Three teams ranked at midway point

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

As we approach the midpoint of the 2017 high school football season in Shelby County, we still have three teams ranked in their respective top 10, each of which has been inside the top 10 for the entire first half of the 2017 season.

Spain Park and Thompson both remained ranked in the 7A top 10, while the Briarwood Christian Lions remained ranked in the 5A top 10. While we have seen other teams like Montevallo and Oak Mountain in the top 10 at some point, those three are the only ones that remain ranked and have done so through five weeks of the season.

The highest of the three remains Briarwood, who is the No. 1 team in Class 5A. The Lions have earned that mark with several big wins already this season, including a 19-7 win over Chelsea, 35-14 win over Moody, 34-0 win over No. 5 Wenonah and a 23-6 win over Fairfield.

The impressive 4-0 (3-0) start has been made possible by a defense that is giving up just 6.8 points per game this season. Briarwood’s next two games against Mortimer Jordan (non region) and St. Clair County, should determine if this team will finish undefeated in region play for the second consecutive season and undefeated in the regular season for the first time since 2007.

Thompson has had an impressive start to the season in its own right and sits at No. 3 in the latest rankings, where they have been since the preseason.

While the Warriors’ defense has been solid, giving up just 17.3 points per game (most of which has come on the second team), it’s been their offense that has wowed and led to the team’s first 4-0 start since 1992.

Thompson is putting up an impressive 43.3 points per game having scored 21, 63, 40 and 49 so far this season. It’s been in large part due to quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who is averaging 303 yards and three touchdowns per game, but others like receivers Ahmad and Mo Edwards and running backs Joseph Ford and Shadrick Byrd have also been very productive in an offense averaging 507 yards per game.

The schedule gets tough for the Warriors in the second half as they have four region matchups, three of which are on the road and two of those are against top 10 teams in Spain Park and Hoover.

Despite back-to-back losses, the Spain Park Jaguars still remain ranked No. 9 in the 7A top 10 and are mistakenly ahead of No. 10 Mountain Brook, who beat the Jags a week ago.

The Jaguars started the season 3-0 with wins over Gadsden City, Muscle Shoals and Vestavia and looked like the best team in the county next to Thompson.

But a heartbreaking loss to Hoover in a nail-biting 27-24 game and a second heartbreaking 51-50 loss to Mountain Brook in double overtime, now has Spain Park sitting at 3-2 overall and 1-2 in region play.

SPHS has one extremely tough game left against Thompson on Oct. 13, but other region games remaining against Huffman, Tuscaloosa County and Oak Mountain are very winnable.

If they can win those games with their only loss coming to Thompson, they should be able to make the playoffs. Holding a tiebreaker edge over Vestavia could be key, but the Jags look set for the third or fourth place spot in the region.

 Class 7A
1. Central-Phenix City (25) (4-0) <ws>353
2. Hoover (4) (4-1) <ws>287
3. Thompson (1) (4-0) <ws>248
4. Hewitt-Trussville (1) (4-0) <ws>224
5. McGill-Toolen (4-0) <ws>188
6. Auburn (4-1) <ws>146
7. Fairhope (4-1) <ws>126
8. Jeff Davis (4-1) <ws>75
9. Spain Park (3-2) <ws>40
10. Mountain Brook (3-2) <ws>37
Others receiving votes: Bob Jones (3-2) 17, Sparkman (3-1) 8, Lee-Montgomery (3-1) 8, Davidson (3-2) 6, Theodore (3-2) 4.

Class 6A
1. Austin (25) (5-0) <ws>352
2. Pinson Valley (3) (5-0) <ws>276
3. Oxford (3) (5-0) <ws>268
4. Ramsay (3-1) <ws>183
5. Wetumpka (5-0) <ws>181
6. Spanish Fort (4-1) <ws>133
7. Homewood (5-0) <ws>100
8. Blount (4-1) <ws>91
9. Benjamin Russell (4-0) <ws>60
10. Saraland (4-1) <ws>28
Others receiving votes: Opelika (3-2) 26, Daphne (3-2) 23, Sidney Lanier (5-0) 19, Muscle Shoals (4-1) 10, Clay-Chalkville (4-1) 9, Park Crossing (4-1) 4, Minor (3-2) 3, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (3-2) 1.

