Week 2 predictions; AHSAA edition
Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2015
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor
Why go to the games this Friday when you can read about what’s going to happen beforehand? Here are the predictions for week two football action for AHSAA schools across the county. They’re predictions, and very well may not come true, so actually you should still probably go to the games. You should super still go to the games.
Oak Mountain vs. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. First game of the season for the fifth ranked Eagles against a Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa team not bad in its own right. The Patriots are 2-1 all time against Oak Mountain, and junior running back Brian Robinson is a load to bring down. The Patriots got beat by another 6A school last week, powerhouse Opelika, 34-20, and will be looking to get on track while there is still time against Cris Bell’s Eagles. Oak Mountain however makes sure to start its season on the right foot, and shows why it received a preseason ranking in the top five of class 7A, and rolls behind play from quarterback Warren Shader. Oak Mountain 28 – Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 17.
Spain Park vs. Hueytown. The Jaguars found themselves on the wrong side of the game of the week across the state last Friday, as they fell in triple overtime on the road to the Austin Black Bears, losing by a field goal. Now they turn their attention to Hueytown, which has seen its caliber of play fall somewhat since notable alum and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston graduated in 2011. The Golden Gophers only won three games last season, and got shelled in the first week of this season, 34-6, at the hand of Bessemer City. Spain Park should have no trouble putting a win on the board this week, rolling with ease. Spain Park 38 – Hueytown 10.
Thompson vs. Pelham. This is the game of the week in the county for sure, at least from a cultural standpoint. The Battle of U.S. 31 has taken place, though not by name, every year since 1978. This will be the 38th straight season these two teams have played, more than twice as long as virtually any of the current players for each team have been alive. Expectations are high for both sides this year, especially after impressive week one victories by each team. Thompson gets the better of Pelham in this one thanks to a more experienced backfield and an athletic secondary. Thompson 24 – Pelham 17.
Briarwood vs. Chelsea. The second in-county matchup of the weekend, both Briarwood and Chelsea look to get off to a good start. Both schools are starting juniors at quarterback although the Lions’ starter, William Gray, has never started a game before. Chelsea wins this close one behind strong play from its backfield. Chelsea 17 – Briarwood 14.
Calera at Bibb County. Calera has back-to-back tough games to start the season in Bibb County and Demopolis. Bibb County has been a powerhouse in recent memory, averaging just over nine wins a season since 2008, including three straight 12-win seasons in that time. However, Calera has won two out of the last three matchups with Bibb County, and beat the Choctaws handily last year 28-8. The Eagles are on a mission this year to avenge last seasons’ untimely second round, double overtime playoff loss to Greenville, and make it three of the last four against Bibb County. Calera 38 – Bibb County 20.
Helena vs. Shelby County. The third of three in-county matchups this Friday, this is an intriguing one. The recent addition of refrigerator-on-wheels Aremee Calloway to the Shelby County backfield gives the Wildcats under-the-radar one of the most potent backfield combinations in the county, combining Calloway, cousins Jamarius and Kevontae Mayfield and 6-foot-4-inch quarterback Mason Blythe. The Wildcats shelled the hapless Jemison Panthers last weekend to the tune of 42 points with 44 runs on 44 offensive plays. They’ll have to put the ball in the air this week against a more capable Husky defense, and that’s where the questions start to pop up. If Shelby County can find success in the air, it will have a chance to win. However, the Wildcats haven’t shown they can get it done through the air just yet, and Helena wins this one. Helena 24 – Shelby County 17.
Montevallo vs. Francis Marion. Traditionally the most unlucky team in the county by a long shot, the Bulldogs caught a rare break in their opener, beating Locust Fork by a point in overtime thanks in part to a missed extra point. This Montevallo team has pieces, and may just surprise some people. They should get to 2-0 pretty easily against a traditional bottom dweller in Francis Marion. Since 2004, the Rams are 23-88. The last coach who left Francis Marion with a winning record was Carl Cooper, who left in 1953. Montevallo had to forfeit last season’s victory over Francis Marion because of an off-field academic issue, and will be looking for retribution. Montevallo 35 – Francis Marion 12.
Vincent vs. Corner. Corner finished last season 2-8, and throughout the last decade and a half are another team remembered only for being supremely forgettable. Vincent, however, is in a tough spot this year. With a backfield decimated over the summer, the Yellow Jackets have turned the offensive reigns over almost entirely to fresh faces. Last weeks 41-point first half bonanza by West Blocton didn’t do much to help the defenses’ confidence either. This one will be a test in who can make the least amount of mistakes. Flip of a coin here. Vincent 35 – Corner 27.