FRIDAY NIGHT SPOTLIGHT: Can Dallas County stop the Kardiac Kids?
I am taking it upon myself to rename the DHS &8216;Fighting Tigers&8217; the Demopolis &8220;Kardiac Kids&8221;. Two weeks in a row the fans have gotten their money&8217;s worth and more. The games against Bibb&Chilton have come down to the final possession before &8220;The Fat Lady Sings&8221;.
Bibb County, McAdory&Shelby County are still stacked at the top of 5A Region 3. Demopolis helped themselves by defeating Chilton this past week; DHS is now in #4slot in the region. Bibb County may have the bumpiest road to the playoffs while Demopolis (on paper) could have the smoothest ride to playoff land.
Bibb has a crucial game this week against Chilton. If this game is big, then their regional finale against McAdory becomes really enormously gigantic huge. If the Choctaws whip the Clanton based felines then it&8217;s &8216;see ya wouldn&8217;t want to be ya&8217; for Chilco. It might be a stretch for Bibb as their outstanding RB Zach Stacy sustained an ankle injury in last weeks battle with Dallas County.
If Chilton wins over Bibb and with McAdory on the horizon for Bibb, then Chilton must only beat woeful Dallas County in their last regional game. A Chilton win would help the Demopolis cause and probably sink Bibb&8217;s &8220;playoff boat&8221;.
Also tonight, McAdory does battle with Shelby County. This game could very well be for the regional No. 1 spot. Shelby has this motivation plus a little grudge angle in that McAdory knocked them out of the playoffs last year in the first round. Shelby faces Wilcox Central in their last regional game in 2006; this is a game Shelby should win.
Demopolis at Dallas County
This will be a tough game for Demop. I know what you&8217;re thinking &8220;Uh-oh, Grayson is off his medication again?&8221; You wonder how this could be a tough game for the Fighting Tigers, or rather the Kardiac Kids; sure DHS has dropped two games but wow DCHS is 1-6. Their only win was over 2A Keith by 7 (21-14). Including the one win their margin of defeat (average score) is 35-8.
Demopolis, since 1977 and including the first round of the 1976 playoffs, is 10-0 against the Hornets. The last two years The River City Cats have mauled DCHS 130-6. So where&8217;s the danger here against an opponent whose gridiron prowess has apparently seen better days?
The fact that you have to look is the problem. This is the kind of game where being over confident and starting the party too early on Friday night can and will lead to a serious upset hangover on Saturday?
Game night question: Will Dallas County finally put a complete game together and exacts some longstanding frustration on the Vine&Olive visitors or can the Demopolis &8216;D&8217; hang a shutout on &8216;The Bugs&8217;?
Akron at John Essex
The Hornets are out of the playoff loop. A small measure of redemption can be realized tonight.
John Essex can assure themselves of not finishing last in their region by dehorning the Akron Rams tonight. Everything in the game (and life) is all about small victories. The Hornets share the bottom of the 1A region 4 with Akron. A victory tonight regardless of the outcome of next weeks game with Sweet Water means that they will not finish last in the region.
Game night question: Is John Essex ready to play ball, football that is, or are they already thinking about &8216;hoops&8217;?
Open Door Christian at WAP
ODC was playing 8 man football this time last year. Thus far into 2006 they have been on the &8216;good side&8217; three times vs. 5 losses. WAP has been in every game except the opener against Shelby Academy and two weeks ago against South Choctaw, the #2 and #1 team in AISA Class A Region 1.
There is no chance of a &8216;second season&8217; for either school in this game; this game is all about pride.
Game night question: Which team wants this game the most and is willing to leave it all on the field?
Sparta Academy at Southern
A win tonight wraps up the regional championship for Bonds&Company. The Cougars have toured central and southwest Alabama making friends and fighting crime three of the last four weeks. Ok maybe not making any friends and crime fighters they ain&8217;t, just bringing home victories and being winners is what these guys are all about.
Sparta is going nowhere. The Evergreen based Warriors are 0-3 against the other three region leaders (Patrician, Wilcox and Marengo). However, they have won three of their last four games against lesser opposition. Game night question: Are the Cougars totally focused on this contest or are they casting glances at next week&8217;s throw down with Bessemer Acad?
Marengo Academy at Jackson Academy
The &8216;Horns got exorcised last Friday by The Saints or rather demonized to be more accurate. Tonight would be a good night to get the mo&8217; going again as they face a JA Eagle team that has definitely seen better days.
Game night question: Will MA build up steam going into the post season or they do get steamed like broccoli?
South Lamar at Sweet Water
1A #4 at 1A #2 and for all practical purposes the regional championship.
Game night question: Who will make the fewest mistakes and control the tempo of the game?
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 regular contributing columnist to The Times.
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