Week eight preview: Neighborhood bragging rights up for grabs


Pelham will make a case for a playoff bid Friday as the Panthers play host to the team down the road: the Thompson Warriors. The Panthers took last year’s contest, 21-17, and will clinch a playoff spot with a win Friday. Although Brandale Oliver is missing from the lineup due to a suspension, Theo Browder is back from an injury, which spells good news if the Panthers hope to slow down Thompson running back Adrian Marcus. The last three games in the series have been decided by a total of 11 points.


While Pelham and Thompson are receiving attention as a cross-town rivalry, perhaps no other rivalry is as intense as Calera and Montevallo. With the two schools separated by just a few miles, families and loyalties are split when these two schools get together every fall. The Eagles are riding a two-game win streak while the Bulldogs are reeling from a two-game losing skid. The Bulldogs have fallen on hard times since quarterback Kevin Callender was injured two weeks ago and Montevallo will be looking for some offensive answers to keep up with the potent Calera rushing and passing attack.


The Yellow Jackets just can’t seem to find a break as Vincent has dropped two games in a row. The Yellow Jackets have been in almost every game this season, but the lack of a place-kicking unit has cost Vincent several times. This week’s opponent, Falkville, has had a similar season in comparison to the Yellow Jackets, which should make for an interesting match up Friday.


The Briarwood Christian Lions will look to keep their unbeaten streak alive Friday as the team plays host to Moody. Moody is coming off a devastating five -overtime loss to Chelsea while Briarwood has cruised through the schedule, with the exception of the double-overtime win over Homewood. Quarterback Barrett Trotter, an Auburn commitment, continues to get better as the Lions look to complete the first undefeated regular season in nine years.


Wade Waldrop’s Chelsea Hornets played a near perfect game Friday as the team defeated Moody Friday in five overtimes without committing one turnover. The Hornets have regrouped in a

strong way following back-to-back losses to Benjamin Russell and Chilton County, and the team could be playing for first place in the region with a win over Sylacauga Friday. Briarwood looms in two weeks, and the Hornets cannot afford to overlook surging Sylacauga. With quarterback Blake Yance and running back Garrett Salter putting up huge points, the Hornets should roll.


If playing against Bibb County, Demopolis and Calera isn’t tough enough, the Shelby County Wildcats must now face one of the toughest opponents in Class 5A in the undefeated McAdory Yellow Jackets. McAdory has run through and over opponents this season while the Wildcats struggled early. Shelby County running back Darion Sutton will need to step up with Tyrone Buie gone from the team, just as quarterback Braten Dill will need his best performance of the year. If there is any good news about this week’s opponent it is Bo Jackson is no longer running for the Yellow Jackets.


A mountainous Class 6A, Region 6 showdown takes place Friday as the Oak Mountain Eagles travel to take on the Mountain Brook Spartans. Loser goes home and the winner stays alive in the playoff race, but the Eagles will need a much better effort than was displayed during Friday’s 48-7 beating at Spain Park. Mountain Brook quarterback Morgan Ogilvie is back from an early-season injury and the son of former University of Alabama star Major Ogilvie is no stranger to winning big, having won AISA championships at Bessemer Academy.


John Grass’ Spain Park Jaguars played the best game of the season Friday, putting up more than 500 yards of total offense against the Oak Mountain Eagles. Quarterback Cody Wells threw for more than 225 yards in the first half alone and the Jaguar running game was hitting on all cylinders. This week’s opponent, the Carver Rams, has struggled all season and

is already eliminated from playoff contention. If the Jaguars’ defense plays lights out like it did against Oak Mountain, this one could get ugly.


The Coosa Valley Rebels have struggled recently, dropping the last two games to Sumter and Cornerstone. The Rebels aren’t giving up, which was evidenced by Friday’s close game. This week, the Rebels travel to South Choctaw to take on a veteran team fresh off a win over Shelby Academy. Wide receiver Chase Lacy had a big night against Sumter and will need another big performance to topple the boys from South Choctaw.


The Cornerstone Christian Chargers assured a playoff berth with a win over Warrior Friday, but the boys from Columbiana cannot afford to look past this week’s opponent: Meadowview. Meadowview has knocked off several key opponents this season, including a thrashing over Kingwood in week two. Tim Smith’s Chargers will need another stellar performance from the running game to keep the Meadowview offense off the field, but with backs Kirk Johnson, Cory Woodall and Austin Vinsant carrying the ball, it shouldn’t be a problem for Cornerstone.


The Kingwood Christian Lions will celebrate homecoming Friday as the team plays host to Evangel Christian. The Lions got back to Kingwood football Friday with an impressive win over Lowndes, but the team will need a similar effort to down the boys from Montgomery. If running back Drew Davis is ready to go, the Lions should cruise to victory. If not, quarterback Nathan Pearce will have to step up his game to open the Kingwood rushing attack. The Lions need momentum heading heading into Cornerstone