Week 8 game previews

Published 9:19 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Selma vs. Brookwood

The Selma High Saints’ playoff hopes are on the line during their homecoming game this Friday against region opponent Brookwood.

Neither Selma High (3-3) nor Brookwood (0-6) have won a region game yet this season. The Saints have only three region opponents left on the schedule to try and break even. Selma High has shown flashes of good football this season, but has struggled to string together consistent performances in back-to-back games. One week they win, and the next they lose for six weeks in a row.

After last week’s loss to Northridge, the pattern, at least, predicts a win against Brookwood. But Saints head coach Christopher Raymond isn’t depending on patterns. He has been preaching to his team about correcting the little things from his first day, and remains focused on correcting the little mistakes to improve the team.

Statistically, the two teams are pretty close. Selma High scores nearly 30 points per game, and the Panthers defense allows 40 points per game. The Saints defense allows 27.8 points per game, and Brookwood has only averaged 24 points through six weeks.

In region games Brookwood has allowed 123 points, and Selma has allowed 125. The Saints are the lowest scoring team in region games with just 42 points.

Selma is at its best when the whole offense is clicking. When running back Amarian Molette can eat up yards on the ground, it frees up plays in the passing game for quarterbacks Rondarious Sanders and Tyreshon Freeman.

Southside at Montgomery Academy

The Southside High School Panthers (4-2) are currently tied for second place in the Class 3A Region 3 standings, and they will travel to Montgomery this Friday night to face the top team in the region, the Montgomery Academy Eagles (5-1).

The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak where they have scored at least 40 points. This game against the Eagles is just one of the final two region games left on Southside’s schedule.

The Panthers have found a variety of ways to win considering that their scoring average is nearly identical to the amount of points they allow. The team averages 26.2 points per game and the defense gives up 26.5.

However, they have been able to separate themselves in their region matchups. In region games, the Panthers have scored 111 points and only given up 75.

The Eagles have also found a way to take control of their region games. They’ve score 127 points against their region opponents, while only allowing them to score 35 points.

Southside got a spark in its offense this season when the team switched back to Gneil Johnson at quarterback and started using Malik Johnson at wide receiver.

According to head coach Daniel Flowers, this is going to be a physical game and it will be crucial to contain Montgomery Academy’s running game.

The Panthers know that the playoffs are within their sights, and a win could help solidify their seeding.

“We’re treating this like a playoff game,” Flowers said.

Keith vs. Verbena

The Keith High School Bears (3-3) will host the Verbena Red Devils (0-6) Friday night in Orrville for a region matchup.

This will be the second in a four-game stretch of region games for the Bears as the season winds down. Keith is 2-1 in region games this season, and the next three games will be critical to their playoff potential.

The Bears have had big contributions in recent weeks from Levi Thomas, Jeashan Black and Trashaud Jackson. The team has scored more than 30 points three weeks in a row.

The Bears sit at third-place in the Class 2A Region 4 standings. The Red Devils are at the bottom of the standings with an 0-4 record against region opponents.

The top two teams with perfect region records in the standings, Aliceville (4-0) and Thorsby (3-0), will face each other on Friday night. If Keith defeats Verbena and Aliceville wins, then the Bears would be tied for second in the region. If Keith and Thorsby win on Friday night, then the Bears will remain in third place.

Verbena has struggled to score points and defend against other region teams. They’ve only scored 28 points in four games, and have allowed 187 in four region games.

The Bears, on the other hand, has handled region competition well so far. Keith has put up 94 points against region opponents, while only allowing them to score 84.

Dallas County at Marbury

The Dallas County Hornets (1-5) will travel to Deatsville for a region game against the Marbury Bulldogs (3-3) this Friday night.

Since their lone victory of the season against Sumter Central three weeks ago, the Hornets have struggled to score. In the last two weeks, the Hornets have only reached the end zone once on an 80-yard kick return touchdown by Calvin Starks.

In Dallas County’s defense, the last two games were against No. 1 Maplesville (Class 1A) and No. 5 Demopolis (Class 5A).

Dallas County is currently in fifth place in the region standings, which is directly behind Marbury. In region matchups, both teams have only scored 45 points, but the Hornets have allowed much more. Region opponents have scored 130 points against the Hornets, and only 72 against the Bulldogs.

Morgan vs. Northside Methodist

The Morgan Academy Senators (3-4) will face the Northside Methodist Academy Knights (0-8) for their homecoming game this Friday night.

Last season, the loss to Fort Dale Academy started a four-game losing streak to end the season. The Senators are trying to avoid a similar fate after dropping last week’s game to Fort Dale. Morgan lost to Northside Methodist 28-6 last season, but this year the Knights have struggled to repeat their 2016 production.

The winless Knights are at the bottom of the AISA 3A Region 2 standings, and Morgan is tied for fourth place with Hooper Academy.

The Senators are averaging 28 points per game this year, and allowing just under 24 per game. The Knights have struggled to put points on the scoreboard this year averaging just 7.9 points per game. Their defense is allowing nearly 40.

According to Morgan head coach Josh Thacker, this game still has meaningful playoff implications. There are still too many factors with three games left, but this would be a critical step in keeping the playoff hopes alive.

“Bottom line is we have to beat Northside Methodist to get into playoffs,” Thacker said.

Meadowview vs. Tabernacle

The Meadowview Christian Trojans (1-5) will host the Tabernacle Torches this Friday night.

This is the second to last game of the season for the Trojans. Even though they’ve only won one game, the offense has shown signs of improvement over the course of the season. After scoring only 20 points in their first two games, the Trojans have now averaged 25.2 points per game over the course of the season.

However, they still give up more than 50 points per game on defense.