Predictions: What to expect from a loaded Week 5 in Shelby County

Published 9:46 am Thursday, September 20, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

Week 4 record: 8-1

Overall record: 25-10

An action packed second week of region play saw Briarwood and Montevallo both remain unbeaten, Thompson and Oak Mountain light up the scoreboard and several other storylines.

Now we are nearing the midway point of the 2018 football season as we enter Week 5 with several opponents taking on teams currently sitting inside the top 10 of the current ASWA poll. After a fan vote, we have our game of the week and will pick that as well as the other eight games on this week’s schedule.

Oak Mountain vs. Hoover (Game of the Week)

For the second week in a row, the Oak Mountain Eagles will get a top-5 team coming off a loss to another top-5 team looking for an angry rebound victory when they take on Hoover this Friday.

The Bucs will be coming off a mind boggling 56-28 loss to region foe Hewitt-Trussville, while the Eagles are coming off a second game in a row against a top-10 team.

While it’s the conclusion of a gauntlet featuring Hewitt, Thompson and Hoover for Oak Mountain, the Eagles have plenty of reason for confidence going into this game, thanks to very competitive and close games against each of their last two opponents that could have ended in an upset.

With both teams averaging 34-plus points per game and giving up 31-plus points per game, there will be a lot of points scored, and in a shootout, that will give Oak Mountain a chance.

It’s tough to see them pulling off the upset this week, mainly because of physical exhaustion, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they did. Either way, even if the Eagles fall to 0-3 in region play this week, they’ll still have a solid chance to win every game the rest of the way after getting this tough stretch out of the way early. Oak Mountain 28, Hoover 38

Spain Park vs. Hewitt-Trussville

Spain Park is headed in the wrong direction having lost three consecutive games, and it won’t get any easier this week with Hewitt-Trussville coming to town.

The Huskies are riding a high of beating No. 1 Hoover 56-28, while the Jags are coming off a 24-14 loss to Mountain Brook after giving up 21 unanswered points in the second half. Hewitt’s defense has struggled at times, which can keep the Jags in this game, but in the end, one team has momentum and the other doesn’t. Spain Park 20, Hewitt-Trussville 35

Thompson at Tuscaloosa County

This game should be a mere formality simply due to the fact that Tuscaloosa County is giving up 26.3 points per game while only scoring 16.5 points per game. Those stats don’t match up well with a Thompson team that is scoring 36.5 per game and giving up just 18.3 per game.

While Thompson’s defense is still growing as a young unit, they have actually performed well, especially against teams they are heavy favorites against. I not only think the Warriors can pitch a shutout in this game, but it’s going to be way too much for the Wildcats to handle this explosive Thompson offense. Thompson 38, Tuscaloosa County 17

Chelsea vs. Pelham

Both of these teams will desperately be searching for momentum and a win in this game. The Hornets are 0-4 this season and 0-2 in region play, while the Panthers are 2-2 overall and 0-2 in region play after dropping their last two games.

Pelham is the better team, but the offense has been so inconsistent in its last two losses after a dominating two games to start the season. With the offense struggling, going up against a Chelsea team that is playing good defense doesn’t help. That being said, Chelsea’s offense is struggling a little bit too much this season to pull off the upset in this one. Chelsea 17, Pelham 28 

Helena at Minor

If Helena wins this game, it could really go a long way with two games in a row after this that are very winnable against Southside-Gadsden and Chelsea. Minor, however, is coming off a big win against a Pelham team that is better than Helena right now.

The big difference in this game will be the Tigers’ defense that is giving up just 18.5 points per game. While their offense is struggling drastically, scoring just 13.5 points per game, their defense will be able to handle a Helena offense scoring just a shade over eight points per game. Minor 20, Helena 7

Briarwood vs. Wenonah 

A week ago, this game had much more intrigue with two undefeated and top-5 teams set to face off, but now Wenonah is coming off a 26-0 shutout loss to Fairfield, while Briarwood is coming off a dominant 46-0 shutout win against Woodlawn.

The Lions are now giving up just four points per game, which is huge considering this offense still has some growing to do. For the second week in a row, Luke Prewett was out of the game, but if he returns, the combination of quarterback J.R. Tran-Reno and Prewett behind one of the best offensive lines is almost impossible to stop. While the passing game is still trying to get sorted out, the defense shouldn’t allow too many points with Wenonah’s offense struggling. Briarwood 20, Wenonah 6

Shelby County vs. Marbury

Shelby County showed some improvement against Bibb County, but it was still another loss by a final score of 30-24. While the offense scored more points than it had all season, they still have some growing pains to figure out on both sides of the ball.

This week, however, they’ll have as good of a chance as any to pick up a win. They’ll be taking on an 0-3 Marbury team that is also struggling, scoring just 11.3 points per game and giving up 33.7 points per game. It’s going to be a very tightly contested game that could go either way, but the Wildcats should edge out this one. Shelby County 20, Marbury 18

Montevallo vs. American Christian

Montevallo continued its impressive play with a dominant 64-41 win against Jemison last week for a fourth straight win against a team that was two classifications higher a season ago.

But now comes the real test. This week they get a top-10 American Christian team that beat the Bulldogs 51-6 last season and has yet to allow a point through three games this season. While Montevallo’s offense is scoring 40.8 points per game, American Christian’s is scoring 42.3 points per game and isn’t giving up any. I wouldn’t be surprised by a Bulldogs’ upset, but the Patriots’ defense is the difference. Montevallo 21, American Christian 31 

Vincent vs. Thorsby

Vincent just can’t catch any breaks this season as their schedule gets more and more difficult with each opponent’s win. This week, the Yellow Jackets will be taking on a top-10 Thorsby team that is 4-0 and coming off an 18-14 win against LaFayette, who beat Vincent 40-0 two weeks ago. Thorsby is giving up just 10 points per game right now, while the Jackets are only scoring 13.3. Vincent 7, Thorsby 35