Region play opens for 11 area teams
by W. Brian Hale
Sep 07, 2012 | 838 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Region play commences for teams across the state this week, with 11 of the 13 squads in the Daily Mountain Eagle coverage area beginning their quest for playoff spots and postseason glory.

The Sumiton Christian Eagles and the Meek Tigers began their seasons in region openers, with Sumiton Christian prevailing over the Shades Mountain Christian Eagles, 35-0, while Meek edged the Appalachian Eagles, 21-20.

Both teams are in their first year in Class 1A, Region 6. Meek is the only area program not in a region matchup this week.

There will be plenty of crucial battles, including Dora-Calera, Addison-Ragland, Curry-Center Point and Parrish-Hubbertville.

In college football action, the Auburn Tigers will look to rebound after their loss to the Clemson Tigers with a trip to Starkville to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in both teams’ SEC opener. The Alabama Crimson Tide make their 2012 home debut by hosting the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

Friday, Sept. 7

Moody (1-0) at

Walker (0-1)

WJLX 101.5 FM, 7 p.m.

The Vikings stayed competitive in last week’s opener with Cullman before the Bearcats pulled away with a 28-point fourth quarter to secure their 42-14 victory. Moody took out Class 4A St. Clair County last week, 28-20 — a positive first step for the Blue Devils who finished the 2011 season with a 1-9 record. With a key match looming with No. 6 Pinson Valley next week, Walker will look to put last week’s disappointing performance behind them and establish momentum in their first home appearance in 2012 at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field. It will be the first meeting between the two programs. The game will be broadcast on WJLX 101.5 FM.

Calera (1-0) at Dora (1-0)

WJBE 88.5 FM, 7 p.m.

Both teams enter their Class 4A, Region 4 contest after impressive wins. Dora routed in-county archrival Cordova 45-6 to mark the beginning of the second era of coach Johnny Wright, while Calera drubbed Holt 33-6. With a pair of explosive offenses taking the field at Horace Roberts Stadium, both teams will look to their defenses to gain an advantage in the game and help gain solid footing in their region debut. It will be the first meeting between the two programs. The game will be broadcast on WJBE 88.5 FM.

Curry (1-0) at

Center Point (0-1)

Curry easily dispatched Carbon Hill in week one, 58-13, while Center Point was blanked by Class 6A Huffman, 18-0. Both teams had breakthrough seasons in 2011, with the Yellow Jackers posting their best record and making the playoffs for the first time since 1996, while Eagles went 11-2 and advanced to the third round of the playoffs. The Class 5A, Region 6 match will mark the first meeting between the teams.

Lamar Co. (1-0) at

Oakman (0-1)

The stakes are high in this critical Class 2A, Region 4 contest, with the winner taking an early lead for the title. Lamar County shutout county rival South Lamar last week, 34-0. Oakman fell to rival Parrish, 33-24, in their season opener, who fell behind in the first quarter and were never able to gain the lead. The Bulldogs have been a perfect 4-0 against the Wildcats, winning 58-13 in the teams’ last meeting in 2009.

Parrish (1-0) at

Hubbertville (1-0)

After a disappointing 2011 season, Parrish ensured new coach Jarrod Wooten’s debut went well after defeating Oakman, 33-24. Hubbertville, who have posted back-to-back 7-4 season, beat Phillips-Bear Creek, 35-18 to begin their quest for a third-consecutive playoff berth. In ultra-competitive Region 5 that contains four of the top ten teams in Class 1A, every win counts and both programs will be eager to start their region campaigns with a victory. The Tornadoes hold a 13-3 edge in the all-time series, with the Lions winning last years contest, 36-35.

No. 9 Lynn (1-0) at

Brilliant (0-1)

The ninth-ranked Bears have had their way with the Tigers in the Phillip Smith era — winning the last six games to hold an edge in the overall series, 22-17, with last year’s meeting in a messy 70-12 rout. Both teams faced Class 3A competition in their openers, as Lynn prevailed over longtime rival Winston County, 38-25, while Brilliant suffered a defeat at the hands of Winfield, 26-0. The Bears will look to stay undefeated going into next week’s pivotal Class 1A, Region 5 battle against No. 6 Pickens County.

