5 on 5: Sept. 21 edition

Welcome to our newest feature here at WestAlabamaWatchman.com. From now through season’s end, you can find five factoids, bits of trivia, focal points or the like about local high school football action at 5 p.m. on our site.

Just two hours away from kickoff, here are five things we’re looking forward to about tonight’s local high school playoff action.

1. How much sting do the Hornets have? John Essex has a positive, albeit brief history, against St. Luke’s, which now shares an area with the Hornets. Essex has a 2-1 record with only 14 players. If the Hornets can go down to Mobile and knock off St. Luke’s it would be a huge milestone, not to mention a big step toward snagging a playoff berth. But St. Luke’s is an experienced team with a depth and talent. The task is great. The intrigue is greater.

2. Who scores first for the Tigers? In each of Demopolis’ first three games this season, Cortez Lewis, a junior A-back, has caught a pass to score the opening touchdown of the contest. On top of that, senior signal-caller Tucker Jones has thrown for three scores and rushed for another in each to-date in 2012. It will be very interesting to see how the Tiger offense spreads the ball around against Selma tonight.

3. Will the Longhorns linger? Eight days removed from their first defeat of the season, Marengo Academy is tasked with a tough road game against Class AA foe Wilcox Academy. Do the Longhorns bounce back and return to the form that led them to a 3-0 start? If so, memories of the 2-8 campaign in 2011 are will be all but erased.

4. Can the Bulldogs end a 48-year drought? Granted, Sweet Water and Southern Choctaw never met in the Nolan Atkins era and have yet to meet in the Stacy Luker era. But the fact remains that the teams, not all that far apart geographically, have met 16 times over the years with 12 victories going to the Indians. Sweet Water has not defeated Southern Choctaw since 1964. Ending that trend tonight would be a major step toward the Bulldogs’ Class 2A playoff hopes.

5. Can Linden maintain the intensity? The Patriots are clearly the best team in Class 1A, Region 1. The question is whether or not they can keep their focus throughout the regular season slate. They travel to McIntosh tonight to face one of the two teams they are currently tied with for first place in the region. We have no doubt Linden will win that game. The question is how intense and crisp Linden will be in the process.