For three teams: the Walker Vikings, Dora Bulldogs and Oakman Wildcats, Friday night will be a battle for the region championship, as well as the opportunity to lockup home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Both the Winston County Yellow Jackets and the Addison Bulldogs, with one region loss on the season, could also move a step closer to clinching homefield first-round playoff advantage this week in their region clashes.
Postseason play is also in the picture for the Corner Yellow Jackets, Meek Tigers, Lynn Bears, who all face critical challenges in their quests to secure a playoff spot.
Walker Vikings, Class 5A, Region 6, 5-0
The Vikings are on the verge of their first region championship since 1999 when they host the Mortimer Jordan (4-1) on Friday night at Ki-Ro Gambrell Stadium. With a victory, Walker would hold a tie-breaker in determining the region championship in lieu of their win over Pinson Valley earlier in the season. A Mortimer Jordan win, however, would tie the top spot in the region between the Vikings, the Blue Devils and the Indians with a loss each. Mortimer Jordan fell to Pinson Valley, 31-7 in week two, with the Vikings defeating the Indians a week later 31-13.
Dora Bulldogs, Class 4A, Region 4, 5-0
Dora coach Johnny Wright helped guide his teams to three consecutive region championships — from 2002-04 — in his first tenure with the Bulldogs. If the Bulldogs prevail over the Jemison Panthers (4-1) on Friday night at Jemison, Wright will be able to add the program’s tenth region title to the trophy case and secure homefield advantage for Dora for the first time since 2006. The Panthers suffered their first region loss of the season to Corner last week, 24-21 — who Dora defeated 39-17 in week three.
Oakman Wildcats, Class 2A, Region 4, 5-0
The Wildcats are seeking their first region championship since 2003 and their seventh overall title when they visit Aliceville’s Memorial Stadium on Friday to face the Yellow Jackets (4-1). Oakman ride into the championship showdown on a five-game winning streak after edging Hale County last week, 21-14 and can grab homefield playoff advantage for a second-straight year with a win. Aliceville’s lone region defeat was to Lamar County, 44-14 in week six, who the Wildcats beat 41-24 in week two.
Winston County Yellow Jackets, Class 3A, Region 7, 4-1
The Yellow Jackets fell to Hanceville for the first time this season in region play, 61-14, making this week’s clash with the No. 4 Hamilton Aggies (5-0) critical for homefield advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Although Winston County has secured a postseason appearance for the first time in two years, clinching the region’s number two spot will be challenging with Friday’s battle in Malcolm Blake Stadium and a looming clash with Vinemont awaiting in week nine — who are 3-2 in region play.
Addison Bulldogs, Class 1A, Region 6, 4-1
The Bulldogs may have lost their first region game of the year to the No. 4 Ragland Purple Devils in week two, Addison has been unstoppable ever since — with a defensive effort that has yielded just 10 points in the past five games. A victory over the Falkville Blue Devils (5-0) on Friday at A.G. Hicks Stadium, coupled with a Ragland win over Falkville next week would give Addison the region’s second spot and allow the Bulldogs to host the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Corner Yellow Jackets, Class 4A, Region 4, 3-2
Corner kept it playoff hopes alive last week as the beat previously undefeated Jemison, 24-21. A win this week over Carbon Hill, along with a victory over the Bibb County Choctaws (2-3) next week would give the Yellow Jackets the region’s fourth playoff spot. A Corner win at G.W. Keith Stadium and a Choctaw loss to the West Blocton Tigers this week would also give the Yellow Jackets the spot as well.
Meek Tigers, Class 1A, Region 6, 2-3
With their 24-21 victory over the Sumiton Christian Eagles in week three, Meek playoff quest is still intact leading into Friday night’s showdown with the Southeastern Mustangs. Should the Tigers prove victorious against the Mustangs and win next week’s battle with the Shades Mountain Christian Eagles next week, Meek would lockup their first postseason appearance since 2003. Southeastern and Shades Mountain have combined for a 1-9 region record this year.
Lynn Bears, Class 1A, Region 5, 2-3
Lynn’s opportunity to grab their eighth-consecutive playoff appearance rides on the next two games, starting off with this week’s clash with the Parrish Tornadoes. Should the Bears emerge victorious Friday night at Posey Field, they will battle the Hubbertville Lions (2-3) next week for the region final playoff spot.