Almost all of the commitments' teams have either already clinched a berth in their respective state's playoffs or are still alive in the hunt for a run in the post-season.
One of the teams that wrapped up its region title and a playoff berth over the weekend was Terrell Zachery's Wadley team. The Bulldogs moved their record to a perfect 9-0 on the season and kept a solid hold on their number one state ranking with a 35-0 victory over Ragland.
In a game that was dominated by Bulldogs' junior tailback Terrence Wilkes, who rushed for 254 yards and all five Wadley scores, Zachery did all he could in the passing game. The talented receiver caught seven passes, which was all the Bulldogs completed on the night, for 121 yards.
Terrell Zachery is closing in on the record for most career receving yards in Alabama state history.
Another commitment's team also clinched its district title on Friday night. However, unlike Wadley, which is very familiar with winning region titles and playoff football, this is the first ever district title for First Coast High.
First Coast relied heavily on the running game in a 24-12 win over Wolfson High in a driving rainstorm to clinch the title. However, Alex Rose was able to pull down three passes for 50 yards in the contest. For the season, Rose has caught 17 passes for 301 yards, an average of 17.8 yards per catch, and four TDs.
Kareem Crowell's Godby High team was also able to lock up its district title with a huge 55-7 win over Panama City Beach Arnold High on Friday night. Crowell, who has recorded almost 50 tackles on the season, led a Godby defense that held Arnold to only 136 yards of total offense.
Hendrick Leverette was only allowed to play one series on defense and a couple of series on offense for Oak Grove on Friday night against an overmatched foe. In that limited amount of action, Leverette says he was able to get one tackle and punched in a four-yard run for a TD in a 42-8 win over Forest Hill High. With the win the Warriors kept their record perfect and look to be a huge threat to make a run at the state title in Mississippi's 5A classification.
Peach County's Chris Slaughter also didn't get to see much action on Friday night in a 63-0 drubbing of Tri-County High. Slaughter caught three passes for 38 yards and one score in only a quarter of action for the Trojans, who clinched their region championship and a playoff berth last week.
Bart Eddins' Trinity High team is one that is very used to winning region titles. The Wildcats had had won 45 straight regular season games, a streak that dated back to 2000, before dropping a 7-6 contest to W.S. Neal earlier in the season. However, after losing a region game to Rehobeth two weeks ago and another to St. James this Friday, the Wildcats will simply have to settle for a playoff spot in 2005.
In the 24-14 loss to city rival St. James, who hadn't beaten the Wildcats since the 2000 season, Eddins recorded eight tackles and a sack.
Another player who helped his team stay undefeated, although it was not on the high school level, was big Greg Smith. The 6-2 1/2, 320-pound defensive tackle, who says he has four sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a large number of tackles on the season, helped lead Northeast Mississippi Community College to a 38-14 win over Northwest Mississippi Community College to keep his teams record perfect at 5-0 and move to number three in the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) football poll.
Big Greg Smith is a load on the inside for Northeast Mississippi Community College.
A team that is still alive in the playoff race, but hanging by a thread is Lovejoy High, who dropped a 34-31 heartbreaker to East Cowetta. The Wildcats were led by Mario Fannin, who says he is about 80 percent after a high ankle sprain sidelined him for a game earlier in the season. The talented athlete threw for 211 yards and a touchdown and also added 130 yards rushing and another score in the loss.
Zaccheus Etheridge's Charles Henderson team was eliminated from playoff contention on Friday night when the Trojans let a 21-7 halftime lead evaporate and fell to Carroll of Ozark 34-28.
Zach Clayton's Opelika team also lost on Friday night, but the Bulldogs had already wrapped up their region title a week earlier against Enterprise. However, that didn't make the 14-7 loss to cross town rival Auburn, who hadn't beaten Opelika since 1995, any less painful. Auburn QB Dominique Reese torched Opelika's vaunted defense, which had only given up 110 yards per game coming into the contest, for 261 all-purpose yards. Clayton was injured in the game, suffering a deep thigh bruise.
The other AU commitments were not in action over the weekend. Steven Ensminger's West Monroe team had the week off, Benjamin Tate is still out of action with a high ankle sprain and Neil Caudle is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL.