Local teams prepare for playoffs

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Six of the seven Marengo County football teams are preparing to begin the playoffs this week.

The Demopolis Tigers (7-3, 4-3) will make their third trip to Mobile of the season Friday as they take on St. Paul’s (8-2, 6-1).

Demopolis ended their regular season with a thrilling double overtime victory over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

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“Any time you win in week 10, especially the way we did against Hillcrest, gives you some momentum heading into the next week,” DHS head coach Tom Causey said. “It’s good to get a win against a 6A team like that.”

Causey added that the preparation doesn’t change in the playoffs from the regular season.

“You have to prepare and play the same way you did all season,” Causey said. “The only thing that’s different is that when it’s over, it’s over.”

He said St. Paul’s has a solid running game with a strong defense.

“They’ve got a strong run game with their O-line and their tailback,” he said. “Defensively, their inside linebackers and defensive line are some of the best we’ll see all year. They’re a solid team, and we’re going to have to execute and minimize our mistakes.”

Marengo Academy, who wrapped up a perfect regular season last week with a win over Southern Academy, will host Chambers Academy on Thursday night this week. The Longhorns play Thursday because the Linden Patriots will be hosting Keith High School on Friday.

The Longhorns have not scored fewer than 28 points all season, and they have not allowed more than 14 in any game. Chambers Academy (5-5, 3-3) has had some big wins and big losses this season, but Marengo Academy head coach Robby James said the Rebels have a strong team.

“They’re a good team, or they wouldn’t be in the playoffs,” James said. “They run the Wing-T offensively, and they’re good at it. They have a good fullback, and they have a lot of speed at wingback and halfback.”

James added that his team needs to keep playing like they have all season, and they will be in a position to win.

“We just have to take care of the football like we have all season and make sure we don’t make mistakes,” he said.

James said that during the regular season, a team sets certain goals, but in the playoffs, it’s win or go home.

“The playoffs are like a new season,” he said. “If you lose, you go home, so you have to be at the top of your game every week.”

The Sweet Water Bulldogs will host the Goshen Eagles (5-5, 4-3) Friday night in to open their playoff schedule.

The Bulldogs will be looking to continue their winning ways against Class 2A opponents and make a run through the playoffs. Sweet Water has only lost one Class 2A game since being moved up to the classification before the 2012 season. That loss came to Washington County in the playoff semifinals last season.

The Linden Patriots will play host to the Keith Bears (4-6, 3-4) on Friday at Linden Athletic Field.

Linden was undefeated in their region this season, and was never really tested by region opponents. The Patriots three losses came against Class 2A Leroy, Class 4A Bibb County and Class 2A Southern Choctaw.

A.L. Johnson is riding a four-game winning streak heading into the playoffs. The Eagles only two losses came against St. Luke’s and Linden, making them the No. 3 seed coming out of the region.

The Eagles will travel to Autaugaville (7-3, 6-1) for their first round matchup. Autaugaville’s only region loss came to Maplesville.

The Marengo Panthers, who return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010, will travel to Maplesville to take on the Red Devils (10-0, 7-0).

Marengo started the season 4-1 before finishing the season 1-4. The Panthers had the biggest turnaround of the local teams this year after going 0-10 in 2012.