Keith’s Walton Young follows behind Keyon Lewis on a run against Ellwood Christian in a game earlier this season. The Bears take on Akron Friday night in a Class 1A, Region 3 game that both teams desperately need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.  -- Daniel Evans
Keith’s Walton Young follows behind Keyon Lewis on a run against Ellwood Christian in a game earlier this season. The Bears take on Akron Friday night in a Class 1A, Region 3 game that both teams desperately need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. -- Daniel Evans

Playoff implications raise stakes in Friday’s games

Published 9:39pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Keith head coach Harry Crum knows how important it is for his team to win Friday night when it hosts Akron, considering the logjam in the Class 1A, Region 3 standings.

Keith, Akron, Billingsley and Ellwood Christian are tied for third at 2-2 and each of the teams are playing another team from inside the pack this week.

“I told them mathematically we aren’t out of it,” said Keith head coach Harry Crum when asked what he told his team. “We need to do our best to get a win. When you win, everything else takes care of itself.”

As if needing a win to assure itself a chance at making the playoffs isn’t enough, Keith also knows its next two opponents are no cakewalk. The teams leading the standings, Autaugaville and Maplesville are up next.

“I know we are in a situation where we need some wins,” Crum said. “The truth is, if we don’t win the majority of these upcoming games we probably don’t deserve to be there.”

As far what has gone wrong in losses to Southside and Billingsley, Crum believes his team has not been focused on the task at hand.

“We just are not focused,” Crum said. “I don’t know what got us in disarray but whatever it is, we need to put it behind us and try to get back on track and hopefully we get our focus back this week.”

Akron is coming in off a 26-20 win over Sunshine, but the Rams haven’t exactly been rolling either. The Rams had lost their previous two games to Maplesville and Marengo by a combined score of 102-12.

Last season, Keith defeated Akron 32-25.


Ellwood Christian at Billingsley

Thursday night’s battle between Ellwood Christian and Billingsley will have major playoff ramifications in Class 1A, Region 3. Both the Eagles and Bears are 2-2 in region play, putting them in a four-way tie for third entering this week’s action.

Ellwood Christian has struggled since defeating Keith Sept. 13, arguably one of the biggest wins in school history. Since that game the Eagles have been outscored 122-28, including last week’s 63-6 loss to No. 2 Maplesville in a game where the second half was cut short.

Billingsley is rolling into the game with a lot of momentum after three straight wins. The Bears have defeated Sunshine, Holt and Keith in consecutive weeks to put themselves in the playoff picture after a 0-2 start.

Billingsley defeated Ellwood Christian 6-0 last season. The game is Thursday night.


Southside at T. R. Miller

Southside, now with only an outside chance to reach the postseason, could stir things up with an upset win at No. 3 T. R. Miller Friday night. The Panthers are 1-3 in Class 3A, Region 1 with their only region win coming against winless Cottage Hill, but a victory over the Tigers would turn some heads.

T. R. Miller has scored over 40 points in all but one game this season and is averaging 43.8 points per game. Southside is averaging 12.5 points per game.

T. R. Miller defeated Southside 48-18 last season.


Selma at Greenville

For the Saints to get into the playoffs in 2013, they would have to knock off one of the top teams in Class 5A, Region 3. Attempts to defeat Jackson, Demopolis and Saraland have come up short, but now a chance against Greenville awaits.

The Tigers showed their brawn by defeating Demopolis 18-16 last Friday to move to 3-1 in Class 5A, Region 3 play.

Greenville is now in great shape to make the playoffs. The Saints on the other hand need to make a run by defeating the Tigers, winless Sumter Central and Satsuma to end the season to have a real chance.

Greenville defeated Selma 34-6 last season.


Cornerstone at Meadowview

Meadowview Christian will take on Cornerstone Friday night in a Class A showdown without playoff implications. The winless Trojans will meet 1-6 Cornerstone Christian. The Trojans, limited in depth, have struggled to score points this season. Meadowview is averaging 8.8 points per game.

Cornerstone defeated Meadowview 63-22 last season.


Morgan at Hooper

It’s easy to understand the scenario for Morgan Academy on Friday night at Hooper — win and you’re in the playoffs.

A loss would make things a lot more interesting, because Hooper would win any tiebreaker over the Senators for the fourth and final playoff spot in Class AAA, Region 2.

The Senators fast paced offense has put up 202 points on the season, but their defense is surrendering them in bunches as well. Since starting the season with back to back shutouts over winless Pike Liberal Arts and Meadowview Christian, the Senators defense has given up 152 points, or 38 points per game over the last four contests.

Hooper’s defense has given up a lot of points as well.

The Colts have given up 331 points this season, or 47.2 points per game. However, following an 0-4 start to the season, Hooper has a lot of momentum going into Friday night’s game. Hooper has won two of its last three games, with the one loss coming to undefeated Monroe Academy in a 59-13 defeat last Friday.

Last season Hooper Academy defeated Morgan Academy 27-14.


Holtville at Dallas County

With their playoff hopes almost completely gone, the Hornets host Holtville on homecoming Friday night.

The winless Bulldogs will be in search of their first win on the season. Holtville has had trouble scoring points, only scoring 41 on the entire season up to this point.

Dallas County hasn’t fared much better, as the Hornets have only scored 40 points since scoring 54 in their opening blowout victory against Calhoun.

The good news for the Hornets is that this appears to be the much more manageable end of a top-heavy schedule.

Games against Central-Clay County, Dadeville and Handley — the top three teams in the Class 4A, Region 3 standings — are now behind them. Following the Holtville game, area games against Childersburg and Elmore County await.

Last season, Holtville defeated Dallas County 28-24.

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