The first round was tough, now things will keep getting tougher as four teams remain in Shelby County. Two remain at home, while two hit the road this week.
SHAVE AND A HAIRCUT
The only thing Shelby County quarterback Braten Dill wants shaved this week is the head of another coach. With a win, assistant coach Heath Childers will take a straight razor to his head, but with a loss, Dill will lose his beard. Dill made a pact with teammates at the beginning of the year, that since he refused to shave his head, he’d grow a beard. After the second-week win over Briarwood, Dill has been told he can’t shave until the Wildcats lose. He hopes that won’t happen this year.
This week, Demopolis comes to town, a team that Shelby County has failed to beat the last two regular seasons. If you’re one to compare common opponents, Demopolis shut out Chilton County, 50-0, earlier in the year, while Shelby beat Chilton, 41-31, last week. But that’s not a true measure, especially in the playoffs. The Tigers have yet to face a fullback like Darion Sutton, and most likely not a secondary that averages at least two interceptions a game. Being at home will have its advantages as well. Pick: Shelby County
IS THIS THE END?
Briarwood Christian is not a stranger to the AHSAA football playoffs. The Lions survived in the last minute last week, edging Greenville in the same fashion they edged Hueytown in the spring game. However, this week, the Lions face one of their toughest challenges of the season when they travel to the Cramton Bowl to play unbeaten Carver-Montgomery (11-0) on Friday. Briarwood (9-2) will be forced to pull together and eliminate its mistakes to keep this from being the end of the season. Carver’s nearly unstoppable offense should have enough to at least edge the Lions Friday. Pick: Carver-Montgomery
Handley (8-2) travels to Calera (7-4) this week after shutting out Jemison, 24-0, last week. The Eagles survived against Saks, 14-7, with strong play in the secondary. The Eagles are scrappy this time of year. When you look back to the middle of the season, they play close in Class 4A games they should not win. Calera will have an advantage at home, but will have to play four full quarters to win. Pick: Calera
Shelby Academy is without its best defensive lineman. The Raiders are 6-5. They’re on the road against an Edgewood team that beat them, 28-7, during the regular season. But none of that matters. This is the Final Four and familiar territory for the Raiders. For four-straight years Shelby Academy has appeared in an AISA semifinal, each year hitting the road to do so. The first two years, Shelby went to the state title game and fell to Cornerstone in a close battle last year. So, while Edgewood (11-0) is at the top of its game, don’t count out the Raiders. However, this Wildcat team is just too good this year for Shelby to advance to the Class 2A final. Pick: Edgewood
Last Week: 5-1
Season: 94-36 (.723)