Week 8: Bragging rights only

The playoffs are out of the picture, but a .500 season is not for the Oak Mountain Eagles. Friday’s impressive win against Buckhorn has opened the door for Oak Mountain to finish on a high note this year after struggling through a season that has been plagued by injuries. The Eagles (2-5) can pick up their third win Friday when Thompson comes to town for a Region 6 battle. The Warriors have struggled the past two weeks since running back Siddeq Cooper was dismissed from the team, falling by a combined score of 78-6 in those games. A win for the Eagles Friday may spark a win streak. Pick: Oak Mountain

A NEEDED BREAK

Every week in Class 6A, Region 6 is intense. While most teams have had a game away from this region, Pelham has not. The Panthers will play their first non-region game Friday at home against Wetumpka. After coming off a big win against rival Thompson and a needed homecoming win against Gardendale, Pelham will have a shot to tune-up before meeting Hoover. Pick: Pelham.

DEFUSING

Spain Park hits the road to try and not finish last in Region 6. One year after finishing as the state runner-up in Class 6A, not many people thought the Jaguars would be 1-6 with three weeks to play. A trip to Gardendale this week will not make things any easier. The Rockets have played well this season, and while the Spain Park defense is playing well, the offense has yet to show it can put together a complete game, and no signs are showing that they will before season’s end. Pick: Gardendale

PLAYING SECOND FIDDLE

Briarwood and Sylacuaga will battle it out Friday for the right to host a first round playoff game. The Lions are on a roll since falling in the second week to soon-to-be region champ Shelby County. After running for more than 200 yards Friday, Briarwood is showing it can put together a complete offense if needed. Sylacauga is good, but has enough flaws for the Lions to pick at. Pick: Briarwood

AVOIDING A LET DOWN

They’re highly ranked. They’ve made the playoffs, but the Shelby County Wildcats (7-0) can’t let up. A win Friday will capture the Class 5A, Region 4 championship for the Wildcats. As long as they attack quickly at Talladega, they should have no problem rolling on to 8-0 to get ready for Chelsea. Looking ahead is not an option this week though, as Talladega has already shown it can pull off a surprise, as it did against Sylacauga. Pick: Shelby County

SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE

The Chelsea Hornets have not had too much to celebrate this season. At least homecoming is Friday night against Hazel Green. Chelsea showed signs of improvement against Briarwood Friday, but was unable to control turnovers in the second half. At this point in the season, this game is a gift to the Hornets’ record, as they should be able to improve to 3-5 against the winless Trojans. Pick: Chelsea

PLAYOFF BOUND

Calera lost a lot of talent last year, dropped in its number of players and moved up a classification. After a rough start to the season against Montevallo, it did not look like the Eagles were going to make a big run in the post season, but with a win Friday, Calera will sit at No. 2 in the region and ready to host a first round playoff game. Livingston comes to town for homecoming as one of the worst teams in the region, while Calera looks to build off a win at Dallas County. While it’s homecoming and an easier opponent, the Eagles should know what is on the line and be prepared Friday. Pick: Calera

TOO MANY INJURIES

First it was two; now there are five more. Injuries hit Montevallo hard late in the season, and this year is no different, as five Bulldogs left the game early Friday. While status of all five was unknown Tuesday, the Bulldogs’ offense is bruised. After losing top receiver Dajuan Fulgham, the Bulldogs decided to switch to the I. But with three running backs going out early, the Montevallo offense is left trying to put together the pieces. Montgomery Academy, while down from last year, may be able to take advantage of Montevallo’s ill fortune Friday. Pick: Montgomery Academy

FACING A GIANT

A win Friday would have helped secure a playoff spot for Vincent, now the Yellow Jackets (5-2) face elimination. Head coach Dwight Spradley did a good job catering his schedule to a winning record this season, but the unfortunate part is that the top two teams in the region came at the end of the line. With an early loss to Isabella and a loss Friday to Fultondale, the Yellow Jackets need to pull off an upset on the road against one of the top teams in Class 2A. They’ll get two shots at it, beginning with Pickens County this week. But even though Juwan Rogers is running wild and the Vincent offense is putting up big numbers, the defense may not be strong enough to stop one of the top attacks in the class. Pick: Vincent

DOWN AND OUT

Coosa Valley continues to be just one win away. The playoffs look slim for the Rebels as they travel to Crenshaw Christian in Luverne this week for a tough region game. Crenshaw (6-1) carries a six-game win streak and will move one step closer to clinching the region championship with a win. A loss for Coosa Valley will eliminate the Rebels from the playoffs. Pick: Crenshaw

POSITION BATTLE

Cornerstone picked up a boost in a non-region game Friday. Now the Chargers (5-2) hit the road for the third-straight week to go to Abbeville Christian (2-4). On the line for the Chargers is a trip to the playoffs. While their hopes of the post season are not at risk, the defending state runner-up can clinch a berth with a victory by eliminating Abbeville’s hopes. It will also keep them in second place with a shot of a region championship in their control. With Cory Woodall, J.V. McKinney, Brandon Johnson and Lance Benton leading the way on offense, this young team should be able to lock in a sixth win. Pick: Cornerstone

WIN OR STAY HOME

The schedule has not been friendly to Shelby Academy this year. Non-region opponents are 1-1 against the Raiders, and undefeated Monroe Academy hopes to make it 2-1 Friday. Monroe will make the long trip up from Monroeville, but should have no problem preparing for a game after the bus ride. The Volunteers killed opponents by large margins to start the year, but their offenese is starting to slip against tough opponents Bessemer and Southern Academy. Shelby will need to run the ball and pass the ball effectively in the win. Friday’s showcase by Chad King was impressive, but the Raiders have not shown that they can pick off a top-tier team. Pick: Monroe

NEEDING A BOOST

No one wants to have a year like Kingwood Christian is having. There have been blowouts and close heart-breaking losses. However, there’s good news for the Lions. Homecoming may not only bring a crowning moment for a homecoming queen, but could be the Lions’ shot at victory. Prattville Christian is struggling just as much as the Lions have been. One measuring stick, may be how both teams played Tuscaloosa Academy. The Lions held TA close Friday, 21-14, but the Panthers were hammered by Tuscaloosa, 62-21, a few weeks back. Look for Andrew Steele to put this game on his shoulders to avoid a complete shutout of a season his senior year. A win here is much needed for a team that has had a rough rise to Class 3A. Pick: Kingwood

Megginson’s Picks:

Last Week: 11-2

Season: 62-25 (.713)