Heading into Friday night, there were a few teams in our area who needed a win in order to clear up their rather cloudy playoff picture. For those teams, they got it done. Clay Central, Handley, and Wadley both know where they are heading, while Randolph County still needs a little help this upcoming Friday night.
West End 25 Woodland 22
So much like Clay Central has experienced this season, Woodland fell in heartbreaking fashion involving special teams. Tied at 22 with less than a minute in regulation, the Bobcats attempted a field goal that was unsuccessful. Once West End took over, they broke open a play that gave them great field position with 3.2 seconds remaining. The Patriots ran one more play, setting up shop at the 30 yard line as time expired. However, there was a personal foul called on Woodland, setting up an un-timed down. West End kicked a field goal to end the game, which was their first win of the season. Woodland will finish the 2018 season on the road at Donoho next Friday.
Clay Central 14 Center Point 0
The Volunteers wrapped up the 2-seed in 5A Region 5 with a road win at a rainy, cold Center Point. Center Point had a methodical drive brewing in the first quarter, which was aided by several Clay Central penalties. However, the defense stood up when they needed to, and kept the Eagles out of the end zone. Clay Central will close out the regular season at Handley on Friday.
Handley 35 Talladega 21
After a very emotional week, the Tigers from Handley were happy to get back on the football field and play. Handley picked up a much needed win over Talladega, which clinched the 2nd-seed in 4A region 4. Handley hosts Clay Central this Friday night to close out the regular season.
Randolph County 35 Pleasant Valley 6
Randolph County's route in the playoffs has yet to be determined, but Friday's win at Pleasant Valley helps. Eyes will be on Piedmont and their game with Geraldine. If Piedmont beats Geraldine, no matter the result of Randolph County's game with Wadley, Piedmont wins 3A Region 6. If Piedmont loses, and Randolph County wins, then the Tigers from Wedowee are crowned champions. Demarcus Davis had two rushing touchdowns and two interceptions on defense in the win for RCHS. An inter-county rivalry awaits RCHS, as the Tigers host Wadley on Friday night.
Wadley 33 Notasulga 6
Although it was expected, Wadley sealed up the 2-seed in 1A Region 4 by defeating Notasulga, 33-6 on Friday. Trevor Cameron and Dalton Brown each had two touchdowns. Wadley puts all of their focus on Randolph County, they meet in Wedowee on Friday night.
The playoff picture, for the most part, will be straightened out following Friday night's games. Wadley and Clay Central will look to solidify their place as 2nd seed in their respective regions, while Randolph County and Handley still have a ton to figure out.
The region finale's for our local teams are upcoming and are sure to provide quality entertainment.
Clay Central (5-3, 5-1) at Center Point (5-3, 5-1)
With Clay Central losing a heartbreaker to Mortimer Jordan a few weeks ago, this week's game with Center Point will decide the 2nd-seed in 5A Region 5. Both teams are coming in with identical records, and have lost to the same region opponent, region champ Mortimer Jordan. The Eagles fell to Mortimer Jordan 28-20 in week two, Clay Central lost to the Blue Devils on October 5, 32-27. Outside of games with Mortimer Jordan, both teams have gotten through their region schedules relatively unscathed. Clay Central's closest region win was against Munford by 21 points, 35-14; Center Point's was a 15-point win over St. Clair County, 22-7. This Friday night's bout will be one to watch and will be a wonderful ending to a great region schedule.
Notasulga (4-5, 3-2) at Wadley (6-1, 4-1)
1A Region 4's seeding has not been set in stone yet, but one can assume that the current standings will stay the same. Lanett, Wadley, Billingsley, and Notasulga have qualified for the playoffs. Billingsley defeated Notasulga last Friday night to take third place in the region. This week, #1 Lanett faces #3 Billingsley, and #2 Wadley hosts #4 Notasulga. With the higher numbers coming into their games as heavy favorites, the seeding is likely to remain the same. Wadley will play their final regular-season home game this Friday night and is expected to host a first-round game, a great way to begin a challenging postseason.
