West Alabama High School Football: Week 11 Preview
Last Week’s Picks: 5-1*
This Season’s Picks: 40-14
*- Curry forfeited their game against Gordo, so the Green Wave received a win.
Now that region play is over, many teams across west Alabama are preparing for the first round of the playoffs. With that being said, the final week of the regular season stands in the way. From games that can determine a 10-0 perfect season to an intense cross-county rivalry, these games might not be regional, but they are still just as important.
Demopolis Tigers (9-0, 6-0) @ Hillcrest Patriots (8-1, 5-1)-
Early on in the season, Hillcrest seemed to be the team to beat in Region 4 of 6A. This all changed after a Week 5 loss at Hueytown. Hueytown walked away with the region title after only losing once and owning a tiebreaker over the Pats.
Regardless, including the loss, Hillcrest’s offense was on fire this year from the hands of quarterback Ethan Crawford. In six of the Pats’ nine games so far, the team has scored over 30 points. Demopolis has looked just as explosive with six games of their own with over 30 points.
Bryant’s Pick: Along with both offenses, Demopolis’s and Hillcrest’s defenses have both been stout. Still, this game will be high-scoring with many big plays. In the end, though, Hillcrest will spoil the Tiger’s perfect season and keep their momentum going into the first round of the playoffs.
Gordo Green Wave (8-1, 6-0) @ Pickens County Tornadoes (7-2, 6-1)-
Since both teams’ football teams were founded in the 1910s, Gordo and Pickens County, only eight miles from each other, have had a fierce rivalry of 95 games. In the series, Gordo leads with 53 wins to the Tornadoes’ 39 victories.
Due to renovations at Gordo’s stadium, the Green Wave has played all of its games at Pickens County’s field. Besides a loss to Northridge, Gordo has been powerful, scoring over 300 total points. In all games so far, Gordo’s defense hasn’t allowed more than 20 points. In addition, the past two games have been shutouts. Still, with the injury of starting quarterback Tanner Bailey, the Green Wave’s offense has slowed down.
Pickens County’s offense has been consistent all season. Seven of their games have featured over 26 points. While the Tornadoes’ first game resulted in a shutout loss to Linden, the team’s only other loss was only by one point.
Bryant’s Pick: Recently, Pickens County has been very successful. In the past decade, the Tornadoes have had a winning season every year. With that being said, Gordo has had their number, winning six years in a row. The Tornadoes have a great team, but Gordo will win again to make it seven.
Tuscaloosa County Wildcats (2-7, 1-6) @ Northridge Jaguars (7-2, 4-2)-
Last week against McAdory, Northridge’s defense put on a show with five interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. In addition, the defense forced four fumbles. As for the whole season, the Jags have only allowed 110 points.
This week, this same defense will be looking at a big test against Wildcats’ running back Damien Taylor, a three-star commit with 1,851 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns this season.
While T-County’s record might not show it, this Wildcats team is talented. Three of their seven losses have been within one touchdown.
Bryant’s Pick: Unfortunately for Tuscaloosa County, the Jaguars will run wild on this defense. Four times this year, T-County has allowed over 40 points, so this might be ugly. Northridge will win big, avenging last year’s loss to the Wildcats.
Central Falcons (3-6, 2-5) @ Fairfield Tigers (4-5, 3-4)-
Central-Tuscaloosa had high hopes at the beginning of this season with the new hire of head coach Rodney Bivens Jr., but this season has been a tough one. The Falcons have only won three games in 2020, which is a slight downgrade from 2019’s four wins.
Fairfield has also had a tough season, but the Tigers managed to sneak into the playoffs with a 3-4 region record. The Tigers’ offense has struggled, scoring zero points in two of their games. In addition, two of Fairfield’s wins have been decided by less than seven points.
Bryant’s Pick: Central coach Bivens might have had a rough first season, but the Central Falcons are on the verge of something great. With young talent on both sides of the ball, Central could be poised to make a playoff run next year. As for this season, Fairfield’s offense will struggle again this week, but the Tigers will be victorious.
Hale County Wildcats (5-4, 2-4) @ Lamar County Bulldogs (4-5, 3-3)-
The Wildcats upset a great Northside team last week at home which perfectly encapsulates this surprising season. Hale County almost snuck into the playoffs, but after losing to Greensboro two weeks ago, their fate was out of their hands. Regardless, Wildcats fans should not think negatively of this season. Like Central-Tuscaloosa, Hale County is on its way to a playoff run soon.
Lamar County has had a similar season to Hale County, averaging about 20 points per game on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs’ only win last season was against Hale County, which brought Lamar County’s overall record over Hale County to 5-1, so on paper, it seems like the Bulldogs will be victorious.
Bryant’s Pick: While it might seem like Lamar County will win because of their momentum going into the playoffs, don’t discredit Hale County. This season has marked a turnaround point for the Wildcats, and they will prove this with a road win against the Bulldogs.
Also finishing their regular season in the area, Brookwood will travel to Oak Grove.
Northside will host winless Sipsey Valley.
And the Holt Ironmen will travel to Auburn.
Mars Hill forfeits this week to American Christian Academy.