Ellwood Christian, Keith High to square off Friday night in Orrville

Published 1:44 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019

Keith High and Ellwood Christian Academy are quietly building a prep football rivalry in Dallas County.

The Bears (2-1) entertain ECA (0-2) on Friday night at JV Cadwell Stadium in Orrville.

Keith slightly leads the all-time series 3-2, including a 46-6 victory last year at Memorial Stadium.

Email newsletter signup

Bears coach Anthony Lumpkin said he’s not overlooking the Eagles, led by tailback-linebacker Emanuel Blanks.

“We are not going to underestimate those guys,” Lumpkin said. “We’re going to approach this game just like any other game of this importance.”

ECA coach Migueal Catlin said quarterback Jared Edward is the key to Keith’s offense.

“Coach Lumpkin does a great job with them,” Catlin said. “They are fast and physical. The quarterback, Edwards, is their guy. It should be a good test for us and another week to get better.”

Benjamin Russell at Selma High:  The Saints (1-1, 1-0) seek consistency on offense after being shutout against Opelika at home. Selma also wants to avoid a 0-2 in Region 3, Class 6A competition. Benjamin Russell beat Selma 25-20 last year.

“They are a well-coached football team” Saints coach Willie Gandy said.  “But it’s a must win for us. We have to win out to have a shot at winning the Region.”

Gandy praised the performances of linebackers Jeremy Sturdivant and Deviun Cunningham against Opelika. Sturdivant had 19 total tackles, while Cunningham produced 16 total tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Pike Road at Southside: The Panthers (1-1, 1-0) plan to remain unbeaten in Region 3, Class 3A.  Quarterback Christopher Thomas and wide receiver Taye Spears are a dangerous pass-and-catch combination, which will be key against Pike Road. The Patriots won 34-6 last year.

“They are a good football team,” Panthers coach Charles Moody said. “They are disciplined, big and strong. We have to eliminate a lot of mistakes from last week, especially penalities. Our guys have to be more disciplined. We are excited about the game and the opportunity to compete.”

Lee-Scott at Morgan Academy: The Senators go for their second straight victory and host Lee-Scott in a Region 1, AAA matchup of 1-2 squads at Morgan Stadium. The Senators won 40-2 last season and have won 16 of 24 games in the series.

Running back Holt Utsey ran for 246 yards and scored four touchdowns against Patrician Academy last week.

“Lee-Scott is a very well coached team with a steep football tradition,” Senators coach Josh Thacker said. “Over the past few years, home games at Morgan Academy have tended to be very exciting and usually come down to the wire. We expect nothing less on Friday night.”

Sumter Central at Dallas County: The Hornets (0-2) have improved each week.  Quarterback Calvin Griffin leads a big-play Dallas County offense, but Hornets coach Heath LeVert wants consistency on defense against a talented Sumter Central team.

“They are going to be athletic,” LeVert said. “We have to tackle well in order to be successful. If they break one or two tackles, they will be hard to catch up to. They run the Wing-T offense and we can’t fall asleep in the secondary. If we do, we’ll be on the bad side of a long touchdown pass.”

Meadowview Christian at Pickens Academy: MCS (0-2) opened the season with a pair of 51-0 losses.  Trojans coach Bob Taylor expects to face another tough opponent on the road in Pickens County.

“Pickens Academy is always a good physical team,” Taylor said. “They have played a tough schedule so far. They don’t do anything fancy. They are physical on both sides of the ball.”