Friday Night Preview: Week 10

Week 10 rolls in with non-region matchups all around as Marengo County’s six remaining high school football teams wrap up their regular season and eye the playoff matchups that sit six days away.

Demopolis (6-3) @ Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (5-4)

The Tigers can rest a little easier as their playoff berth was sealed Tuesday with the announcement of Greenville’s three-game forfeiture. But playoff implications are not, Demopolis wants nothing less than a win over what has become one of its fiercest rivals. Hillcrest has won 12 of 18 meetings against Demopolis all time, a series that has included three straight Patriot wins. Hillcrest’s four losses are to a tough Hartselle squad, and three premiere 6A programs in Hoover, Bessemer City and Tuscaloosa County. Hillcrest has the potential to set up as every bit of a physical opponent as Jackson was last week. The Tigers will have to replicate last week’s intensity in order end its losing streak in this rivalry.

A.L. Johnson (7-2) @ Sunshine (4-5)

ALJ hasn’t lost to Sunshine since 2003 and the Eagles have no designs on changing that trend this season. The Sunshine Tigers have won three of their last five, but are running into an ALJ team that is fresh off a big rivalry win against Marengo and is aiming to get its starters out early this week in view of next week’s playoff matchup at Autaugaville. Look for ALJ to accomplish just that Friday night.

Sweet Water (7-2) vs. T.R. Miller (9-0)

There will be a combined 15 state championships represented at Nolan Atkins Stadium Friday night when Sweet Water hosts T.R. Miller. The Bulldogs enter the contest after having clinched the Class 2A, Region 1 title while T.R. Miller is the Class 3A, Region 1 champion. Last year’s matchup saw T.R. Miller steal one with a 28-27 come-from-behind win that left the Bulldogs stunned. It may take everything in Sweet Water’s bag of tricks, but Stacy Luker’s bunch would like nothing less than to avenge that loss this week.

Marengo Academy (9-0) @ Southern Academy (2-7)

This is a growing rivalry that has seen the teams split their 14 meetings against one another. But Southern has lost five in a row and it looks like there is very little that can slow the Longhorn train. Marengo has yet to trail in a game this season and has had no margin of victory less than 22 points. Marengo has also outscored opponents 402-60 this season. We’re calling the Longhorns to get their starters out by the end of the first quarter as they look to get ready for the first round playoff matchup against chambers Academy.

Linden (7-2) @ Southern Choctaw (4-5)

A traditional rivalry that took a long hiatus saw Southern Choctaw beat Linden 33-13 last season. It’s a safe bet the Patriots haven’t forgotten that one and are poised to get their first victory in the series since 1987. Still, SCHS has won three in a row and will be anything but a pushover against a Patriot squad that has scarcely been tested in the last few weeks. Southern Choctaw has basketball season around the corner and Linden has a first round playoff matchup with Keith. The safe money is on the Pats handling their business Friday night.

Marengo (5-4) @ Excel (4-5)

The Panthers have rolled up 398 points thus far this season and are coming in with plenty of unresolved anger issues after last week’s second half collapse against A.L. Johnson. Marengo has Maplesville on the horizon and needs to right the ship, get a lead and get this one into cruise control as quickly as possible.