FRIDAY NIGHT SPOTLIGHTS: Sweet Water at Leroy may be game of the year

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 29, 2006

Week 5 of the AHSAA / week 6 of the privates gives us some very interesting match ups. The public schools always play &8216;out of conference&8217; (non-regional game) on weeks 1, 5 and 10. This allows for the continuation of rivalry games should a school move to a different classification or to different region from a long-standing opponent.


Case in point regarding the above,

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2006 saw Demopolis move to 5A while Greensboro fell to 3A. This is a rivalry game simply because all the kids know each other; others play summer league baseball together and socialize together. The desire to win in a competitor is always a slow burn but when you play your pals, or people you know, the competitive thing turns into a raging fire.

Mike Randall dubbed it the &8216;The Catfish Bowl&8217; because a great deal of the farm land between The River City and G&8217;boro has been dug into catfish ponds. One of these days we are going to get a trophy to present to the winner, yeah, yeah one of these days. Demopolis, on the wall of their field house, has listed three goals: State championship, win the region and beat Greensboro. I am sure the Raiders have something of the same nature over at their place.

DHS has dominated the series since Doug Goodwin arrived on the scene in 1999. Goodwin is 6-1 against GHS since he has been at the helm of the Tigers. Greensboro&8217;s last win was in 1999 (Goodwin&8217;s first year) when they triumphed 21-7, after that it is all Royal Blue and White. The River Cats have virtually owned Greensboro the last three years, outscoring them 131-0. 2002 was the last year The Raiders visited the DHS end zone and that was in a 48-14 loss.

Greensboro has a new coach in, Xavier Evans. He may be the new coach but he&8217;s not new to Greensboro. He graduated from GHS in 1988. Four games in the 2006 season, he and his charges are still looking to win number one. Don&8217;t let a 0-4 record deceive you, as two of those losses have come to undefeated 5A Bibb County and 3A powerhouse Aliceville.


For the second week in a row, the Titans have been close but have come up short. Last week, the SCA Rebels nailed Central Christian 41-26 to go 4-1 on the year. South Choctaw played last Thursday night at CCA, which plays all their home games on Thursday, as opposed to the customary Friday routine. Will this extra day of rest and reconnaissance help the Rebels as they lay in wait in Toxey for WAP? We will definitely know by about 9:30 tonight.


The Hornets are buzzing as they load up for a trip south. Coach Shipman&8217;s troops are winless and I would bet they&8217;ve got those Hornet stingers out ready for action. Tonight is the test, pass the test and you carry momentum into the balance of your conference schedule; fail the test and well, don&8217;t fail the test. JEHS can control their own destiny by running the table on the rest of the schedule but it won&8217;t be easy. Next week is Linden and coming up are games with surprising Sunshine and &8216;The Bull Dawgs&8217; from Sweet Water.


Last week SA pulled one out. Somewhat surprising but not really in the difficulty of the win for the Cougars. Wilcox was undefeated going into the game with Southern and apparently played them even before losing 7-0. The stats showed Coach Bonds boys with way more yardage rushing (passing was negligible for both teams) but apparently penalties were one of the factors that kept the WA Wildcats in the game.

Patrician since their season opening loss to Clarke Prep has reeled off four consecutive &8216;W&8217;s&8217;. The only common opponent Southern and Patrician have faced is Marion, which both have drubbed easily. Having said that about Marion, it is interesting to that Marion is the only school to have scored on Southern and that was a field goal in an 85-3 cakewalk for the Cougars.


The Longhorns get their shot at Wilcox in attempting to hang two losses in a row on WA. Marengo used a fourth quarter drive last week against Escambia to pull out their third win of the year. The big question in this game is whether Wilcox will use the bitterness of the tough loss to Southern as motivation for tonight or will it hang on to cause an &8216;acid reflux&8217; loss.


One of the best games in the state may very well be this contest tonight. Sweet Water always seems to get up for the big games against either a larger school or higher profile team. Tonight they tackle the #1 team in 2A, the Leroy Bears. Of course you remember they opened with the current #1 in 4A, Thomasville. Looks like they may get an invite to the Citrus Bowl and if Mr. Hallmark approves it, they may play Florida State. On the other hand, Leroy doesn&8217;t need a map or a GPS to find their way to victory road. A big win over 4A Jackson opened up the season then regional wins over Keith, Excel and Georgiana have put them atop 2A land. By the way, after the regional smoke clears, they take on 5A Pensacola (FL) down there in week 10.

It should be a great night for football; the forecast is a clear, nice and cool fall evening. If you are going to the DHS game, take your radio. The game will now be broadcast on 104.9 (JackFM) in addition to 99.1.

Canned Good says &8220;Wear blue and come to the stadium&8221;. Lets have a &8216;sea of blue shirt&8217;, a &8216;blue out&8217;, a &8216;blue storm rising&8217;, a &8216;blue-a-ramma&8217;, a &8216;blue-a-thon&8217;, blue topia, whatever.

Play hard. Play for fun. Play to win.