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Lamar County, Pickens County play for home playoff games

 

Scott Walters

 

The final week of region play for the Alabama High School Activities Association provides several intriguing matchups with playoff ramifications on the line. 

 

In Region 4-2A play, Lamar County plays host to Hale County with the winner earning the second spot in the region and a home playoff game Nov. 9. 

 

The same scenario is in effect in Region 5-1A where Pickens County travels to Berry. 

 

Elsewhere in the coverage area Friday night, Aliceville visits Marion and Sulligent plays host to R.C. Hatch in Region 4-2A. South Lamar plays host to Parrish in Region 5-1A. 

 

In an Alabama Independent Schools Association matchup, Pickens Academy travels to Clarke Prep School. 

 

All games start at 7 p.m 

 

Lamar County (6-2, 5-1) 

 

at Hale County (4-4, 4-2) 

 

Lamar County will risk its five-game region win streak Friday night with a road trip to Hale County. 

 

Entering the final week of region play, the Bulldogs have secured a playoff berth and can clinch home field in the opening round with a win here. 

 

"The kids have really responded after the first loss," Lamar County coach Ken Adams said. "We had a tough loss to Oakman but we challenged the kids to win the rest of the region games and they have done just that." 

 

Lamar County ran its overall win streak to three with last Friday's 58-28 region win over Frances Marion. 

 

Quarterback Dallas Cockerham paced the Bulldogs with 120 passing yards and three touchdowns, including two rushing scores. 

 

Lamar County is averaging 48 points per game during its current win streak. Cockerham has run for a season-best 687 yards and 14 touchdowns. Tim Harton has added 313 yards and seven touchdowns. 

 

"Our offense has done a good job finding its identity of late," Adams said. "They have taken that next step during region play." 

 

Hale County enters the contest fresh off a 13-7 overtime win against region foe Sulligent. 

 

The teams did not meet last season. 

 

Aliceville (4-4, 4-2)  

 

at Marion (0-8, 0-6) 

 

Aliceville has already secured a playoff spot. The Yellow Jackets can nail down the region's third spot with a win against Marion. 

 

Coach Charles Moody's club is also alive in the race for second place but Aliceville would have to win and get help from Hale County. 

 

"We are excited about reaching the playoffs again," Moody said. "When you begin the season, that is the first goal. 

 

"We have stretches where we play well and stretches where we don't. We will have to be more consistent to advance." 

 

Aliceville lost in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs last season. This year, the Yellow Jackets have a 4-2 record in Region 4-2A play thanks to last Friday's 50-36 loss to region leader Oakman. 

 

Jeremy McMullen paced Aliceville with 20 rushes for 120 yards, including three touchdowns. Oscar Sommerville added 76 yards, with a 35-yard touchdown run. 

 

"We simply gave up too many big plays," Moody said. "That has happened against some of the really big, physical teams we played." 

 

Marion is struggling on offense. The Rams have only scored 66 points this season, with 28 of those coming in last Friday's 58-28 region home loss to Lamar County. 

 

The teams did not meet last season. 

 

Hatch (3-5, 2-4)  

 

at Sulligent (2-6, 2-4) 

 

Sulligent and R.C. Hatch meet for pride in a region showdown Friday night in Sulligent. 

 

Sulligent was eliminated from playoff consideration with last Friday's 13-7 overtime region loss to Hale County. 

 

The Blue Devils built a 7-0 halftime lead on a Jamar Plant 25-yard touchdown run. However, Sulligent could not find the end zone again and were defeated by an overtime score. 

 

Struggles on offense have hurt Sulligent throughout the season. Still, the Blue Devils have hung tough with three of four region losses coming by a touchdown or less. 

 

Hatch saw its playoffs hopes snuffed two weeks ago with a 49-46 region loss to Aliceville. The Bobcats responded for a 24-8 region home win over Cold Springs last Friday. 

 

The teams did not meet last season. 

 

Pickens County (7-1, 5-1)  

 

at Berry (6-2, 5-1) 

 

Pickens County looks to bounce back from a disappointing loss in time for another huge region showdown with Berry. 

 

The Tornadoes have already secured a playoff berth but saw their region championships hopes dashed with last Friday's 45-27 loss to defending state champion Marion County 

 

Now Pickens County must regroup quickly. A win against Berry clinches the second playoff berth in the region and an opening-round home playoff game Nov. 9. 

 

"As disappointed as we were in last week, we have to come back out ready to play," Pickens County coach Patrick Plott said. "We weren't as disciplined as we needed to be to defeat a team like Marion County." 

 

Marion County ran for 476 yards in the victory. The Red Raiders fell three yards shy of having four 100-yard rushers in the game. 

 

"We let them control the tempo," Plott said. "I was disappointed in our defensive effort and our inability to get them off the field." 

 

Jermarcus Brown led Pickens County with 119 rushing yards and thee touchdowns. Brown scored twice on the ground and also had an 87-yard kick return for score. 

 

Berry has won six straight games after opening the season with back-to-back losses to Northside (47-32) and Marion County (62-6). 

 

The teams did not meet last season. 

 

Parrish (4-4, 2-4)  

 

at South Lamar (0-8, 0-6) 

 

South Lamar plays host to Parrish in its final Region 5-1A contest of the season. 

 

Both teams have been eliminated from playoff consideration. Hubbertville is presently fourth in the region. Parrish dropped a 31-25 decision to Hubbertville earlier this season. 

 

South Lamar dropped its eighth straight with 42-7 home region loss to Berry. 

 

For South Lamar, Hershel Smith rushed 17 times for 89 yards, with a 51-yard touchdown run. Holden Fields added 53 yards offensively and 13 tackles defensively for the Stallions. 

 

Parrish has won back-to-back region games with victories over Brilliant (62-36) and Lynn (44-31). 

 

Parrish won last season's meeting, 47-28. 

 

Pickens Academy (8-1)  

 

at Clarke Prep School (8-1) 

 

Pickens Academy looks to bounce back from its first defeat of the season with Friday night's non-region tilt with Clarke Prep School. 

 

Pickens Academy will host in the opening-round of the playoffs Nov. 2. The Pirates had an unbeaten run through Class A, Region 2 play. The unbeaten start to the overall campaign came to a halt with last Friday's 34-28 home loss to Patrician Academy. 

 

"We had some costly turnovers, especially there in the second half," Pickens Academy coach John Gartman said. "(Patrician) played a little better than us, and it was reflected in the final score." 

 

Clarke Prep won the Region 2-2A title with a perfect 5-0 mark. The Gators' lone regular season loss was a 47-14 defeat at Monroe Academy. 

 

Clarke Prep has bounced back from that defeat with consecutive wins against Escambia Academy (27-26) and Morgan Academy (35-7). 

 

The teams did not meet last season.

 

Scott is sports copy editor and reporter

 

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