Second round preview: Same story, different teams

FROM STAFF REPORTS

One year ago South Choctaw was gearing up for a state championship run in Troy against Shelby Academy, a team they had defeated earlier in the year. Shelby’s revenge factor played a role, as they went on to down the Choctaws to win the school’s second football state title.

With Cornerstone eliminating Shelby from the playoffs Friday night, the Chargers have a chance to live in the Raiders shadow in Troy this week when they take on the Choctaw team that gave them their first loss of the season, 28-0, at home.

The Chargers possess the talent needed to make a run. A good portion of that talent comes in their run trio. Senior Kirk Johnson is a free-for-all player playing nearly every position on the field, while sophomore Cory Woodall is a glimpse into the Chargers’ future as he tears through opponents’ defenses. The team’s leading rusher, Austin Vinsant, pounds the ball forward like a mad bull ready to hook his horns into someone. He should know how to master that attack, as he has been chased by a bull or two in his second love of bull riding.

If the Chargers can get Vinsant healthy after an injury Friday night and eliminate thoughtless penalties, such as the holding, illegal shifts and ineligible receiver calls from Friday, then they will have a shot at keeping this one close and vying for a major upset in the AISA.

JAGS GETTING READY FOR GADSDEN

When the Spain Park Jaguars travel to take on the Gadsden City Titans (10-1) Friday, they will be up for their toughest challenge in weeks.

The Jaguars advanced to the second round with a dominating win over Buckhorn Friday, and now the team must prepare for one of the most talented teams in Class 6A.

Gadsden City, led by linebacker Jerrell Harris, has been playing lights-out football since falling to Hewitt-Trussville Oct. 19. The Titans knocked off Clay-Chalkville and Class 5A Jess Lanier in the final two weeks of the regular season before dropping Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa during Friday’s first round of the Class 6A playoffs.

LIONS FACE TOUGH TASK

The Briarwood Christian Lions just keep on trucking as Fred Yancey’s squad remains undefeated following Friday’s playoff victory over Butler.

The Lions’ quest for another state championship now goes through the Russellville Golden Tigers as Briarwood plays host to Doug Goodwin’s squad in the Class 5A second round Friday.

The Lions dominated Friday night’s game against Butler, with quarterback Barrett Trotter completing passes at-will.

The Lions will need a repeat effort from the senior quarterback if the team wants to continue on the road to the gold.

TRYING TO KEEP THE EMOTION

The Chelsea Hornets (8-3) return home Friday as the team plays host to the unbeaten Cullman Bearcats (11-0).

The Bearcats ran roughshod through Class 5A, Region 6 before downing Hartselle Friday in the first round of the 5A playoffs.

The Hornets have come down from the emotional high following the victory over Shelby County, but Wade Waldrop’s team isn’t ready to go home just yet.

Chelsea took down No. 2 seed Albertville in the first round off of a strong performance by quarterback Blake Yance, but it will take an all-around performance from both sides of the ball for the Hornets to knock off the Bearcats.

EAGLES DOING THE WAVE

The Calera Eagles (10-1) just keep on winning in dominating fashion.

Mac Thompson’s Eagles scored 40 points in the opening quarter of Friday’s first-round playoff victory over Mobile Christian, and now the team must hit the road for a second-round showdown against the Gordo Green Wave (8-3).

If the Eagles continue to play sound offense and defense, the third round will just be a formality