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Teams return to region play

All six local teams return to region play this week after a week five hiatus from the region schedule.

Linden will host Ellwood Christian in the lone Thursday night matchup this week. The Patriots will be looking to rebound after two consecutive losses to tough opponents.

On Friday night, Demopolis will host Sumter Central. The Tigers will welcome back the 2004 and 2009 state championship teams for five and 10-year anniversary celebrations.

Marengo Academy will host Pickens Academy for homecoming a week after a big win over rival Patrician Academy.

The A.L. Johnson Eagles will host Keith for their homecoming game with Linden and Maplesville looming on the schedule.

Marengo will look to rebound from four consecutive losses against McIntosh on the road Friday night.

The Sweet Water Bulldogs will look to take possession of second place in their region with a win on the road over Leroy.

Tigers focused on Jaguars

After a big win last week on the road over No. 3 Jackson, the Demopolis Tigers move their attention back to their region and the Sumter Central Jaguars this week.

The Tigers control their own destiny in their region, sitting atop the Class 5A, Region 4 standings at the midway point in the season.

Marengo Academy hosting tough region foe for homecoming

MA head coach Robby James knows homecoming week comes with plenty of distractions, but he hopes his Longhorns are mature enough to stay focused this week with Pickens Academy coming to town Friday night.

“Not many coaches like homecoming because it takes away from the concentration of the game, but hopefully our kids are mature enough to handle that,” he said. “Pickens isn’t an easy opponent for a homecoming game, and that’s the way I like it. I like to play a challenging homecoming game.”

James added that Pickens is a team that plays hard and fast, so his players will have to be ready to defend against anything.

“They’re probably the quickest team we’ll play,” he said. “They’re multiple on offense so they’ll spread you out, but they can also run. Their defense is really quick, so we’re trying to ensure that we get some blocks and move the football.”

Linden looking to rebound

After playing a top-three 2A, 1A and 5A team in the first half of the season, the Linden Patriots are looking to improve on their 1-3 start when they host Ellwood Christian on Thursday night.

“I’m looking for our guys to respond accordingly,” Linden head coach Andro Williams said. “We’ve been through a gauntlet the last four weeks. It shows a lot of character and resiliency when you can bounce back after the games we’ve played.”

Williams added he feels his team is better than they’ve played in the last two games.

“We have to continue getting better at what we do,” he said. “Our goal is still in front of us, and we’re steady working and believing in what we do.”

He said Ellwood is a team with tall and rangy athletes that can make you pay for mistakes.

“We have to do a good job against their quarterback,” he said. “He does a good job running their offense. We’ve got to contain him first and foremost and make sure we don’t give up the deep ball.”

Staying on blocks is a major point of emphasis for the Patriots as well this week. Williams said his guys have been making blocks, but they need to make sure they stay on them until the whistle blows.

Eagles continue to improve

With two huge region games looming on the schedule in Linden and Maplesville the next two weeks, the challenge this week for A.L. Johnson will be staying focused on the task at hand.

The Eagles will host the Keith Bears on Friday for homecoming.

“Homecoming provides plenty of distractions, so I’m trying to tell the guys all week that they have to stay focused, even though there’s a lot going on,” ALJ head coach Johnney Ford said. “A win this week pretty much guarantees us a spot in the playoffs, so I’m trying to relay the importance of this game to my guys this week.”

Ford added that even though Keith is winless so far this season, they’re a young team that can run the ball well.

“They run what they do really well, and if you don’t put them away and let them hang around, they’re a team that can beat you.”

Bulldogs travel to Leroy

The Sweet Water Bulldogs will hit the road this week to take on region foe Leroy.

The Bulldogs are coming off of a homecoming win over R.C. Hatch and are looking to finish their region schedule strong.

Marengo looks to end skid

The Panthers have struggled of late, losing four straight after opening the season with a win.

They’ll look to get back in the win column against the winless McIntosh Demons.