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Marengo County Football Preview: Week 1

Editor’s Note: According to the Alabama High School Athletic Association, this week of football games is “Week 1” with last week being “Week 0.” For the sake of naming consistency, that’s how we will name weeks moving forward.

Demopolis looks for redemption in home opener

The trip to Thomasville was tough all around for DHS (0-1) who took a 29-18 loss to the old rival, but Demopolis will have to bounce back strong as the Tigers get set to host another old rival in the Greensboro Raiders.

DeDe Davis was spectacular in his debut as a receiver with nine catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. A.J. Jackson led the ground game with 105 yards and a score on 22 carries.

Greensboro (0-1) didn’t get the start the Raiders would like under new head coach Justin Wagne, falling on the road to Minor High School 48-12.

Friday will mark the 75th meeting between the schools and Demopolis has won 47 of the games including the last 10. DHS won last year 42-14.

Sweet Water clashes with old rival Thomasville

The Sweet Water Bulldogs open the 2017 season hosting their longest running rivals Thomasville Tigers.

Last week, THS got the win over Demopolis where quarterback Justin Thibodeaux finished 18 of 29 for 283 yards and two touchdown in the run-pass option offense. Bralen Washington brought in two catches for 126 yards and William Powell finished with six catches for 106 yards.

SWHS and THS have met 72 times and Thomaville leads the series 59-12-1 with wins in every game since 2008.

Linden hosts team for the first time

Hillcrest-Evergreen comes to Linden for the first time as the Patriots host the traveling Jaguars to open the 2017 season.

Sophomore running back Cam Riley looks to get looks to take advantage of an inexperienced, yet still greatly talented Linden defense to pull what some would believe to be an upset despite the Jaguars being a Class 3A team and the Patriots playing in Class 1A.

Last year was the first meeting between the teams and Linden took home a 32-7 victory.

Marengo Academy hopes to right the ship in home opener

It was tough sledding in the season opener for the Marengo Academy Longhorns who took a 57-6 to Morgan Academy in their season opener. William Drake scored the lone touchdown for MA.

However, each week is a new opportunity and the Longhorns open the home slate on a Thursday night with the Monroe Academy Volunteers coming to Linden.

Monroe Academy defeated Lee-Scott 27-13 last week. Griffin McKenzie was 10 for 17 passing for 209 yards and ran for another 77. Isaac Brewton registered 11 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Marengo Academy leads the all-time series 14-13, but the Volunteers won last year’s game 28-14.

A.L. Johnson returns home after tough road opener

It was a rough start for Roosevelt Moore in his first game as head coach of the A.L. Johnson Eagles as the team took a 52-0 road loss to R.C. Hatch.

This week ALJHS hosts the Monroe County Tigers fresh off the heels of a 30-14 win over J.F. Shields.

There’s not much history between the two schools as they have only played once, which was last year’s 48-26 win for Monroe County in Monroeville.

Marengo hits the road for some sweet revenge

Two years ago, the Marengo High Panthers traveled to Butler to face the Choctaw County Tigers. In that game, the Tigers found a way to hang tight with MHS and claimed a 36-30 victory in overtime.

This is the first time back in Butler since that shocking upset and if Choctaw County were to do it again, it’d be even more shocking as the Panthers are loaded with explosive talent and look to make a strong statement to open the season.

This will be the fourth straight year the teams have faced off and Marengo is 2-1 in that span with the Panthers winning 38-0 last season.

Alabama Sports Writers Association Poll

The Sweet Water Bulldogs started the season as the second ranked team in Class 2A by the Alabama Sports Writers Association and remain in that spot as the group released it’s second round of polls after the first week of games.

Also staying put was Linden, who like Sweet Water didn’t play a game in the AHSAA “Week 0” slate of games.

Marengo High School, also off, fell to tenth in Class 1A despite not playing a game after Notasulga received two more points in the poll to overtake the Panthers.

Here are the polls in their entirety as followed (First-place votes and current record in parentheses):

Class 7A

1. Central-Phenix City (20) (1-0) 318

2. Hoover (7) (0-1) 272

3. Thompson (1) (1-0) 237

4. Hewitt-Trussville (1) (0-0) 200

5. McGill-Toolen (1-0) 155

6. James Clemens (0-0) 154

7. Spain Park (1-0) 129

8. Auburn (1-0) 87

9. Enterprise (1-0) 56

10. Bob Jones (0-1) 20

Others receiving votes: Mountain Brook (1-0) 17, Davidson (0-1) 2, Murphy (0-1) 2, Baker (1-0) 1, Gadsden City (0-1) 1, Grissom (1-0) 1, Theodore (1-0) 1.

Class 6A

1. Ramsay (21) (0-0) 304

2. Austin (3) (1-0) 235

3. Blount (1) (1-0) 233

4. Oxford (1) (1-0) 199

5. Opelika (1) (1-0) 189

6. Pinson Valley (2) (1-0) 169

7. Daphne (1-0) 109

8. Muscle Shoals (1-0) 91

9. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (0-1) 60

10. Park Crossing (1-0) 45

Others receiving votes: Wetumpka (1-0) 6, Hazel Green (0-0) 5, Parker (0-0) 3, Minor (0-1) 2, Spanish Fort (0-1) 2, Jackson-Olin (1-0) 1.

