Pelham and Mountain Brook swap gold paint

Last season, Pelham only won four games. This week, the Panthers are looking for win No. 3 when Mountain Brook comes to town for the first regular season game at Ned Bearden Stadium. The Pelham defense was exposed Friday, allowing Spain Park to run up and down the field on them, but the Panthers managed to hold on for a win to move to 2-0 in Class 6A, Region 6. The Spartans are also unbeaten and are trying to show that even though they lost a number of very good players last season, they are not a team to count out this year. This game will come down to who can hold their own the best in the trenches and break that one big play. This may be Shawn Lynch’s week. Pick: Pelham

JAGS TO GREET WARRIORS

Thompson scored its first points in a while, but the one thing the Warriors will be reminded of this week is that they are back in Region 6 and no longer playing a low team such as Austin. The ability to come from behind showed the Warriors are looking to be fighters. However, after Spain Park beat Pelham in every area of the game except the final score, it’ll take a lot for the Warriors to pull off possibly the biggest Region 6 upset of the season. Spain Park will continue to use its run package of Tamar Mickens and Alton Daniel to expose the areas where Thompson still needs work. Pick: Spain Park

COTTON BOWL PRESSURE

It’s been a few years since Cornerstone and Coosa Valley have changed possession of the Cotton Cup. But this year, the importance of a region win lays heavy on both teams — possibly deciding who gets in the playoffs in November and who doesn’t. The CCS defense posted a shut out Friday and improved on offense, but it’s hard to measure a team’s success against a 15-man team. Coosa Valley had a strong first half in week one and a strong second half in week two. If the Rebs can put two-and-two together, they’ll be hard to beat. Pick: Coosa Valley

TORN AND TATTERED WINGS

Oak Mountain is expected to be missing as many as four starters when it lines up against new 6A opponent Gardendale Friday. The Rockets, considered by some to not have much of a year in Region 6, have held their own against Hoover and Vestavia in the first two weeks. They may not be the doormat or threshold in Region 6 like others thought and will look to prove so with a win over Oak Mountain. To have any shot at keeping a sliver of hope alive toward the playoffs, the Eagles must beat the Rockets. Neither team wants to open the season 0-3, and if the Eagles can rely on its run game and the legs of quarterback Drew McKnight, coupled with its first real defensive stand, then they will have a shot at victory. Pick: Oak Mountain

REGION CRUSADE

Briarwood received a wake up call Friday night that when you don’t have a lot of experience it takes hard work to win. The Lions appeared to enter the game a little sure of themselves. After all, they’d just upset Vestavia on the road. But turnovers continued to be an issue for the Lions at Shelby County. This week, look for the kinks to be worked out before Friday’s trip to John Carroll. The Cavs are coming off a key region win at Chelsea and have proven that they should not be taken lightly. Down a game to start Region 4 play, Briarwood’s quest for the region title begins Friday. Pick: Briarwood

AVOIDING THE BLUES

Chelsea improved in week two but still has a lot to prove. It’s only week three, but the Hornets may be backed into the corner if they want to play in November. Last year, Chelsea was forced to rely on some trickery and consistent special teams to beat Moody in five overtimes. The Hornets will have to work hard and get the upper hand early this week. A win keeps everything up for grabs, but a loss to the Blue Devils will leave a hard road ahead for Chelsea. The Hornets need a break out game from tailback Garrett Salter. Pick: Moody

300 YARD TUNE-UP

Shelby County opened the season on a high and went even higher in week two with a convincing win over No. 2 Briarwood. This week should be a bit of a breather for the Wildcats after playing nine players both ways against Briarwood. Class 1A opponent Georgiana should serve as a tune-up for the ’Cats and allow a chance to let some of the back-ups get some game experience. Pick: Shelby County

CROSSING COUNTY LINES

Calera did whatever it wanted to Friday night against Holt, scoring at will and playing its bench. This week will be a different story. A trip to Jemison this Friday will show if the Eagles really improved and corrected its mistakes from the season opening trip to Montevallo or if Holt is just that bad. Pick: Jemison

CROWNING MOMENT

Calera was the game Montevallo was working for all season long, so did it forget that it had to prepare for a second week game against Dadeville? Montevallo quarterback Kevin Callender tossed four touchdown passes, but also turned the ball over six times, leading to a road loss in its region opener — a game the Bulldogs probably should have won. Now the Dawgs know every game counts. Callender will be back and ready for homecoming, mistakes corrected and geared up to find his go-to targets. Pick: Montevallo

IS IT ALL A BUZZ?

Vincent can prove this week if it is a team to be reckoned with in Class 2A, Region 4 or if it is simply creating a little early season buzz. Corey Deloach settled into his arm Friday to lead Vincent past Hale County on the road. He will have the chance to show off the new hybrid spread offense to his home crowd for the first time this season on Friday when Isabella comes to town. If Deloach can find receivers Brett Frizzell and Keyon Wallace the same way he did this past week, and if Juwan Rogers can continue to add to his totals on the ground the Jackets can pull off the win. Pick: Vincent

HOME WRECKER

Kingwood comes home for the first time this season to take on Taylor Road,. However, the Lions have a lot of ground to make up from its first two losses. It won’t happen over night, but look for small areas of improvement for the Lions. Pick: Taylor Road

RAIDERS ON THE ROAD

Shelby Academy hits the road 100 percent healthy for the first time this season. They weren’t healthy? Who would have known? Shelby (2-0) will battle Edgewood for first place in AISA Class 2A, Region 1. Bobby Sexton and Brandon Horton will help slow down the Edgewood offense, while Horton and McDaniel will continue to rack up yards on the ground. Pick: Shelby

Last Week: 7-5, Season: 14-9