Teams will watch other sidelines

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Some high school football coaches will tell you they aren’t worried about what happens this weekend. They’ll tell you they’re focused on their games and there’s nothing they can do about anything else.

Of course, they’d be lying.

Heading into the final week of high school football’s regular season, at least two local teams have their eyes zeroed in on football fields other than their own.

Defending AISA state champion Marengo Academy has the most to worry about &045; though they can take care of making the playoffs by taking care of themselves on the field.

The Longhorns host Wilcox Academy in Linden on Friday night, and if MA wins, they ensure a playoff berth. Even if the Longhorns &045; reeling as of late &045; lose, they still have a chance to make the playoffs, depending on the outcome of the Patrician Academy-South Choctaw game.

If Patrician wins and MA loses, the Longhorns are still in. But if MA loses and South Choctaw wins, Marengo Academy would be shut out of the playoffs.

Both Patrician and South Choctaw are 4-2 in the region. Marengo also is 4-2.

While MA has some control over its post-season destiny, the Titans of West Alabama Prep have absolutely no control this weekend.

WAP travels to Sumter Academy for a game that means nothing but a change in the win-loss column. Rather, WAP will be more interested in the Coosa Valley-Cornerstone Christian game.

If Coosa Valley &045; 2-3 in the region &045; wins, the Titans are out. If Cornerstone Christian &045; 3-2 in the region &045; wins, the Titans are in. It’s that simple.

The public school playoff picture is much simpler. Rather than worrying about making the playoffs or not, local teams in the AHSAA only care about this weekend because it will determine who they face in the first round of the playoffs.

Demopolis High School, undefeated this year, must await the outcome of three different teams in order to find out who they will face in the first round. The Tigers have a sure lock on home-field advantage in the first round, and their Friday game against Jackson High School will change little in that regard.

Despite their loss to John Essex last weekend, the Sweet Water Bulldogs have shored up the second spot &045; and home-field advantage &045; in the first round of the playoffs. Sweet Water shares the same record as Linden High School, but in head-to-head competition, Sweet Water beat Linden earlier this year and has that advantage.

Linden is a sure-lock for the third spot in its region and will travel in the first round of the playoffs no matter what happens this weekend.

A.L. Johnson also has the fourth spot of the playoffs shored up, despite what happens this weekend. A.L. Johnson and Carrollton are tied for the fourth and final spot in Region 2 of Class 1A, but A.L. Johnson defeated Carrollton 20-12 in Week 2 of the season. A.L. Johnson travels to Marengo High this weekend, but because that game is not a region contest, A.L. Johnson can’t slip in the playoff picture.