October 1, 2009 9:24:00 AM
Robin Tyra''s goal as coach of the Aliceville High School football team is to win region and state championships.
Aliceville can take a step toward winning the Alabama High School Activities Association Class 3A, Region 4 championship Friday when it travels to Cordova.
Aliceville (4-1) is tied for top spot in the region with Cordova (4-1) at 3-0, and can take over sole possession of first with a victory.
"It''s a big region game," Tyra said. "It''s going to be very intense. It will be a built-up game simply from the standpoint of the records. We''re the only teams that have not been beaten in the region."
Both teams were undefeated before losing non-region games last Friday. Aliceville was shut out 13-0 by Class 2A No. 1 Pickens County, while Cordova lost to Class 5A Hartselle 22-13.
Aliceville started the season by beating American Christian 6-3, Greene County 8-6, Sumiton Christian 36-22, and Sumter County 14-0, while Cordova beat Dora 48-9, Sumter County 44-22, Gordo 41-26, and Northside 41-14 its first four games.
Aliceville is bidding for its first region championship since 2005 when it went undefeated through the regular season and finished 11-1.
The Yellow Jackets tied for first with Cordova in 2006, but finished runner-up in the region because of a 36-26 loss in their head-to-head matchup.
Tyra''s goal is to get the Yellow Jackets back on top in the region after a three-year absence.
"(Friday''s game) has some pretty good implications," Tyra said. "There''s a lot of work to be done. There''s not much you have to do to get them fired up for this. They may look over us and hopefully that plays into our favor and we can take advantage of it because we haven''t proven anything and done anything special. We''ve won games I felt we should have won and dropped a game we could have won."
Aliceville lost quarterback Mack Burden for the season with an injury, but has no other players who will miss the game against Cordova.
n Pickens County at Isabella: The Tornadoes (5-0) will attempt to stay undefeated when they travel to Isabella (1-4). The Tornadoes are 3-0 in Class 2A, Region 4, while the Mustangs are 0-3.
"We tell our kids every week that anybody with help from us can beat us," Pickens County coach Scott Marchant said. "We try to let them know we want to respect everybody we play because if we don''t we won''t get better during the week and ultimately that can get in the way of bigger and better things. ... We''ve just got to keep trying to get better and play hard."
Pickens County has beaten Greensboro 48-24, Shades Mountain Christian 67-7, Thorsby 33-14, Hale County 34-6, and Aliceville 13-0.
"The hope is we can motivate ourselves every week to try to get better and be better football players and coaches," Marchant said. "You try to be better than you were the week before and not be satisfied."
Pickens County won''t have any players miss the game because of injuries.
n Kingwood Christian at Pickens Academy: The Pirates will attempt to get back on track after losing to Escambia Academy and Monroe Academy.
Pickens Academy (2-3) allowed its most points in a game this season last week in a 40-20 loss to Monroe.
"Our overall level of intensity needed to be increased," Pickens Academy coach Sam Pearson said. "We didn''t play with a lot of intensity last week against a real good team and that showed in the final result. We just didn''t play hard. If you don''t do that you''re behind the eight ball before you even get started.
"We know if we don''t find that switch to turn on we''re destined for some long nights. We had one like that Friday night, and we don''t want another long night like that again."
Pearson said Kingwood Christian (0-5) has a great athlete who lines up at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and kick returner. He said the Pirates will try to limit his touches and prevent him from getting the big play.
"They try to get the ball to him on nearly every snap," Pearson said. "They''ve got several good athletes besides him, but he''s the No. 1 player we''ve got to stop."
n Falkville at Lamar County: The Bulldogs also will look to remain undefeated and avoid an upset when they host Falkville.
Lamar County is 5-0 and 3-0 in Class 2A, Region 7, while Falkville is 1-4 and 1-2.
"They''re not bad," Lamar County coach Ken Adams said of the Blue Devils. "Last year they came in and played us harder than anybody we played."
Lamar County beat R.C. Hatch 46-12 last Friday, but Adams wasn''t satisfied.
"We probably played our worst football game since I''ve been here," Adams said. "We came out in the first half and it was embarrassing. We started off the game with a bad snap and it just kind of continued through the first half. The second half the kids came out and played better."
n Winston County at Sulligent: The Blue Devils will try to do something no other team has been able to accomplish this season when it plays host to Winston County in a Class 2A, Region 7 game.
Sulligent (3-2, 2-1 in region) will look to move into a first-place tie with Winston County, which is 5-0 and 3-0.
"They''re pretty doggone good," Sulligent coach Dwight Bowling said. "They''re 5-0 for a reason. Last year, they beat us up there at their place. They''re capable of beating us. We''re going to have to play one of our best games."
Sulligent lost to Winston County 28-13 in the regular season last year, but earned a 39-15 victory in the playoffs.
Sulligent linebacker Tony Johnson is recovering from an ankle injury, but he played last week and will play Friday.
n Hubbertville at South Lamar: The Stallions will look to fine tune the offense after losing to Parrish 32-0 last Friday.
The Stallions got inside Parrish''s 20-yard line twice, including twice inside the 10, and couldn''t score.
"We just have to finish -- finish our blocks, finish our runs, finish our tackles," South Lamar coach Josh Harper said. "We''ve just got to finish. We''re going to extend the drills on out to teach them to finish. We don''t need to change a lot of things."
South Lamar is 1-4 and 1-3 in Class A, Region 7, while Hubbertville is 2-3 and 2-3.
"It''s all about how we prepare ourselves," Harper said. "If we play like we did against Parrish, it will be hard to beat anybody. We have the ability and potential to beat this team. We can play with them."
South Lamar beat Brilliant 39-14 for its region win, while Hubbertville has beaten Brilliant 35-7 and Marion County 7-6 in the league.
1. Howland completes first coaching staff at MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Prescott embraces return to football practice COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU looks to build on historic women's basketball season COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU baseball begins weekend with shutout losses to Auburn COLLEGE SPORTS