST

The Thompson Warriors got back in the win column with a victory over Hayes Friday, but a huge test looms this week as the team travels to take on Tuscaloosa County. Although the Warriors have fallen behind in region play with two losses, four wins in the next four games would solidify a playoff spot for Thompson.

REBELS AND CHARGERS COLLIDE

Round 3-of-4 between Shelby County AISA teams takes place Friday as Coosa Valley plays host to Cornerstone. The Rebels fell to Shelby earlier in the season while the Chargers downed Shelby Friday. The Rebels have had a tough time stopping the run while the Chargers have lived by the run. If the Chargers can pull of the win Friday, they will have the upper hand in Class 1A, Region 1.

RAIDERS STILL ALIVE

The Shelby Academy Raiders struggled offensively during Friday’s loss at Cornerstone, but this week’s opponent, Sumter, will be the deciding factor if the team is ready for a return to the playoffs.

KINGWOOD BACK AT HOME

The Kingwood Lions have been up and down this season, but the next four games will determine whether Jerry Stearns’ group is playoff ready. Patrician will be a huge test for the Lions, but next week against Lowndes is just as big. The Lions will need a huge game from the passing attack