Area teams have big dates for rivalries, big dance hopes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

First week in November and I can smell what the Tigers, Cougars, Bulldogs and Longhorns are cooking!

The Tigers (DHS) and Bulldogs (Sweet Water) have got season-ending rivalry gameS going on while the Cougars (Southern) and Longhorns (Marengo) have AISA first-round dates to the &8216;big dance&8217; (playoffs).

Greene County at Demopolis

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Greeneco comes to town tonight with their usual array of fine looking athletes. One would have counted these cats down and out through the first five games of the season as they stumbled their way to a 1-4 record. Their only win was a game at that point was against Oak Grove, a 4A region 4 rival. As they made the mid season turn and headed for the home stretch, they lost back to back blowouts to Fayette and Jemison. Then a funny thing happened, they won big twice in their next two regional games and next week they will be in the playoffs regardless of the outcome tonight against DHS.

A couple of interesting side bar notes: (a) every team they have lost to aside from Livingston is in the playoffs in their respective classification (Aliceville 3A, Central Tuscaloosa, Fayette and Jemison 4A and Sumter County 3A); (b) last week against Hold their tight end, Andre Woods 6&8217;4&8221; 220, caught six passes scoring 5 TD&8217;s off these grabs.

Game night question: Demopolis has pitched two shutouts in a row, can they make it three?

American Christian at Sweet Water

The Bully Dawg Express is really rolling now.

72 cashews last week against John Essex; 48 the week prior against the then #4 ranked South Lamar Stallions. The only reason they didn&8217;t score 40 plus two weeks ago is because there was no game scheduled and they didn&8217;t play.

Tuscaloosa based 2A American Christian has become the small school version of UMS. They have become the prototype for private schools considering the jump to AHSAA.

It seems every year ACA graduates a crop of competitors that wins just about every time they line up and the next season here they come out again with a group as good as, if not better than, before. Last week the Patriots mercifully euthanized RC Hatch 35-12 getting a lot of their guys into the game and trying to stay healthy for their foray in to the lower Marengo &8216;Dawg Pound&8217;.

Game night question: Both teams are playoff bound, this game used to be for keeps when they were in the same region. Both teams lost their first game of the season, so which team keeps the &8216;w&8217; streak going?

Bessemer at Southern

The Springwood Wildcats from Lanett literally limped into the playoffs as the #4 seed from AISA AA Region 2. Four times out of five in the last five games they have gotten pounded (34-6, 48-7, 42-7 and 28-17). Scores like that more or less make them &8216;Mildcats&8217;.

I don&8217;t believe this is the week to be playing Southern.

The Cougars experienced defeat for the first time in 30 some odd games. It might be an understatement to say they will not be lacking in motivation for tonight&8217;s game.

The game night question last week for the Southern &8212; Bessemer game was &8220;who is the toast of AISA&8221;. Bessemer is the toast and Southern is the toasty after getting toasted 43-0. Despite getting whitewashed the Southern line was still good enough to spring Matt Bouler for 117 yards.

Game night question: Will Southern set a season high for points tonight and / or will Bouler get 200 yards?

Marengo Academy at Lowndes

Lowndes lost their first game of the season last week to Fort Dale 32-0. I am not sure what to make of this. Granted Fort Dale is AAA team, they did play Lowndes at home and they obviously are pretty good since they sport a 9-1 record, but I just wonder what was going on there.

In the days of old Lowndes Academy used to play the Linden High Red Devils. It usually was a clash of behemoths. Of course the time line on this tells us these games of old probably involved the granddaddies of the current day players. No meaningful content at all just a nostalgic whimsical moment.

Game night question: Have the Longhorns regained enough of their mojo to down Lowndes?

John Essex at Coffeeville

The Hornets started the season with five seniors. The last couple of years have probably been the high water mark in the JEHS football fortunes. The senior class has won a lot of games in their time; unfortunately this year has not been one of those times. Tonight will be the last time those seniors will put on those jerseys to represent John Essex. I would be surprised if they don&8217;t lay it all on the line tonight and go out in style.

A couple of other games involving games with people with Demopolis connections: 6A Pelham led by Josh Holland (son of Wes Holland) takes on Vestavia Hills. Pelham has clinched the 6A Region 5 championship. Holland was described a week or so ago by Ron Ingram as a &8220;modern day Johnny Musso&8221;.

3A Gordo coached by former DHS line coach Todd Cassity takes his playoff bound Green Wave into a home contest with South Lamar.

4A North Jackson has clinched Region 7 with a perfect 7-0 mark.

If you are going to the DHS game, wear blue and take your radio. The game will be broadcast on 104.9 (Jack FM) in addition to 99.1.

By the way, all the questions will be completely answered by about 9:45 tonight. The questions are answered on the field by the competitors.

Play hard. Play for fun. Play to win.

Mike Grayson is a contributing sports columnist for The Demopolis Times. His column appear each Friday.