Game previews: Region games shape playoff picture

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, October 11, 2018

This week’s Game of the Week goes to the matchup between the Keith Bears and the Holy Spirit Saints on Friday night in Orrville.

The Bears (2-2) have yet to win in back-to-back weeks, and the team is coming off a 36-20 region loss to Isabella.

Keith is just 1-3 in region games, and only has three region games remaining on the schedule. The Bears are currently in sixth place, directly behind the Saints in the Class 1A Region 3 standings. A win would make the Bears even with the Saints in the standings, but a loss would mark the sign of the door shutting on their playoff hopes.

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The Bears have made the playoffs in its last three seasons, and nine of the past 10 seasons. Keith’s playoff streak is in danger of ending if the team can’t find a way to win the games that count.

Keith has already played three of the top teams in the region including No. 2 Linden, No. 3 Maplesville and Isabella. Holy Spirit has only faced Linden, and lost 52-14.

Southside vs. Montgomery Academy

The losing streak for the Southside Panthers (0-7) has been one of the more shocking trends of the 2018 season. Southside head coach Daniel Flowers hasn’t experienced a seven-game losing streak since his rookie season coaching in 2012.

The Panthers sit at the bottom of the Class 3A Region 3 standings searching for its first win of the season to break the losing streak.

Southside only has three weeks left on the schedule, and each game is a region game starting with the Montgomery Academy Eagles (4-3) on Friday night. In last place at 0-4, the Panthers need to take advantage of the first of its final two home games this season.

Selma vs. Stanhope Elmore

The Selma High Saints (1-6) host region opponent Stanhope Elmore Mustangs (4-3) on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.

The Saints are riding a five-game losing streak and are 0-3 in region games this season.

The game against the Mustangs is the first of its final two region games left on the schedule. Stanhope Elmore is undefeated in region play (3-0) and sit at the top of the Class 6A Region 3 standings.

The Mustangs have proven their strength on the gridiron as they defeated No. 6 Wetumpka 34-28 this past week.

Morgan Academy vs. Kingwood Christian

The No. 8 Morgan Academy Senators (6-2) dropped two spots in the rankings this week, but remain in a good position for the playoffs with three games left on the schedule.

The Senators, who are undefeated at home this season, face the Kingwood Christian Lions (5-3) on Friday night for its homecoming game.

The Senators will also be hosting members of the 1998 state championship team.

Morgan Academy is the highest scoring team in the AISA-AAA Region 1, and the second-best defense. The team is averaging 35 points per game on offense, and the defense has only allowed 11 points per game to opponents.

The Senators have a 2-1 region record, with its only region loss to No. 6 Bessemer Academy.

Kingwood Christian is 1-2 in the region with losses to No. 3 Tuscaloosa Academy and the Glenwood School.

The Lions average 23.9 points per game on offense, and its defense allows less than 20 points per game.

The Senators have yet to face Tuscaloosa Academy, but they defeated Glenwood 22-14 thanks to a blocked field goal that was returned for a last second touchdown.

Morgan Academy is in a three-team race for the top of the region standings with Tuscaloosa Academy and Bessemer Academy, so each region game becomes more urgent.

Kingwood Christian isn’t too far behind in the hunt for a playoff spot, and pose a threat to Morgan Academy’s position in the top-three.

Dallas County vs. West Blocton

The last time the Dallas County Hornets (0-6) played a home game was two weeks ago, when a smoking transformer on a light pole forced the team to forfeit the game at halftime.

R.B. Hudson Middle School played its final game of the season at Martin Field in Plantersville last week with no electrical problems, so the Hornets should be good to go when they host West Blocton (1-6) on Friday night.

The matchup is one of Dallas County’s final two region games on the season. At 0-4 in region play, the Hornets desperately need a win to improve their position in the standings.

West Blocton’s only win this season was a region game, so the two teams will be fighting to stay off the bottom of the totem pole.

The Hornets offense has only scored more than once in one game this season. The offense averages just 6 points per game, while opponents have averaged nearly 30 points against them.

West Blocton has the same problem on defense, allowing 30 points per game to opponents, but their offensive production has been better than Dallas County’s.

Meadowview Christian vs. Chambers Academy

The Meadowview Christian Trojans (0-6) return to their home field on Friday night to take on the No. 4 Chambers Academy Rebels (8-0).

The Trojans have averaged less than a touchdown per game, and the defense has allowed nearly 60 points per game to opponents.

The Rebels have been dominating each of their opponents this season. The Rebels have shutout three opponents and haven’t allowed more than 14 points in any game. The Rebels average 46 points per game on offense and 27 points was the smallest margin of victory in any game this season.