Teams entering the amen corner
Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 4, 2007
Former Auburn coach Pat Dye used to call the final two games of the Plainsmen&8217;s schedule &8216;the amen corner&8217;. Those last two games against Georgia and Bama were the ones that could make or break a season.
The high schoolers are making the turn on their own version of the &8216;amen corner&8217; this evening. The privates are heading into Week 7 with some teams showing some muscle, jockeying for post season spots, and others just playing out the schedule for pride.
Alabama High School Athletic Association schools move into Week 6 with regional (conference) games tonight and for the next three weeks. These are critical for the very same reasons as noted above for Alabama Independent School Association.
Let&8217;s jump right into our games for tonight shall we:
Bibb County (5-0, 3-0) at Demopolis (4-1, 2-1)
This is a gigantically, humongous, colossally large, massively jumbo, mammothly big game.
Demopolis has owned these guys for the past few years. From 2002-2005 Bibb managed to put only six points on the board against the royal blue and white. Bibb has not beaten DHS since 1992.
However, those prior mentioned years DHS had guys like Ray Williams, Dontrell Miller, Jacob Smelley, Dusty Gracie, the Brothers Goodwin and Pettus and William Burrell suiting up for the Tigers. There was no way the tribe was going to get anything serious going on those guys.
But guess what?
Those guys aren&8217;t coming through the door for DHS.
Last year, Bibb blitzed through their first five games and came into this game with some dip in their hip and glide in their stride. DHS was in a major retooling mode.
The first quarter, the first half and the opening drive of the second half the Choctaws let it all hang out. Most Tiger fans wondered if we had gotten crossed up and sent the JV team to play, as Bibb had it going on. The Tigers, to borrow a song title from Led Zeppelin were &8220;Dazed and Confused&8221;.
However, after the first Bibbco score in the second half and with the score 31-6 Bibb&8217;s way, DHS dug deep and clawed their way out.
This was one of, if not the, most incredible, awesome, fantastic comebacks in Tiger history. Others might say the Choctaws pulled a New York Mets style collapse.
Demopolis ran the table on their schedule for the rest of the season while Bibb lost three of their next four. DHS qualified as the No. 3 seed for the playoffs while Bibb stayed home and wondered &8216;what if&8217;.
The Choctaws will come to Metropolis with a talented group. This game at Tiger Stadium will no doubt be their toughest outing thus far. Their backs are against the wall. If there are any playoff aspirations, they know they&8217;ve got to get it done tonight. Their final three games are killers (Chilton County-region, McAdory-region and 4A power Tuscaloosa Central).
DHS must hit them hard early and often, play the first half as well as they have played the second half in games thus far and play smart and use the home-field advantage. Otherwise, the Choctaws will break the spell and win by a TD.
This will be a good one.
John Essex (1-4, 0-3) at Linden (4-1, 2-1)
Cover the children&8217;s eyes ladies and gentlemen, this will not be pretty. Trying hard to find the positives for The Hornets, I can see three things; One, they grabbed a win last week; Two, they don&8217;t have to travel far for this one; Three, the game will only last 48 minutes.
The Linden is a team on a mission.
The Patriots have South Lamar at home next week in a big regional showdown. It is conceivable they could be looking ahead to the Stallions or maybe they just don&8217;t want to show much tonight saving it for next week.
This will be a rare Saturday night high school game in the county seat.
A.L. Johnson (3-1, 2-1) at Sweet Water (5-0, 3-0)
If you are &8216;Da Dawgs&8217; what do you do for kicks after you have beaten the No. 2 4A team (Thomasville) and the No. 1 1A team (Leroy)?
I would guess you would beat up your cross county rival, the A.L.J. Eagles.
The Eagles &8216;straight outta Thomaston&8217; are, as their record indicates, a pretty good team.
Unfortunately, pretty good ain&8217;t going to get it against a really good Sweet Water litter of Purple and Gold bowsers.
Meadowview Christian (5-1) at Southern (5-0)
M&8217;View was rolling along towards an unbeaten season until they were bushwhacked by Lowndes last week 21-14.
Were they looking ahead to this game with Southern? Only the &8216;Pigskin gods&8217; can answer &8212; and they ain&8217;t&8217; talking.
This could be Southern&8217;s stiffest challenge from here out until Bessemer comes to town on the final Friday of the season.
Coach Bonds has a sneaky philosophy that he learned from coach Frank North at MI &8212; if they can&8217;t score on you, they can&8217;t win.
And the answer to the Spotlight question from last week: yes.
Autauga (5-1) at Marengo (3-2)
The Longhorns have a two-game win streak going. Their only loss was to Pickens in the opener. They were beaten by Southern (strange but true semantics).
Autauga is a Class A (smaller division) team that always figures in the playoff situation at that classification. I would venture to say they have not seen the level of competition that Marengo has faced thus far.
It&8217;s really not a bad ride from Autauga over to Linden. But the ride back when you&8217;ve been beat up and bruised from working uncooperative cattle for an hour or so is tough.
Look for MA to have a string of three going into the throw down next week with Patrician.
Notables from last week
Pancake of the week: Hueytown 70, Carver 0
Left the Defense on the Bus: Speake 67, Westminster Christian 29
Low Ball of the week: Blount 7, Leflore 3
If we only had a kicker: (Tie) Fayette 14, Gordo 13; Pickens 14, Aliceville 13
Longest game of the week: Briarwood 45, Homewood 43 (2 OT)
Shortest game of the week: Tharpton 14, St. Bernard 0 &8212; power outage
Game not even played: Hale Co. at Akron postponed
Remember, Demopolis at home tonight versus Bibb County. Come to the game and do some tail gating; and of course, wear blue.
Until next time, play hard; play for fun; play to win.
Mike Grayson is contributing columnist to the Times.