Keith can break new ground with win

Published 7:30 pm Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Keith enters Friday’s game against Zion Chapel in a position that has been unfamiliar in recent years.

The undefeated Bears are atop Region 3 of Class 2A and have a shot at starting the season off 4-0.

“One of the keys is establishing tradition,” said Keith coach Harry Crum. “Some people are starting to take notice.”

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The Rebels are 0-3 following a 54-8 loss to Saint Jude last week, and look like easy pickings for a team that has found success. But Keith remains focused.

“You never take anyone for granted,” said Crum. “We are a physical football team, and on Friday we’re going to be physical.”

The Bobcats and Flying Squadron kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday in Orrville.

R.C. Hatch (2-1) vs. Highland Home (0-3)

R.C. Hatch coach Jammie Abraham will have a new look when the Bobcats travel to Highland Home for a Class 2A Region 3 matchup on Friday.

He promised his team that if it beat rival Francis Marion last week, he would get a Mohawk. It’s a promise he kept.

“They stepped up in the second half and just destroyed Francis,” said Abraham. “It’s a great feeling. It’s about time they got that kind of confidence. They’ve got that swagger.”

Highland Home has not been as successful this season. The Flying Squadron has sputtered to an 0-3 record and lost to Reeltown 41-18 last week. The matchup looks like an easy win for the Bobcats on paper.

But some wounds never heal, and Abraham is confident his team will not overlook Friday’s contest.

In 2002, the Bobcats traveled to Highland Home with 13 players. They lost 81-0, and according to Abraham, Highland Home left its starters in for the entire game.

“We owe Highland Home something,” he said. “We have a bitter taste in our mouths. It’s not a vendetta, but a bitter taste.”

The Bobcats and Flying Squadron kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday in Highland Home.

Francis Marion (0-3) vs. St. Jude (2-1)

The Rams’ hard times continued with a loss to rival R.C. Hatch last week.

They remain winless, and will have an equally tough row to hoe when they travel to St. Jude on Friday.

After losing by a touchdown to Alabama Christian in their opener, the Pirates have been on a roll with a 55-14 win over R.C. Hatch and a 54-8 win over Zion Chapel last week.

“St. Jude is very talented and very physical,” said Francis Marion coach Javaris Jackson. “I think we can match up with them. Our team has to understand that you have to play four quarters.”

The Rams and Bobcats kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday in Montgomery.

Maplesville (2-0) vs. John Essex (0-3)

The No. 7 Red Devils will have a chance to get in a groove when they travel to John Essex for a Region 4 matchup on Friday.

Coach Brent Hubbert worried that an early off week following an opening win over Billingsley would have ill effects. However, Maplesville remained sharp — but not sharp enough — in its 48-8 rout of Sunshine last Friday.

“We were sloppy early on last week,” said Hubbert. “We make too many mistakes to be 2-0.”

John Essex is 0-3 on the year. The Hornets have been blown out and shut out in all three losses and fell to Billingsley 44-0 last week.

This will be the first match up between the two schools. They kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday in Demopolis.

Meadowview (2-1) vs. Clarke Prep (1-2)

Meadowview will try to get back on track at Clarke Prep on Friday.

After receiving their first taste of defeat in a 33-0 loss to Monroe last week, the Trojans encounter a Clarke team that has gotten off the mat. The Gators looked strong in a 22-0 win over Wilcox Academy.

“Clarke Prep is like they’ve always been,” said Meadowview coach Rick Jackson. “They’re big, strong and physical. We’ve got to do much better on the offensive and defensive lines and establish the line of scrimmage.”

The Trojans and Gators kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday in Grove Hill.

Selma High (3-0) vs. Greenville (1-2)

Selma traverses through unfamiliar waters and can chart a bit more with a win over Greenville on Friday.

Their 14-6 win over Wilcox-Central last week earned them a tie for the Class 5A Region 3 lead, and now the Saints have a shot at their best start since the 1994 team began 5-0.

The task won’t be easy, though. Greenville earned its first win with a 50-13 win over Monroe County last week and could enter the game with rebuilt confidence.

The Saints and Tigers kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday in Grove Hill.

Dallas County (0-3) vs. Holt (1-2)

Holt found its first win of the season in a 26-20 overtime thriller against Southside last week.

Meanwhile, the Hornets continue to search for theirs. They fell on the road to Greensboro 25-12.

The Hornets and Ironmen kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday in Grove Hill.

Wilcox Academy (1-3) vs. Monroe (3-0)

Wilcox Academy entered this season with high expectations and a season-opening win over Sumter.

But the Wildcats have dropped three straight including a 22-0 shutout at Clarke Prep last week.

Their road doesn’t get any easier as they travel to Monroe Academy. The undefeated Volunteers beat Meadowview 33-0 last week and are tied with Southern for the lead in Region 2 of Class AA.

The Volunteers and Wildcats play at 7 p.m. on Friday in Monroe.

Wilcox Central (0-3) vs. Monroe County (0-3)

Both Wilcox-Central and Monroe County will fight for their first win when they clash on Friday.

The Jaguars fell to Selma 14-6 last week. The Tigers lost to Greenville 50-13.

They play at 7 p.m. on Friday in Monroe.

Lowndes (3-1) vs. Shelby (2-1)

After falling to Edgewood Christian two weeks ago, Lowndes got back on track with a 31-6 win over Lakeside last week.

Shelby’s 28-7 loss to Edgewood returned the teams to a tie — this time for second place — in Region 1 of Class A.

The Rebels and Raiders play at 7 p.m. on Friday in Lowndesboro