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Area teams set for second season

Linden High at Cottonwood

Friday, 7 p.m.

Cottonwood, Ala.

The (7-3) Linden Patriots are back in the playoffs this season at the #3 spot in region 3-1A and will travel to Cottonwood tonight for a first round match up with the (7-3) Cottonwood Bears. While the Patriots have had a bit of a rough and rocky regular season losing to both the Sweet Water Bulldogs and the ACA Patriots in region play, the Patriots will sure be ready to put their best foot forward in the playoffs.

But the Patriots will have to it without their head coach. Linden head coach Luther Davis is out due to surgery and will be replaced this week by Linden High School Principal, Timothy Thurman as the Patriots head coach. Thurman, who was the head football coach at Francis Marion high School for six years, is very excited to be back on the sidelines again. "I think we have a very good chance against Cottonwood and I am looking forward to the challenge," Thurman said.

Ariton at

Sweet water

Friday, 7 p.m.

Sweet Water, Ala.

After losing their last three games of the regular season and falling from a (6-1) record to a (6-4) record, the Sweet Water Bulldogs managed to keep their #2 spot in region 3-1A and will host the (7-3) Ariton Purple Cats in the first round of the playoffs tonight in Sweet Water.

The (Dawgs, who have lost three starters this week, have been battling with a number of minor injuries throughout the second half of the season. According to Bulldogs head coach Stacy Luker, running back Patrick Gamble, lineman A.C. Taylor and lineman Tony Johnson are all out with injuries for Friday night’s game.

a. l. johnson

at brantley

Friday, 7 p.m.

Brantley, Ala.

After a devastating (0-10) 2002 record the A.L. Johnson Eagles have made a complete 180-degree turn in 2003 and have clawed their way into the playoffs with a (5-5) record. The Eagles finished off their regular season with a win against the Marengo High School Panthers and managed to jump into the #4 spot in region 3-1A.

For their first round match-up the Eagles have drawn the #2 ranked (10-0) Brantley Bulldogs and will travel tonight to east Alabama. Second year head coach Mose Jones is sure proud of his team’s accomplishments this season and is looking forward to seeing what his Eagles are capable of in the playoffs.

choctaw county

at demopolis

Friday, 7 p.m.

Demopolis, Ala.

In region 3-4A there is only one question to be answered. Can the (10-0) Demopolis Tigers go all the way in 2003?

As of this week, after a shocking UMS-Wright 28-14 loss to 5A St. Paul’s there remains only three unbeaten teams in 4A football and the Tigers are one of them. And the once #5 ranked Tigers are now the #3 ranked team in 4A football.

But still many have their doubts about the Tigers and wonder if the Tigers will be able to do what St. Paul’s did to the defending state champion Bulldogs who are sure to be waiting down the road for the Tigers.

But head coach Doug Goodwin feels that his Tigers are very capable of wining it all.

When asked if the Bulldogs were the team to beat in 4A, Goodwin replied, "Well I would hope that the Demopolis Tigers are the team to beat in 4A," Goodwin said.

But Goodwin knows that as the Tigers get deeper into the playoffs, it’s anyone’s game.

"It all comes down to who has a bad night at the wrong time. Anyone can win once you get past the third round because all the teams are fairly evenly matched," Goodwin said. The road to Birmingham begins tonight for the Tigers as they host the (5-5) Choctaw County Tigers in a first round playoff match-up.

greensboro at

ums-wright

Friday, 7 p.m.

Mobile, Ala.

The town of Greensboro is alive with playoff hopes as both the Greensboro Raiders and the Southern Academy Cougars get their first round games under way tonight.

The (6-4) Raiders finished the regular season with a (4-3) regional record and landed in the #4 spot in region 3-4A. The Raiders will face their toughest challenge yet as they travel tonight to Mobile to take on the #1 ranked (9-1) UMS-Wright Bulldogs.

But Raiders head coach Shannon Brown has seen that the Bulldogs can be beat with their loss to 5A St Paul’s this past week, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy. "They are a great football team and in order for us to win we are going to have to play mistake free football in every faze of the game to have a chance," Brown said.

southern academy

at springwood

Friday, 7 p.m.

Lanette, Ala.

Across town the Southern Academy Cougars are set for another shot at the 2A AISA title as they begin their first round action tonight when they travel across the state to Lanett, Alabama to play the (6-4) Springwood Wildcats.

After a rough beginning, the Cougars clawed their way into the #2 spot in region 2-2A only to fall to the #4 spot in the last week of regular play due to uncontrollable circumstances.

And while the Cougars are sure to be on the road throughout the playoffs, head coach Shaun Bonds is ready for the challenge. " Going on the road will be tough but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I like being in the underdog role, it gives me a greater focus and sense of urgency," Bonds said.

west alabama prep

at jackson academy

Friday, 7 p.m.

Jackson, Ala.

After going (0-10) last year the 1A West Alabama Prep Titans shocked everyone, including themselves, when they made the playoffs last week.

The (4-6) Titans somehow landed in the #4 spot in region 2-1A this past week and will be playing football in the month of November for the first time since 1997. First year head coach Webb Tutt is very thankful to be in the playoffs.

The Titans will travel to Jackson tonight for their first round match-up with the (10-0) Jackson Academy Eagles and coach Tutt is well aware of the challenge that awaits his football team. "It’s definitely going to be a challenge but anything can happen in the playoffs." Tutt said.

monroe county at

greene county

Friday, 7 p.m.

Eutaw, Ala.

Up the road in Eutaw, the (6-4) Greene County Tigers, who managed to finish the season with a (5-2) region 3-4A record and claim the #2 spot in the region, will host the (7-3) Monroe County Tigers tonight for their first round playoff game.