Randolph County (7-1, 5-1) at Pleasant Valley (5-3, 3-3)
Now that the least confusing playoff scenarios for Wadley and Clay Central are discussed, let's move on to something a little more challenging. Randolph County went on the road and defeated the #1 Saks Wildcats, which put a tie-breaker in place, with three teams suffering one loss in region play. RCHS, Piedmont, and Saks are now in a three-way tie for first place in 3A Region 6. For a breakdown of what tiebreakers come into play, I would suggest liking "Tiger Den Media" on Facebook. A friend of Lake Wedowee Life, Jeremy Wortham, has broken down how RCHS could win the region championship. It's a complicated process, but it is one to follow if you're a fan of high school football.
Handley (4-4, 3-2) at Talladega (4-4. 3-2)
The RCHS scenario is a strange one, but not as much as the one that Handley has found themselves in. Handley grabbed a win over Leeds last Friday to qualify themselves for the postseason. With two losses, Handley could still win 4A Region 4 with a win on Friday night (What?!?). Lincoln, who currently leads the region with one loss, faces Elmore County on Friday. If Elmore County wins, there will be a three-way tie for first place. If that's the case, Handley wins the region. A Lincoln loss would give them two losses against two teams that Handley defeated (Elmore County and Holtville), as long as the Tigers defeat Talladega this Friday. If anything else happens, well, I'll have to do more research. Be sure to stay tuned to Monday's recap for a full response.
West End (0-8, 0-5) at Woodland (2-6, 1-4)
With a loss at Westbrook Christian last Friday night, the Woodland Bobcats have been eliminated from playoff contention. All is not lost, however. The Bobcats have two games remaining and have a chance to increase their win total from three wins a year ago, to four. Winning two games to close out the year would give this team a reason to smile, and confidence heading into offseason workouts.
As we move into the last stretch of the 2018 season, playoff pushes are becoming stronger than ever. So far, three of five local teams have qualified for the playoffs in their respective classes, with Handley and Woodland needing just one more region win to qualify. Each game is important, including the slate this week.
Randolph County (6-1, 4-1) at Saks (7-0, 5-0)
Jack Stewart Field- Saks
RCHS leads all-time series, 2-0
Last Time: RCHS 33 Saks 6 (1963)
Last Friday night was a little quieter than usual, with one team enjoying a night off, and another playing on Thursday night, only three local teams saw action. Each game, however, had playoff implications. How did each team pass their test?
Randolph County 53 Walter Wellborn 13
Wellborn entered their game with Randolph County as outsiders. With two region losses, a Panthers win would for sure shake up the already intense 3A Region 6. That wish did not come true for Wellborn, as they fell to RCHS on the road, 53-13.
Atario Hester led the way with three rushing touchdowns, and had a 100+ yard rushing day.
RCHS still controls their destiny in region seeding, and will be tested yet again this Friday with a road trip to region-leading Saks. A win over Saks would force a three-way tie for first place between those schools, and Piedmont.
Cleveland 49 Woodland 21
The Woodland Bobcats push for a playoff spot will have to wait one more week, as they fell to Cleveland, 49-21 on homecoming night.
Brock Edwards had three touchdown passes for Woodland.
The Bobcats, who entered the game needing to win two of their final three region games in order to qualify for the playoffs, are now in a "must-win" situation. A loss will end hopes of playoff contention. Woodland hits the road to face Westbrook Christian this Friday night.
Clay Central 40 St. Clair County 7
The Volunteers got back on track last Friday by defeating St. Clair County, 40-7. After sustaining two heartbreaking losses in a row due to special teams, it was good to see Clay Central pick up a win in their final home game of the season. The Vols took a 26-0 lead into halftime, and sealed the deal with two touchdowns in the 3rd quarter.
The next two games for Clay Central will decide their postseason fate, starting Friday with a rivalry road trip to Sylacauga. Currently, Clay Central and Sylacauga are in third and fourth place respectively in 5A Region 5. Center Point, the current second place team, will welcome Clay Central to town in two weeks.
Lincoln 30 Handley 12
Injuries and depth still plague the Handley Tigers as they fell to Lincoln on Thursday night. A crazy 4A Region 4 is still up in the air, but Handley will need to win their final two region games in order to solidify themselves a seat in the playoffs. Handley welcomes Leeds to town next week, and will travel to region-leader Talladega on October 26
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