Week 8 predictions

Published 5:14 pm Monday, October 5, 2015

Can Spain Park maintain the momentum from its big win over Hoover? (Reporter Photo / Neal Wagner)

Can Spain Park maintain the momentum from its big win over Hoover? (Reporter Photo / Neal Wagner)

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

Week 7 record: 9-2. Overall record: 46-11.

We went a little crazy last week and called four upsets, two of which panned out, two of which didn’t. Seven weeks into this thing we’re humming along at above an 80 percent success rate. Let’s keep the good times rolling.


Oak Mountain at Mountain Brook.

And just as soon as I get done spouting our praises, it’s time to backtrack. There’s no choice at this point but to face the music. This Oak Mountain team doesn’t have the gear it did a season ago and has so far proven incapable of closing out games like it did last year. With a playoff spot virtually out of the question now, there’s nothing to do now except stand up straight and keep trumpeting the horn as we go down with this sinking ship. Oak Mountain 28 – Mountain Brook 21.


Spain Park vs. Vestavia Hills

In case you haven’t heard, Spain Park beat Hoover last Thursday. In case you didn’t know, we called it. We’re not going to flood you with 15 different hot takes on what that win means or point to some obvious plays that helped win the game for the Jaguars. We’re also not going to shove a narrative down your throat that Hoover has now been “blown up” or that Spain Park has ascended to national relevance. Let’s leave this one right where it needs to be, it was a special regular season performance, a dominating regular season performance in fact, by one very good team over another that was made more special because of the history of the two teams involved.

Now, about this week. Spain Park has to turn around and take on an upstart Vestavia Hills team, 5-1 (3-1), that has won three games by 10 points or less. Spain Park’s win over Hoover was, shockingly, it’s third-widest margin of victory this season. Both teams are accustomed to playing games tight, and both teams are playoff bound. The Jaguars’ confidence is through the roof right now, however, and Spain Park continues to roll. Spain Park 28 – Vestavia Hills 14.


Thompson at Hewitt-Trussville.

The Warriors’ offense is in trouble. Since Sept. 4, Thompson has only eclipsed 14 points one time and is averaging less than 14 points per game in its last four games. The wheat seems to be separating itself from the chaff in Region 3, and it looks like Thompson is on the wrong side of the sifter. Hewitt-Trussville has bona fide talent across the board, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Until Thompson proves it has shrugged off this midseason scoring slump, the Warriors can’t be trusted. Hewitt-Trussville 35 – Thompson 24.


Briarwood at Pelham.

The first of two in-county contests this week is a matchup of two teams in slightly different situations. Pelham is winless, and has yet to break 100 total points on the year through six games. The Panthers’ season is done, and at this point Tom Causey’s team is trying to salvage any positive from his first season. Briarwood, by comparison, kept its postseason hopes alive by a slender wire with a win over Walker last Friday. The Lions are one of three 2-2 teams in Region 5 vying for the fourth playoff berth available. Fred Yancey’s team has more reason and cause to win this game. Oh, and they’re also better. Briarwood 24 – Pelham 14.


Chelsea at Benjamin Russell.

Chelsea lost to one of the best teams and possibly the best quarterback in the state at home last Friday in Opelika. The Hornets were up at halftime of that game and showed flashes of why this team should be taken seriously. This week will go a long way to proving whether or not Chelsea is legitimate. Count us as believers in these Hornets as they travel to get a crucial region win. Chelsea 35 – Benjamin Russell 17.


Calera at Helena.

The second of two in-county matchups pits two teams vying for the No. 2 slot in 5A Region 4. The question this week, as it is every week, is can someone slow down Kyle Harrell? The answer so far has been a resounding no. No reason to think that will change this week in what will be a high scoring game. Calera 42 – Helena 31.


Shelby County at Sylacauga.

If Jamarius Mayfield can go on Friday, Shelby County has a chance, if he can’t, the Wildcats will struggle. Even with Mayfield at full steam and running mate Aremee Calloway available once again, this Wildcats team has too many holes. Shelby County makes no apologies for its run-first, second and always style of play, but is giving up 31 points per game defensively, which is a lot to ask of an offense to overcome week in and week out. Sylacauga rolls at home. Sylacauga 42 – Shelby County 21.


Montevallo vs. Bibb County.

If there’s an empty seat in Montevallo’s stadium on Friday night as Bibb County comes to town, I’ll give you my next paycheck. The 7-0 Bulldogs have scored 48 points or more each week since Sept. 4 except for one, and have won each game since Aug. 28 by an average score of 44-11. Say what you will about the quality of opponent Montevallo has played, and there is something to be said there, that’s flat out impressive. Bibb County has lost three games this year but is undefeated in region play and marks one of the biggest tests for Montevallo to date. But, this train just has too much momentum at this point, and far be it from me to slow it down at this point. Montevallo 45 – Bibb County 21.


Vincent at Francis Marion.

Not much to say at this point. In its last three games Vincent has been outscored 151-0. Actually, there’s nothing to say past that. An 0-10 season looks more and more likely with every passing week for the Yellow Jackets, and the trend will continue on the road this week. Francis Marion 48 – Vincent 6.