October 22, 2009 8:51:00 AM
Region championships will be at stake Friday night when the Lamar County Bulldogs and Pickens County Tornadoes take the field.
Lamar County will claim the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A, Region 7 championship and Pickens County will capture the Class 2A, Region 4 title with victories.
Both have the task of trying to win region championships on the road, with Lamar County playing at Winston County and Pickens County traveling to Fultondale.
In other games involving West Alabama schools, Aliceville will play host to Gordo in a Pickens County clash, Pickens Academy will play host to Wilcox Academy, South Lamar will travel to Marion County, and Sulligent will play at Oakman.
Lamar County will take on Winston County in a showdown of teams with identical 8-0 overall and 6-0 region records.
"That''s the way it''s supposed to be," Lamar County coach Ken Adams said. "Everything is in your hands. You don''t have to rely on anybody else. This is why you want to play."
Pickens County (8-0, 6-0 region) leads Fultondale (7-1, 5-1) by a game in the region standings in its journey for an undefeated campaign.
Pickens County will win the region outright with a victory and finish as the No. 2 seed to Fultondale with a loss. The Tornadoes will finish second if they lose because they will be tied with the Wildcats and lose the head-to-head tiebreaker.
"We''re excited about the opportunity," Pickens County coach Scott Marchant said. "We''re facing a real good opponent. It''s going to be hard work.
"Everybody''s excited. The players, coaches, school, community, everybody is excited about the football team and what can be accomplished this year."
Lamar County has outscored opponents 345-121. The Bulldogs are averaging 43.1 points and allowing 15.1 points per game.
Winston County has outscored opponents 240-45 and is averaging 30 points and allowing 5.6 points per game. The Yellow Jackets have shut out four opponents and lead Class 2A in scoring defense.
"They''re big, they''re strong, they''re physical," Adams said. "They believe in what they''re doing. They''re going to do what they do, regardless. They pride themselves on defense. They pride themselves on their ability to shut you down and take away what you do well and make you do something else."
Lamar County shut out Winston County 37-0 to force a three-way tie for first place last season. Sulligent earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, while Lamar County was the No. 2 seed and Winston County was the No. 3 seed.
Pickens County has been explosive on offense and stingy on defense, outscoring its opponents 307-62. The Tornadoes are averaging 38.4 points and allowing 7.9 points per game.
Fultondale hasn''t lost since the third week of the season when it suffered a 27-18 setback to Hale County. The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 250-72, averaging 31.2 points and allowing nine points per game.
Fultondale has allowed just 19 points in its last five games since the loss to Hale County.
"They''re a real physical football team," Marchant said. "They run the ball real well. They just come after you on defense. They''re just an all-around good team. They don''t have any weaknesses or flaws. They''re good in all three phases."
Pickens County beat Fultondale 27-12 to finish undefeated in the region last season.
The Tornadoes may have to play without senior receiver and linebacker Dominique Jones and sophomore running back and defensive back LaJuan Doss.
Jones suffered a hip pointer against American Christian, and Doss has an ankle injury.
n Gordo at Aliceville: Third place in AHSAA Class 3A, Region 4 will be at stake when the Yellow Jackets play host to the Green Wave tonight.
The winner will earn the No. 3 seed from the region in the state playoffs.
If Aliceville wins, it will knock Gordo out of contention for the playoffs. If Gordo wins it will knock Aliceville to the No. 4 seed and eliminate Greene County from contention.
"This game has big implications," Aliceville coach Robin Tyra said. "It has a big affect on a lot of people. It is a pretty pertinent game to several people."
Tyra got a pleasant surprise when quarterback Mack Burden got in for six snaps against West Blocton last Friday. Burden hadn''t played since the second game of the season after suffering burns in a grease fire.
"I''m hoping he can get more than six snaps this week," Tyra said. "I think he''s a big key to making this thing turn like we need it to turn. He''s a tough kid, and he''s determined to get back out there. He''s giving it a valiant effort to do that."
Aliceville will attempt to avenge a 48-8 loss at Gordo last season.
n Wilcox Academy at Pickens Academy: The Pirates will attempt to extend their three-game winning streak in an Alabama Independent School Association Class 2A West game.
Pickens Academy (5-3, 2-3 region) started 0-3 in the West, but has worked its way up the ladder in its quest for a playoff berth the past two weeks by beating Meadowview Christian 30-7 and Clarke Prep 30-8.
The Pirates seek a similar outcome like last season when they beat Wilcox Academy 41-12 for their fourth win in a row.
n Sulligent at Oakman: The Blue Devil can clinch third place in AHSAA Class 2A, Region 7 by beating Oakman.
Sulligent (5-3, 4-2 region) took over sole possession of third place in the region last Friday when it beat Addison.
The Blue Devils will bid for their third win in a row after beating Falkville and Addison.
Sulligent seeks a repeat of last season when it defeated Oakman 40-6.