It’s time for region play here in the Alabama and teams will start their trek for region championships and along with it, earning important home-field advantage in the playoffs. There are some huge games here in the central Alabama area in 7A and 6A, and I preview some below.
You can also catch the lines and picks along with Aaron Daniel’s over at joxpreps.com.
Check out the Week 2 Friday morning preview on WJOX 94.5, and read below for more games.
Gadsden City at Hewitt-Trussville (-12)
Gadsden City is 0-2 so far this season, falling to Spain Park and Oxford in the first two weeks, and Hewitt-Trussville is 1-0 after a big win over Callaway (MS) last week. This game has a little more intrigue though because Gadsden City was the team to knock the Huskies out of the playoffs last year.
Hewitt did win the regular season match-up last season 28-14 before losing to them in the playoffs 29-28. Hewitt is out for revenge and seems to be the better team on paper as well. Hewitt scored 65 points in their season opener on the arm of Paul Tyson.
Hewitt has an easier region schedule to start off after Gadsden City with games against Grissom and Buckhorn. Meanwhile, Gadsden City gets James Clemens next in region play.
Jon’s Pick: Hewitt-Trussville
Hoover (-10) at Mountain Brook
Hoover is set to take on Spain Park next week, but they have to get through Harold Joiner and Mountain Brook first. Hoover is 1-1 in non-region play, falling to Grayson out of Georgia in week 1 and beating Meridian from Mississippi by 35 last week.
Mountain Brook meanwhile is 2-0 with huge wins over Gulf Shores and Helena. However, they have perhaps the toughest run of three games in the state with Hoover, Thompson and Spain Park over the next three weeks. They do get the Bucs at home along with Spain Park, but they get the toughest opponent first.
Harold Joiner is the player to watch in this one as he is one of the top running back recruits in the country. Currently Michigan State leads for Joiner, but that doesn’t mean that he couldn’t end up in the SEC somewhere when it’s all said and done. Joiner had four touchdowns last week against Helena. However, this Hoover team has had one of the better defenses in the state lately.
We’ll see how Joiner does and on the other side, how Auburn commits Shedrick Jackson and George PIckens do on offense for the Bucs.
Jon’s Pick: Hoover
Spain Park (-11) at Vestavia Hills
Before Spain Park takes on Hoover, they have to face Vestavia Hills first who fell last week to rival Homewood to start the season off 0-1. It broke a 10-game win streak for Vestavia in that series, so they are hungry for their first win.
Vestavia gets Oak Mountain and Huffman next, and both teams are undefeated right now as well as Spain Park, so it won’t be an easy road for Vestavia. Buddy Anderson is the winningest coach in Alabama, but it will be tough for the Rebels this season. The fact that Vestavia got shut out by Homewood should be concerning, but they also only held Homewood to 2 field goals. The Spain Park defense will look to put more than a couple of field goals on the board behind Braxton Barker, D’Arie Johnson and more.
Jon’s Pick: Spain Park
Minor at Pinson Valley (-13)
Pinson Valley will host Minor after beating reigning 6A champion Ramsay last week to move to 2-0. Minor is looking to repeat as 6A Region 6 champion after a great season last year. They are 2-0 right now, but struggled against Paul Bryant last week, winning 22-19.
Pinson looked strong the first two weeks with Bo Nix at quarterback, beating McAdory before Ramsay. If they can win, they will be in good position before the huge rivalry game against Clay-Chalkville next week. There are high expectations for Pinson, while Minor is expected to fall off a little without George Bates at the helm and without playmakers like Jaylond Adams.
Still, a win here for Minor would be huge as they begin a three-game road trip starting tonight.
Jon’s Pick: Pinson Valley
James Clemens (-4) at Bob Jones
This game is essentially a home game for both teams since they utilize the same field. There were a lot of questions about James Clemens coming into this season with the amount of talent they lost on defense. Still, they are sitting at 1-0 after a win over Gardendale, a team they couldn’t beat last year with all that talent.
Meanwhile, Bob Jones is currently at 0-2 after losing to the current #1 teams in both 7A and 6A in Central-Phenix City and Austin. They will look to rebound here, and beat their cross-town rival. This is an important game for both teams as they start region play. Bob Jones gets a decently easy run with Sparkman and Huntsville next while James Clemens gets Gadsden City and Sparkman. Neither team has to play Hewitt-Trussville until the second half of region play, so a win here and wins in their next games would put them in great position to challenge for the region title.
Jon’s Pick: Bob Jones
Other top games (picks in bold):
Central-Phenix City (-10) at Auburn
Huffman at Oak Mountain (-7)
Murphy at McGill-Toolen (-20)
Baker at Theodore(-7)
Shades Valley at Ramsay (-17)
Homewood (-5) at Parker
Clay-Chalkville (-7) at Jasper
Gardendale (-10) at Pell City
Daphne (-11) at Saraland
Blount (-18) at Baldwin County