Week 6 preview: Carbon Hill, Parrish face No. 1 teams
by W. Brian Hale and Johnathan Bentley
Oct 04, 2013 | 1340 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Carbon Hill Bulldogs and the Parrish Tornadoes face daunting challenges this week: dethroning their classification’s top ranked teams, as they take on the Calera Eagles and the Pickens County Tornadoes tonight.

Both teams have struggled this season under first-year coaches — with Parrish only securing one win under Sam McCorkle, while Carbon Hill is winless under Rodney Dollar.

Both will have to contend with two of the state’s top offenses, with Calera averaging over 53 points a game and Pickens County scoring over 48 points a contest.

In another key region matchup, the Dora Bulldogs will look to stay on the path to the playoffs as they host the Bibb County Choctaws in a key Region 4 clash.

The Sumiton Christian Eagles (2-3) are off this week.


Class 5A

Walker (3-2) at Hayden (0-5)

Missed opportunities and costly mistakes spelled doom for the Walker Vikings in a narrow loss to Russellville in Week 5.

Now, heading back into region play, the Vikings hope to bounce back on the road against a team they have owned — the Hayden Wildcats.

Walker is a perfect 7-0 against the Wildcats, giving up a total of five touchdowns in those matchups. Walker has outscored Hayden 298-31 since their first meeting in 2006.

First-year Hayden coach Keith Register, who led Fultondale to back-to-back 10-3 season before taking over the Wildcats' program, has inherited a team that has struggled on both sides of the ball in 2013.

Hayden (0-5, 0-3) has scored just 23 points against 5A competition this year while giving up an average of 37.3 points per game. The Wildcats fell to rival Corner 27-20 last week.

Though Walker (3-2, 3-0) lost its second non-region game of the season in Week 5, the Vikings are still perfect in region play heading into this week's game. Interim coach Heath Brunner's team can still put together an undefeated region record despite not being eligible for the playoffs. Walker was placed on restrictive probation, and ruled ineligible for the postseason, by the AHSAA due to a fight on the field involving former head coach John Holladay in the season opener.

Today's game marks the next-to-last road game for Walker this season.

Walker hosts undefeated Center Point, which knocked off No. 1 McAdory in Week 5, next week at home.


Curry (1-4) at Springville (2-3)

Curry has had trouble stopping opposing offenses so far this season.

After giving up more than 50 points twice this season, things got worse against Class 3A Sipsey Valley in Week 5 as the Yellow Jackets gave up 66 points, tying the modern day record set last season against Pinson Valley. Curry's all-time mark was set in a 92-0 loss to Hackleburg in 1930.

Curry also brings a 14-game region losing streak into the game at Springville, which was lost its last three games following a pair of shutout wins in the first two weeks.


Class 4A

No. 8 Bibb County (5-0) at Dora (3-2)

Bibb County is back.

One season after missing the playoffs for the first time in six years, the Choctaws are undefeated and tied atop the Class 4A, Region 4 standings with top-ranked Calera.

Dora hopes to derail Bibb County’s perfect season and pick up a key region victory in a game that will go a long way in determining the top three region teams.

Dora (3-2, 2-1) has been hit by more injuries than any area team. Since the start of the season, the Bulldogs have lost leading running back DeMarcus Kirk, transfers Quadrekas Key and Sa’Darius Key as well as coach Johnny Wright, who is away from the team as he recovers from heart bypass surgery.

Interim coach George Banks has guided the team over the last two weeks, including last week’s 45-7 loss to 5A powerhouse Muscle Shoals. Despite the loss, Dora became the first team to score against Muscle Shoals this season.

A year after losing three games by eight points or less, Mike McCombs’ Bibb County team has already earned two narrow wins, beating Greensboro in overtime and Jemison by a touchdown.

Dora defeated Bibb County 27-25 on the road last year.


Carbon Hill (0-5) at No. 1 Calera (5-0)

Carbon Hill has allowed 100 points combined over the last two weeks.

Top-ranked Calera (5-0, 3-0) has already topped the 50-point mark three time this season.

Carbon Hill (0-5, 0-3) faces one of its toughest tests of the season on the road today against the Eagles and top-rated prospect Ronnie Clark.

In last week’s 42-27 win over Shelby County, Clark, who plays quarterback, rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns while passing for 149 yards and two scores.

Carbon Hill, which dropped a 51-28 decision to Winston County in a non-region game last week, has lost 15 straight games and 14 straight region games.


Corner (2-3) at Oak Grove (1-4)

Two teams in desperate need of a region victory meet at Oak Grove today.

Corner and Oak Grove enter the game tied for fifth place in the region standings. The top four teams from each region advance to the playoffs.

Oak Grove (1-4, 1-2) is coming off a 32-0 loss to Class 5A Brookwood last week while Corner (2-3, 1-2) earned a narrow 27-20 win over Hayden.

This week’s contest marks Corner’s fourth straight road game. Corner travels to Jemison next week in another key region matchup before closing the season with three consecutive home games.

Corner and Oak Grove have played off and on since 1946. Oak Grove leads the all-time series 31-29-1 with Corner winning each of the last two games.


Class 3A

Cordova (1-4) at Winston Co. (2-3)

The Yellow Jackets suffered a heart-breaking blow during last week’s 51-28 victory over Carbon Hill when quarterback Seth Blanton went down with an injury. With Blanton’s status for tonight’s game uncertain at press time, Winston County will have a challenge in trying to match the 37-point production the Yellow Jackets’ offense have averaged this season.

After an 0-4 start to the season, the Blue Devils earned their first win of the year last week against county archrival Parrish, 54-20 — the program’s inaugural victory under new coach Jimmy Gay.

While a playoff berth is a long shot for both teams, ending the season with 5-5 or better marks could help build for the future.

The Blue Devils lead the overall series, 24-9-2, with the Yellow Jackets taking last year’s decision, 31-16.


Class 2A

No. 8 Oakman (4-1) at Sulligent (0-5)

Since week two’s region loss to No. 5 Lamar County, there’s been little to stop the Wildcats — offensively or defensively.

During the past three weeks, Oakman has averaged over 52 points a game on offense, while giving up only 8 points a contest on defense. Quarterback Jase Trotter and a talented corps of receivers have combined for 955 yards through the air, with 12 touchdowns and only one interception, while running back Chris Austin has totalled 501 yards on the ground with seven touchdowns.

Trotter should eclipse the 1,000 mark tonight against the winless Blue Devils, who are giving up over 42 points a game, while only scoring an average of 11 points.

Sulligent holds a 2-1 overall record in the series, with Oakman winning last year’s meeting, 21-13.


Class 1A

No. 4 Addison (5-0) at Meek (1-4)

Although the long-time county rivals are only separated by a short distance, Addison and Meek’s seasons couldn’t be further apart.

Since a narrow 28-20 win over defending region champion Ragland in week two, the Bulldogs have only given up one touchdown while posting two shutouts — including last week’s rout of Appalachian, 48-0.

Addison’s offense has been equally impressive during the three-week span, scoring 138 points.

Meek also posted a victory in week two — 44-8 against Woodville — but the Tigers haven’t seen the win column since. The Tigers dropped last week’s contest to Marion County, 41-16.

Addison leads the overall series, 47-9 and have won the past ten meetings.


Lynn (1-4) at No. 5 Marion Co. (4-1)

2013 hasn’t been a memorable season for the Bears. After opening the year with a 47-38 win over the Winston County Yellow Jackets, Lynn arrives to tonight’s Region 5 matchup on a four-game losing streak. Lynn suffered a 68-34 loss to Class 2A Cold Springs last week and have been outscored this season 254-126.

Since dropping their only loss of the season to Berry in week two, the Red Raiders have posted three consecutive victories — including last week’s 41-16 win over the Meek Tigers.

Lynn leads the overall series, 12-10, with Marion County winning the last three meetings, including last year’s 42-18 victory. 


No. 1 Pickens Co. (5-0) at Parrish (1-4)

Top-ranked Pickens County has romped through the opposition this season, outscoring the competition 241-50 through five contests.

Parrish, after securing a victory over previously-ranked Berry, took a step back last week with a 54-20 loss to the Cordova Blue Devils.

Though Parrish has been competitive in region play under new coach Sam McCorkle, the program will need its best play against Pickens County, who crushed 2A Aliceville last week, 54-18.

Pickens County shut out Parrish last year, 28-0, to tie the series between the teams at 2-2.