September 8, 2014 8:58:27 PM
The fourth week of the prep football season provides some compelling matchups. Instead of spending a lot of time telling you should head out to the games, let's pick some winners instead.
West Point at Columbus
A pair of teams needing a lift meet Friday at Falcon Field.
West Point has played well through its first three games, even though it only has one win to show for its efforts. The Green Wave appeared to be challenged offensively entering the season and replacing Aeris Williams has indeed been a major chore. However, Dason Thomas and his offensive mates will only get better as the season progresses.
Columbus knew it would have some growing pains in Randal Montgomery's first season. The Falcons are learning new systems and playing with a lot of new faces. Through two games, Columbus is quite simply turning the ball over too much to have any chance to win. Fixing that problem will give them a chance Friday night.
West Point 34, Columbus 14
New Hope at Caledonia
It is a safe bet that no one had this Lowndes County matchup as a battle of unbeaten teams. However, here we are.
New Hope is brimming with tons of confidence after wins over Aberdeen and Columbus. The biggest story of the early season has been the emergence of the New Hope defense. The Trojans returned some talented offensive players from last season's team. A year ago, offense was rarely the issue.
Meanwhile, Caledonia has opened with wins over Heritage Academy, Hamilton and Smithville. While the Confederates have been the higher classification opponent in each victory, this week's matchup provides a different game. This game has been compelling in the past, but not necessarily because of a high talent level.
New Hope 34, Caledonia 26
Aberdeen at Noxubee County
Both teams on the upswing meet in Macon.
Aberdeen has impressed many by its 2-1 start. The Bulldogs played well in wins over Shannon and Amory. Aberdeen also showed its youth in a loss to New Hope. As long as Josh Williams is healthy and behind center, Aberdeen will be competitive. Perhaps, the story of this team's season has been the strong defensive play through three games.
Noxubee County, on the other hand, has shown no ill-effects from its season-opening loss to Starkville. The Tigers have bounced back strong with statement victories over Columbus and Louisville. Noxubee County scored 46 and 49 points those two victories respectively. That is pretty impressive considering Noxubee County averaged 20.7 points per game last season.
Noxubee County 42, Aberdeen 14
Heritage Academy at Jackson Academy
This is probably not the right time to be playing Jackson Academy.
In its last outing, Jackson Academy dropped a 40-26 decision at Magnolia Heights. JA's last on the-fied-loss in regular season play was in 2012. The Raiders will be very eager to get back on the right track.
Heritage Academy has won two straight after dropping its season opener to Caledonia. Coach Barrett Donahoe has admitted the team has made strides, albeit not as quickly as the coaches would like. In 2012, JA escaped with a 41-35 victory at home in this series.
Jackson Academy 24, Heritage Academy 6
Oak Hill Academy at Winston Academy
Oak Hill Academy sure could use a hug.
When the season started, we knew how difficult the schedule was the first four weeks for the Raiders. After winning its season-opener over Hartfield Academy, Oak Hill Academy has dropped hard-fought battles to powerhouses Marshall Academy and Tri-County Academy. Much like last season, the challenge early is to tread water and to keep the kids believing.
Winston Academy won two games last season. The Patriots had a nice win over Sylva Bay Academy to start the season but the next two games have not been kind - one-sided losses to Lamar School and Heritage Academy. For Winston, this is the region opener, while Oak Hill Academy tries like to heck to avoid an 0-2 start in region play.
Oak Hill Academy 34, Winston Academy 28
Lamar County at Aliceville
One of the best rivalries in the Alabama High School Activities Association ranks involves Lamar County and Aliceville.
Both teams enter undefeated when they play Friday night in Aliceville.
Lamar County has already won a game in AHSAA Class 3A, Region 4 play. For Aliceville, it is the region opener.
While Lamar County won 10 games last season, it got trounced in this rivalry matchup, falling 56-33. Both teams are better. We will see how much Friday night.
Aliceville 42, Lamar County 35
Pelahatchie 34, West Lowndes 20 ... Victory Christian 44, Tabernacle 0 ... Amory 28, New Albany 7 ... East Webster 42, Houston 8 ... Hamilton 44, Vardaman 0 ... Starkville Academy 30, Hillcrest Christian 3 ... Louisville 24, Philadelphia 22 ... Nanih Waiya 32, East Oktibbeha 6 ... Sebastopol 52, West Oktibbeha 6 ... Central Academy 42, Delta Streets Academy 0 ... Hebron Christian 34, Calvary Christian 0 ... Columbus Christian 24, New Site 22 ... Pickens Academy 32, Clarke Prep 6 ... Pickens County 35, Marion 7 ... South Lamar 21, Berry 20 ... Red Bay 24, Sulligent 10
Last Week: 18-2 (90 percent)
For Season: 52-8 (86.7 percent)
5. Military brief: Cutrer graduates COMMUNITY