Week 2 predictions: Breaking down the 2nd week of high school football

Published 4:33 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

Week 1 record: 6-2

Overall record: 6-2

We saw a little bit of everything in Week 1 of the high school football season, but the biggest takeaway is that it’s back. Several teams showed they are going to be strong contenders this season, while others still have some work to do.

Now we head into the second week of the season, and the last before most dive into region play, making this an important week to gain some momentum with big wins. Below we break down and predict each game on the agenda this Friday night. 

Shelby County vs. Montevallo (Game of the Week)

Montevallo is coming off a win against 5A Marbury in Week 1, and now in Week 2, the Bulldogs will look to make it two straight against a 5A team as they travel to Columbiana to renew a rivalry with Shelby County, as the two teams have met 68 times, but haven’t played since 2003.

The Bulldogs’ offense showed it could score points behind junior quarterback Malik Inabinette, but Shelby County showed its defense is the best it has been in years. The Wildcats, however, are coming off a tough 13-0 loss to Childersburg as the offense never got going. That being said, the Wildcats were taking on a 6A team. This will be an extremely close game, but Montevallo’s offense proved it could make plays late to win a game in Week 1. Montevallo 24, Shelby County 17

Thompson at Foley

With just one more week until the showdown with Hoover, Thompson needs to gain as much confidence as possible in this game, which means don’t get caught looking ahead. The Warriors showed in Week 1, they are back and ready for a run at another history season after Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 373 yards and four touchdowns in basically the first half.

More impressively, the defense showed that it could handle the loss of its best playmakers from last year. That being said, the Warriors need to gain some depth on that side of the ball to be able to compete in their difficult region this year, making this an important week for guys to step up. Foley is coming off a 37-0 loss and Thompson a 38-7 victory, so I don’t expect it to be close, but the Warriors need to get all kinks out of the way. Thompson 42, Foley 7 

Spain Park at Bessemer City

This game should be a formality for Spain Park after a big confidence boost for the Jags in Week 1 with a 24-14 win against a good 6A Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa team. Now, the Jags will take on a second 6A team in a row in Bessemer City, but one that isn’t quite as good as the one they just beat.

While the Tigers are coming off a victory against Huffman last week, it was just a 21-14 win against a below average Huffman team. Spain Park showed a lot of positives last week with quarterback Mason Pronk and running back Jalen Henderson both gaining confidence offensively, while the defense showed why head coach Shawn Raney was so excited about that side of the ball. The Jags need to continue clicking with must-win games against Vestavia and Mountain Brook following. Spain Park 35, Bessemer City 10

Pelham at Bibb County

Both of these teams are coming off dominant opening-night wins, but 5A Bibb County’s was against a 4A Greensboro team, while the Panthers took down a loaded 6A Calera team 45-24. The Panthers trailed 21-7 in the game, but fought their way back to outscore the Eagles 38-3 over the final three quarters.

With Matthew Rye at quarterback the team seemed to click, but I still think Xavier Lankford has all of the talent in the world, as both make this offense extremely good. It also helps that the offense has playmakers like Brandon Sledge, who accounted for 104 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the opener. This offense is so talented, that if the defense is as good as it played in the final three quarters of that game, Pelham will be a tough team to stop this year. Pelham 35, Bibb County 14 

Calera at Pell City

This is a big week for the Calera Eagles’ football team. Either they can step up and rebound or they’ll hang their heads after a tough 45-24 loss to Pelham to open the season, but the schedule doesn’t allow for this team to be sluggish and look back. They’ll take on a Pell City team that is coming off a slim 21-17 victory against Fort Payne, and this is one of their last chances for momentum before back-to-back road games against Wetumpka and Stanhope-Elmore.

This is a talented team, with depth being the only concern this season. As guys get more experience, and if they stay healthy, the Eagles’ depth will grow. I think just that one week of experience, although it was a loss, helps this team tremendously. I think the offense will get going fast again this week, but won’t let off the gas pedal like last week. There is still plenty of reason to believe this Calera team can be like the team that got off to a 21-7 lead against Pelham in the opening quarter. Calera 31, Pell City 21

Chelsea vs. Briarwood 

This is a fun local game each year because of the proximity of the two teams. For the second week in a row, the Chelsea Hornets will take on a U.S. 280 area team, but this time around will be looking for a better result, while the Lions will be looking to start their 2018 campaign with a win. Last year, the Lions won this game 19-7 in a defensive battle, and went on to finish the season 14-1.

While the Lions are coming off a slim jamboree loss to Vestavia Hills, this will be a great opportunity for J.R. Tran-Reno to get some experience at quarterback in regular-season action. I think Briarwood has the opportunity to be more dominant this season than last, should the offense get going. Chelsea will improve this week, but this Briarwood defense is going to make it tough for a Hornets’ offense that is still struggling this season. Briarwood 24, Chelsea 10 

Helena vs. Hueytown

It was a week for growth for the Helena Huskies as they lost their first game under first-year head coach Richie Busby by a final of 35-13 to McAdory. In Week 2, the Huskies will return home with experience under their belt as they take on a Hueytown team that is coming off an 18-7 loss to a good Homewood team.

The Golden Gophers are a solid football team that fell victim to a better football team in Week 1, but seeing just seven points put up by their offense should give Helena some confidence that if they are physical and prepared, that they can compete in this one. On the opposite end of that, Hueytown gave up just 18 points to a solid Patriots’ offense, meaning the Huskies need some drastic improvement on that side of the ball. Helena 14, Hueytown 24 

Vincent at Holy Spirit

This is going to be an interesting week for the Vincent Yellow Jackets, who are coming off a difficult 49-18 loss, while Holy Spirit is coming off a 55-0 win. Vincent was taking on a team two classifications higher, while Holy Spirit, a 1A team, was taking on a below average 1A team.

I do think the Yellow Jackets will have the chance to bounce back, and honestly should, but I’m going to need to see that same passion and desire I saw from them last year to give me some belief in them moving forward. If the Jackets come out physical and fast, and with a hunger to win this game big, they’ll come out on top. Vincent 27, Holy Spirit 24