Class 5A
1. Briarwood Chr. (26) (4-0) <ws>357
2. St. Paul’s (5) (5-0) <ws>293
3. Carroll (4-0) <ws>243
4. Beauregard (2-1) <ws>199
5. Mae Jemison-Huntsville (5-0) <ws>182
6. Jackson (4-0) <ws>136
7. Wenonah (3-1) <ws>93
8. Alexandria (4-1) <ws>83
9. St. Clair Co. (4-0) <ws>81
10. Etowah (4-1)<ws>23
Others receiving votes:  Eufaula (3-2) 19, Demopolis (4-1) 11, Brooks (3-1) 10, Mortimer Jordan (4-1) 10, Central-Clay Co. (3-2) 9, Crossville (4-0) 7, Greenville (2-1) 6, Charles Henderson (2-2) 2, Pleasant Grove (3-1) 2, Calera (3-2) 1.

Class 4A
1. Leeds (22) (5-0) <ws>329
2. Andalusia (7) (4-1) <ws>293
3. Rogers (2) (5-0) <ws>244
4. UMS-Wright (4-1) <ws>227
5. Fayette Co. (4-0) <ws>194
6. Thomasville (4-0) <ws>152
7. Deshler (4-0) <ws>106
8. Wilson (4-0) <ws>75
9. Hokes Bluff (3-1) <ws>44
10. Tallassee (4-1) <ws>31
Others receiving votes: Munford (3-1) 24, Saks (4-0) 22, Alabama Chr. (5-0) 21. Bibb Co. (4-1) 2, Dale Co. (4-1) 2, Madison Acad. (2-2) 1.

Class 3A
1. Mobile Chr. (26) (4-0) <ws>357
2. Piedmont (5) (4-1) <ws>290
3. Gordo (3-1) <ws>233
4. Oakman (4-0) <ws>211
5. Randolph Co. (3-1) <ws>159
6. Ohatchee (4-1) <ws>143
7. Plainview. (5-0) <ws>100
8. T.R. Miller (3-1) <ws>85
9. Weaver (3-1) <ws>59
10. Wicksburg (4-0) <ws>53
Others receiving votes: Fultondale (4-0) 25, Hillcrest-Evergreen (3-1) 14, American Chr. (4-1) 10, Montgomery Academy (4-1) 8, Lauderdale Co. (3-1) 7, Sylvania (4-0) 7, Opp (2-2) 3, West Morgan (4-1) 2, Pike Co. (3-1) 1.

Class 2A
1. Fyffe (30) (4-0) <ws>369
2. Lanett (1) (5-0) <ws>277
3. Leroy (4-0) <ws>235
4. Aliceville (3-1) <ws>201
5. Elba (3-1) <ws>193
6. LaFayette (4-1) <ws>159
7. Sulligent (4-0) <ws>109
8. Abbeville (4-0) <ws>77
9. St. Luke’s  (3-0) <ws>50
10. Goshen (3-1) <ws>46
Others receiving votes: J.U. Blacksher (4-0) 21, Thorsby (4-0) 18, Sand Rock (3-1) 6, Tanner (2-2) 6.

Class 1A
1. Maplesville (31) (4-0) <ws>372
2. Sweet Water (3-1) <ws>255
3. Georgiana (5-0) <ws>247
4. Houston Co. (5-0) <ws>176
5. Pickens Co. (3-1) <ws>161
6. Brantley (3-1) <ws>134
7. Isabella (4-0) <ws>127
8. Marengo (3-1) <ws>86
9. Addison (4-1) <ws>61
10. Wadley (4-0) <ws>49
Others receiving votes: Lynn (5-0) 46, Decatur Heritage (4-0) 24, Linden (2-2) 14, Notasulga (3-2) 4, Cherokee (4-0) 3, South Lamar (4-1) 2, Winterboro (3-1) 2, Cedar Bluff (2-2) 1, Hackleburg (3-1) 1, Millry (2-2) 1, Spring Garden (3-1) 1.

AISA
1. Autauga Acad. (29) (5-0) <ws>366
2. Escambia Acad. (1) (7-0) <ws>280
3. Monroe Acad. (1) (6-0) <ws>253
4. Chambers Acad. (5-0) <ws>210
5. South Choctaw Acad.  (4-1) <ws>157
6. Bessemer Acad. (4-3) <ws>130
7. Lee-Scott (4-1) <ws>128
8. Jackson Acad. (5-1) <ws>83
9. Tuscaloosa Acad. (4-1) <ws>66
10. Pike Liberal (4-2) <ws>55

Others receiving votes: Crenshaw Chr. (5-1) 10, Fort Dale Acad. (4-1) 10, Glenwood School (3-3) 8, Abbeville Chr. (2-4) 6, Patrician Acad. (3-2) 5.