Alexandria is coming off of a surprising loss to 3A Walter Wellborn (1-4). It was a surprise to many that Wellborn was winless, but it certainly didn't appear Alexandria would be their first victim. The Valley Cubs will have to shake off that out-of-region loss this week against the 'Cats.
Guntersville comes into the game with two losses against 5A Scottsboro (4-1) to start the season 20-14 and a third week region loss to Cherokee County (3-2; 3-0) 27-24. The Wildcats seemed to have found some rhythm or maybe the competition got softer in the next two games as they defeated Jacksonville (1-4) 51-7 for a region win and 5A Arab (2-3) 49-7 last week.
The Wildcats will have quarterback Chaz Rogers leading the offense.
Alexandria quarterback Ethan Vinyard has made the transition from wide receiver to quarterback for the 2007 season.
Yratings.com gives this game to Guntersville by 14. I think the Valley Cubs might bounce back in this game.
Lou Scales Stadium (Death Valley)
The fourth ranked Thomasville Tigers (4-1; 3-0) will host the Tigers of T.R. Miller (3-2; 2-1). Thomasville's only loss of the season was a rivalry loss to 1A Sweet Water (5-0; 3-0) 27-13. Don't let the 1A classification fool you, Sweet Water could beat most teams up through the 4A level.
The game last year saw one of the most exciting finishes when T.R. Miller scored two touchdowns in less than three minutes to give them the victory 28-23.
Running back Roya Campbell is a big threat to the Miller team. The recent UAB commitments Jarrell and Katrell Watters are linebackers for the Thomasville Tigers.
T.R. Miller proved special teams can play a critical part in a game last week when they took on 3A Straughn (2-3). Cortez Banks came away with two blocked punts.
Thomasville's defense will have quarterback Wil Riggs and wideout Seth Holland to contend with and junior running back and kick returner Matt Lane.
Yratings.com shows Thomasville a 25 point favorite. I think Thomasville will pull this off, but I think a lot closer.
Brewton Municipal Stadium
The fifth ranked Andalusia (5-0; 3-0) Bulldogs will travel to region opponent Trinity Presbyterian's home field to face the Wildcats (3-2; 3-0). They might not want to answer the door.
This game might have the makings of a lopsided win for the Bulldogs. The homefield and with the Wildcats sitting at 3-0 in the region they might just find some added confidence, and maybe catch Andalusia a little over confident.
Andalusia lost their first game against 3A reigning state champ Pike County (5-0; 3-0) 29-18. This is another team that could probably win regularly above their 3A class.
The Bulldogs will field a team that will include the talented running back Michael Berry (6-0, 200) and junior linebacker Nico Johnson (6-2, 220). Johnson is already attracting college coaches attention.
Trinity Presbyterian lost their 6-5, 200-pound senior quarterback Austin Morriss to a shoulder injury against Daleville in week three. Senior Whit Mitchell (6-1, 175) has stepped in at that role.
Actually the injury list for the Wildcats is a who's who of pre-season picks to make a difference this season. Wide receiver William Van Hooser was lost due to knee injury and his brother Wilson has stepped into his role. Wilson has caught 310 yards worth of passes.
Linebacker Blake Hendrick has been a surprise. The junior has been filling in for injured players ahead of him on the depth chart. Hendrick has recorded 24 tackles.
With all the injuries and the quality of play Andalusia has put forth, this week the yratings.com estimate of a Bulldog win by 13 points seems a little modest.
The Beauregard (4-1; 2-1) Hornets will host region opponent Handley (4-1; 3-0) this week. Beauregard faced their only defeat in week four against 11th ranked Cleburne County (5-0; 3-0) 27-24.
Handley is undefeated in region play after dropping their opener against Coach Horn's 3A second ranked Clay County (5-0; 3-0).
This should be an interesting strength-on-strength match-up. Coach Grider's Beauregard likes to score and Coach Battles' Tigers defense don't care for opponents to do that. Handley has only allowed 7-6-6 points in the last threes games.
The Hornets returned almost three dozen seniors on this year's squad and running back John Ware (6-0, 170) will try to steal some yardage and tire the Tigers' defense.
At the first of the season one might have thought the inexperienced defense at Handley might struggle this year, but they seem to have found their identity.
I think Beauregard is too much for them tonight though, and the Hornets will win. It should be a good game to follow.
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