Bibb Co. (0-1) at

Carbon Hill (0-1)

Although both teams come into their Class 4A, Region 4 matchup having lost their season openers, recent history for the two programs could not be more radically different. The Bulldogs have gone a combined 6-35 over the past four seasons, while the Choctaws, last year’s region champion, hold a 46-7 mark over the same four-year period. It will be the first meeting between the two teams. Curry beat Carbon Hill last week 58-13,

No. 6 Hamilton (1-0) at Cordova (0-1)

The young Blue Devils, who will be looking to make a statement after their season-opening 45-6 loss to Dora, face a stiff challenge this week in the form of the No. 6 Aggies — who are a perfect 6-0 against Cordova and are 27-1 in region play since 2008. Hamilton beat Sulligent 27-7 last week and won last year’s matchup with Cordova, 39-20.

Sumiton Christian (1-0) at Appalachian (0-1)

The rising Sumiton Christian Eagles will look to remain undefeated in Class 1A, Region 6 against the Appalachian Eagles — who are still reeling from their 21-20 season-opening loss to the Meek Tigers. Sumiton Christian handled Shades Mountain Christian 35-0 last week and have won both meetings with Appalachian, 42-12 in 2000 and 28-20 in 2001.

Meek (1-0) at

Woodville (0-1)

The Meek Tigers posted their biggest win under coach Lance Archer, 21-20, against annual playoff contender Appalachian last week in their Class 1A, Region 7 opener. The Tigers will step out of region play this week with a trip to Woodville — a program that has gone 5-56 since their first team took the field in 2006. A victory by the Tigers could make next week’s region matchup with Sumiton Christian one of the most important of the year.

No. 4 Ragland (0-0) at Addison (0-1)

The path won’t get any easier for the Addison Bulldogs. A week after losing a tough season opener against Class 2A playoff contender Ider, 27-7, Addison opens Class 1A, Region 7 play against the fourth-ranked Ragland Purple Devils, who went 13-1 in 2011 and advanced to the fourth round of the playoffs before losing to eventual state champion Marion County. Addison has won the only previous meeting between the programs, a 27-6 victory in the second round of 2003 playoffs.

Winfield (1-0) at

Winston County (0-1)

After a disappointing 5-5 season in 2011 that caused the Pirates to miss the playoffs for only the second time in nine years, Winfield looked to be back in top form by posting a 26-0 victory over Brilliant last week, while Winston County enters the Class 3A, Region 5 contest on a 15-game losing streak with a 38-25 loss to Lynn. Winfield leads the series 22-8-2, including last year’s 35-20 victory.

Corner (0-1) at

West Blocton (0-1)

Neither Corner or West Blocton’s season began on a good note, with the Yellow Jackets falling to Munford 47-7 and the Tigers losing to No. 7 (2A) Vincent, 28-19. Both will look to regain their momentum after clinching playoff berths in 2011 in this week’s Class 4A, Region 4 match. The teams tied 20-20 in the series only previous meeting in 1978.

Saturday, Sept. 8

Auburn (0-1) at

Mississippi State (1-0)

11 a.m., ESPN

Gene Chizik probably wishes he had another week to make changes to his defense and prepare for Saturday’s game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs after Clemson rushed for 300 yards and totalled 500 offensive yards in the 26-19 loss. Unfortunately, there’s no rest for the weary as Auburn makes the trip to Starkville to battle the Bulldogs, who trounced Jackson State 56-3 last week. The Tigers will have to find a way to produce more consistently on offense against Mississippi State, as well as stop the Bulldog rushing attack early if they hope to bounce back from the heartbreaking season opener.

Western Kentucky (1-0) at No. 1 Alabama (1-0)

2:30 p.m., SEC Network

After pushing the Michigan Wolverines all over Cowboys Stadium in the 41-14 victory, the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers should resemble in NFL preseason game — with the starters playing in the first quarter to iron-out any wrinkles in the offensive and defensive playsets, before the second and third string come in to put the game away. It’ll be just what Dr. Saban ordered before next week’s SEC opener against the Arkansas Razorbacks.