Week 9: Who owns who?
Published 5:15 pm Thursday, October 23, 2008
This is what six-day workouts are for. Ever since Chelsea dialed up a victory on a double hook-and-ladder Nov. 2, 2007 to beat Shelby County, the Wildcats have been waiting for their shot to take back what they see as rightfully theirs — ownership of the county’s biggest rivalry.
The Wildcats were struggling last year and needed a win over the non-region Hornets to settle a tie-breaker and make the playoffs. Chelsea had not won a game against Shelby County in nine years and was ready to finally do so. The ownership shifted with a late touchdown by Garrett Salter on the trick play.
Although the playoffs are not on the line for Chelsea (3-5) and Shelby County (8-0), the Hornets will look to play the role of a spoiler by busting up the undefeated season.
Shelby County fans have the goal of whiting out the visiting stands by wearing all white Friday.
If Chelsea is able to keep this game close, the difference will come in how well a gadget works from one side or the other. However, if Shelby County can jump out quick and play a game like it did against John Carroll, Moody and Talladega, Friday’s result may not be just a win, but a chance to white out last year’s loss and make a solid case for the Wildcat fans’ favorite cheer — “We own Chelsea!” Pick: Shelby County
CALDWELL MILL BATTLE
This game is more of a rivalry for Oak Mountain than it is for Spain Park, but both teams are hungry for a win Friday as they look to finish as close to .500 as possible. Spain Park finally got over the hump last week with a last-second touchdown pass to win its first game since week one. Oak Mountain’s defense thought it had a victory over Thompson, but focused too much on stopping the run and not the pass. Look for Spain Park to go to the air and handle the Oak Mountain rushing attack. Pick: Spain Park
THIRD OR FOURTH
Hoover is coming off two big wins. Will they slip up when Pelham comes to town Friday? Don’t count on it. Josh Niblett has these Bucs prepared and Simon Propst is leading the way at quarterback. Hoover has wrapped up the Region 6 championship and home field for the first round, but it wants to keep the undefeated run inside the state. Pelham will have to find a way to silence the run game to have a chance. Look for Pelham to hold Hoover close early the way Spain Park did. If the Panther defense can win the turnover battle, then Pelham has a chance, but Hoover doesn’t just fall apart. Pick: Hoover
Thompson’s goal is to finish the season .500. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they have to go to Vestavia Friday. Not only is a weak run defense going against a strong run offense, but the Warriors will face a run offense that was silenced last week and has a purpose to bounce back strong. Buddy Anderson will have his team up for this ballgame after a 17-2 loss to Hoover last week. Thompson will have to play a perfect game to win. Pick: Vestavia
Region play is finished for the Briarwood Christian Lions and they look poised for a playoff run. Friday’s win gives them home field for the first round and maybe more as the No. 2 team in Region 4. This week a struggling Florence team will come to Lion Pride Field. Briarwood will have a chance to continue to build on balanced offensive attack and stretch its strength on defense. After a 30-point win at Sylacauga, this one could get ugly in the first half, like Talladega. Look for another big first quarter. Pick: Briarwood
PLAYING FOR HOME FIELD
Calera has adjusted well with its move to Class 4A. Last week, the Eagles secured a spot in the playoffs. This week, they look to lock in a first-round playoff game at home. Calera (5-3) travels to Southside in Selma (0-8) with an outside shot at a region championship if Jemison (6-2) was to fall apart against Holt (2-6), but they like the idea of finishing second in the region. Pick: Calera
Montevallo will meet its next region opponent in Trinity Presbyterian this Friday. Trinity will be just the latest team to exploit the Bulldogs’ lack of key starters that are now missing due to injury. Montevallo has done a great job keeping games close. It is not without question, if Kevin Callender plays, that the Bulldogs can keep this one close also. But it will be tough for Montevallo to pull ahead for an upset. Pick: Trinity
WISHING FOR WEEK ONE
Vincent High School wishes this was the beginning of the season when it was rolling off wins left and right. Have they gotten worse? No. The schedule has gotten tougher. American Christian Academy will host Vincent Friday, and should have no problem moving down field to victory with 6-foot-4, 204-pound quarterback Matt Sandlin leading the way. ACA (7-1) has allowed more than one touchdown only four times this season, and no more than three in any game it has won. Pick: ACA
SOMETHING TO PLAY FOR
Coosa Valley is not going to make the playoffs. However, this non-region road trip gives Coosa Valley something to play for. Sumter has struggled this season, but CVA has struggled also over the course of the past few weeks. If the Rebels can pull it together, Friday shouldn’t be a problem. But if the Rebs play mentally beaten before they step foot on the field, then mark this one up for Sumter. Coosa Valley has a chance to finish .500 for the first time in a long time. That should be a goal to motivate the Rebels Friday. Pick: Coosa Valley
TITLE IN SIGHT
A region title is still in the hopes of Cornerstone. Don’t tell the Chargers they can’t do it, because they’ll be motivated to prove you wrong. Cory Woodall is leading the way on offense, while Lance Benton is starting to learn how to develop his strong pitching arm into the arm of a first-year quarterback. Patrick Shaw has led the team the past two weeks on defense and is motivated to keep that charge up. If J.V. McKinney can give the Chargers good field position on kick returns, look for the Chargers to stroll to a homecoming victory against Ashford as it looks to position itself for a region title game Oct. 31 with Crenshaw. Pick: Cornerstone
run for the playoffs
Shelby Academy travels to Autauga Academy for the Generals’ senior night Friday. Both teams appear to be evenly matched as they battle it out to decide who will be the third and fourth seed from AISA Class 2A, Region 1. The Raiders can win with an effective run game. Pick: Shelby
picking up the pieces
Kingwood has worked the past few weeks to close the gap and finally did with a strong second half Friday to capture its first win of the season. This week the Lions travel to a struggling East Memorial team in Prattville. East Memorial handled Prattville Christian better than Kingwood did, but if senior Eric Marshall can motivate his team to build of Friday’s win, Kingwood can win two-in-a-row, Pick: Kingwood.
Last Week: 10-3
Season: 72-28 (.713)