Class 5A

1. Beauregard (27) (0-0) 342

2. Briarwood Chr. (0-0) 256

3. St. Paul’s (2) (1-0) 240

4. Alexandria (1-0) 186

5. Carroll (0-0) 154

6. Central-Clay Co. (1-0) 130

7. Vigor (0-1) 102

8. Eufaula (1-0) 91

9. Wenonah (0-0) 90

10. Brooks (0-0)41

Others receiving votes:  Etowah (1-0) 7, Russellville (0-0) 6, Mae Jemison-Huntsville (1-0) 2, Mortimer Jordan (1-0) 2, Pleasant Grove (0-0) 2, Charles Henderson (0-0) 1, Jackson (0-0) 1.

Class 4A

1. Handley (28) (0-0) 345

2. UMS-Wright (1-0) 250

3. Rogers (1-0) 209

4. Leeds (1) (1-0) 196

5. Andalusia (0-1) 157

6. Fayette Co. (1-0) 127

7. Hokes Bluff (0-0) 118

8. Madison Acad. (0-1)  94

9. Tallassee (1-0) 46

10. St. James (0-1) 35

Others receiving votes: Thomasville (1-0) 24, Wilson (1-0) 18, Cordova (0-1) 16, Cherokee Co. (0-1) 5, Madison Co. (0-0) 5, Dale Co. (1-0) 4, North Jackson (1-0) 3, Munford (0-1) 1.

Class 3A

1. Mobile Chr. (21) (1-0) 324

2. Piedmont (8) (0-1) 263

3. Ohatchee (1-0) 223

4. Montevallo (0-0) 185

5. Gordo (0-1) 159

6. Opp (0-0) 129

7. Oakman (0-0) 118

8. Weaver (1-0) 81

9. Pike Co. (0-0) 78

10. Randolph Co. (0-0) 47

Others receiving votes: Clarke Co. (0-0) 19, Hillcrest-Evergreen (0-0) 6, New Hope (0-1) 5, T.R. Miller (0-0) 5, Bayside Acad. (1-0) 4, Plainview (1-0) 3, Fultondale (0-0) 2, Lauderdale Co. (0-0) 2.

Class 2A

1. Fyffe (25) (0-0) 334

2. Aliceville (2) (0-0) 255

3. Lanett (2) (1-0) 235

4. Elba (0-0) 208

5. G.W. Long (0-0) 160

6. Tanner (1-0) 152

7. Leroy (0-0) 118

8. New Brockton (0-0) 80

9. Sand Rock (0-0) 54

10. LaFayette (0-1) 42

Others receiving votes: Luverne (0-0) 6, Reeltown (0-1) 5, Sheffield (0-1) 2, Goshen (0-0) 1, Southern Choctaw (0-0) 1.

Class 1A

1. Maplesville (28) (0-0) 345

2. Sweet Water (0-0) 250

3. Linden (1) (0-0) 227

4. Pickens Co. (0-0) 197

5. Brantley (0-0) 176

6. Addison (1-0) 138

7. Cedar Bluff (0-0) 112

8. Spring Garden (0-0) 77

9. Notasulga (1-0) 52

10. Marengo (0-0) 50

Others receiving votes: Hackleburg (0-0) 8, Houston Co. (1-0) 7, Decatur Heritage (1-0) 5, Georgiana (1-0) 5, Sumiton Chr. (1-0) 3, Isabella (0-0) 1.

AISA

1. Autauga Acad. (27) (2-0) 342

2. Bessemer Acad. (1) (2-1) 251

3. Escambia Acad.  (3-0) 235

4. Monroe Acad. (1) (2-0) 215

5. Glenwood (1-1) 163

6. Chambers Acad. (1-0) 143

7. Pike Liberal (2-0) 98

8. Abbeville Chr. (1-1) 87

9. South Choctaw Acad.  (1-1) 54

10. Jackson Acad. (2-0) 24

Others receiving votes: Lee-Scott Acad. (0-1) 22, Patrician Acad. (1-0) 12, Pickens Acad. (1-0) 3, Tuscaloosa Acad. (0-1) 2, Lowndes Acad. (1-0) 1, Morgan Acad. (1-0) 1.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association prep committee members are: Paul Beaudry (Chairman), Alabama Media Group; Lizi Arbogast, Alexander City Outlook; Josh Dutton, Andalusia Star-News; Joe Medley, Anniston Star; Andrew Garner, Atmore Advance; Josh Bean, Birmingham News; Rob Rice, Blount Countian; Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald; Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat; Jake Winfrey, Cullman Times; Johnathan Bentley, Daily Mountain Eagle; Justin Graves, Decatur Daily; Nicholas Finch, Demopolis Times; Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant; Craig Thomas, Florence TimesDaily; Cody Dowler, Fort Payne Times-Journal; Jeremy Smith, Freelance (Demopolis); Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger; J.J. Hicks, Gadsden Times; Daniel Boyette, Huntsville Times; Ben Thomas, Mobile Press-Register; Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser; Scott Fields, Opelika-Auburn News; Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter; Jason Bowen, Scottsboro Daily Sentinel; Alec Etheridge, Shelby County Reporter; Lavonte Young, Talladega Daily Home; Joey Chandler, Tuscaloosa News; Evan Dudley, Wetumpka Herald. Not voting: David Mundee, Dothan Eagle; Thomas Scott, Selma Times-Journal.