A.L. Johnson releases 2016 football schedule

10-29-15 -- Eutaw, Ala. -- A.L. Johnson's Desmond Mair (1) hits the open field against Greene County during the 2015 season. ALJ released its 2016 schedule Tuesday. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

10-29-15 — Eutaw, Ala. — A.L. Johnson’s Desmond Mair (1) hits the open field against Greene County during the 2015 season. ALJ released its 2016 schedule Tuesday. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

A.L. Johnson football coach Johnney Ford released the Eagles’ 2016 schedule Tuesday. The AHSAA released its biannual reclassification last week, revealing that the Eagles would move into Class 1A, Region 1 alongside three others Marengo County schools.

The Eagles, who finished at 3-7 in 2015 and lost in the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs to Brantley, open the regular season Aug. 19 when they host Class 2A R.C. Hatch, marking the seventh consecutive year ALJ has opened its campaign with the Bobcats. Hatch went 3-7 in 2015 and holds a lifetime record of 2-12 against ALJ. Their 20-12 win over the Eagles was the first series victory for Hatch since 1991.

The Eagles move to an unfamiliar opponent Aug. 26 when they travel to face Class 4A Monroe County. The Tigers went 4-6 a season ago.

Region play starts Sept. 2 as ALJ travels to Sweet Water. The Bulldogs were 5-6 in Class 2A in 2015, losing to Elba in the first round of the state playoffs. Sweet Water The teams have not met since 2011, but ALJ is 5-24 all time against Sweet Water with its last win in the series coming in 1999.

The Eagles renew their rivalry with Fruitdale Sept. 9. The Pirates were 3-7 in 2015. ALJ holds an 11-7 lead in the series. The teams last played one another in the 2014 state playoffs, a 33-32 Fruitdale win.

The Eagles continue their longest-running rivalry Sept. 16 when they host intra-county foe Marengo for the 37th consecutive season. Johnson is 15-25 all-time in the series. Marengo was 7-5 in 2015 and went to the second round of the 1A playoffs.

The Eagles move out of region play Sept. 23 when they face Ellwood Christian, which went 3-7 in 2015. Johnson is 3-1 overall against Ellwood.

ALJ takes on J.F. Shields Sept. 30, marking the first time the programs have met since 1978. Shields, which is 0-4 all-time against ALJ, enters the 2016 season on a 16-game losing streak.

Johnson moves to perhaps its toughest test Oct. 7 when it hosts Linden. ALJ is 7-30 overall against the Patriots, who finished 2015 with a 10-3 record in the Class 1A semifinals. Johnson last beat the Patriots in 2004. The teams have played every season since 1982.

ALJ is set to face McIntosh Oct. 14, renewing an all-time series in which it is 7-3. McIntosh was 1-7 a season ago.

The Eagles conclude the regular season Oct. 21 when they host Millry, which went 7-4 in 2015 and lost to Billingsley in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs. The schools have not met since 1993. Johnson is 3-3 all-time in the series.

ALJ takes its off week Oct. 28, the final week of the regular season.

The schedule is listed below in its entirety. Region games are in bold.

A.L. JOHNSON HIGH SCHOOL

2016 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

DATE         OPPONENT                  2015 RECORD       

Aug. 19        vs. R.C. Hatch                   3-7

Aug. 26      @ Monroe County            4-6

   Sept. 2     @ Sweet Water             5-6

    Sept. 9     @ Fruitdale                    3-7

 Sept. 16    vs. Marengo                  7-5

Sept. 23      vs. Ellwood                       3-7

  Sept. 30  @ J.F. Shields               0-8

 Oct. 7       vs. Linden                      10-3

Oct. 14     @ McIntosh                   1-7

 Oct. 21     vs. Millry                        7-4

Oct. 28      OPEN