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Keith faces tough region test

By Robert Hudson

The Selma Times-Journal

The Keith High School Bears football team clinched a playoff berth after last Friday night’s 45-6 win over Shades Mountain Christian, but they still have a lot to play for Friday night.

The Bears (6-2, 4-2) will be at home when they play Autaugaville (4-4, 4-2) Friday at 7 p.m. in an important region game that will decide who wins the third seed in Class 1A Region 4 for the Alabama High School Athletic Association state playoffs.

Bears’ head football coach Harry Crum said Autaugaville is a team that always plays with toughness.

“They play hard and they’ll probably be able to match us skill player for skill player,” Crum said. “I think it’s going to come down to who wants it the most on that particular night. I think it will be a physical game.”

Crum said the Bears are hoping they can catch Autaugaville down after their 41-12 loss last week against No. 5 Maplesville.

“They lost to Maplesville last game, so hopefully we can catch them reeling and looking backwards instead of looking forward,” Crum said. “At the same time, we have to be able to make sure we don’t get caught up into reading our own press and believing our own press.”

The Bears have locked up at least the fourth seed in the region, but a win would clinch the third seed for either team.

Crum said the opponents waiting for the third and fourth seeds create a pick-your-poison situation, but the Bears are still looking to win.

“The winner gets to play Sweet Water (No. 8 in the state) and the loser gets to play Linden (No. 2 in state),” Crum said. “So, you’re looking at a traditional power in Sweet Water and a recent power in Linden. Both are really, really good programs. You want to win, so you go out and practice and do the things that enable you to win, and after that, everything else will take care of itself. We’re looking forward to it no matter who we have to play.”

One player the Bears will rely on is Charles Johnson, who racked up 470 yards and six touchdowns on the ground on only 10 carries against Shades Mountain Christian.

“He put on a show on Friday night,” Crum said. “Charles hasn’t played football that long, so he’s still learning the game, but he’s got good speed and works hard in practice. We’re going to try to give them (Autaugaville) a heavy dose of Charles.”
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