PRESTRIDGE’S PICKS: County teams flex muscles

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 3, 2004

For the third consecutive week, Crenshaw County high school football teams went undefeated.

Talk about a way to close out the season.

With wins, Brantley clinches the Class 1A, Region 2 championship and Highland Home earns a berth in the Class 2A state playoffs.

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Now it's time for teams to begin focusing on the playoffs and prepare for the long, hard-fought battle to the Super 6 in Birmingham. But first, the last regular season games must be played.

To win the region title, third-ranked and undefeated Brantley claimed a 14-0 victory over undefeated Ariton on the road. The Bulldogs (9-0, 7-0) faced their toughest opponent of the season in Ariton and still managed to come out on top, but it wasn't as easy as they made their other eight wins seem.

Third-ranked Luverne, which claimed the Class 2A, Region 3 title with a win two weeks ago, finished it's region schedule undefeated with a huge 41-0 win over Horseshoe Bend on the road. The Tigers (8-1, 7-0) have continued to get better each game throughout the season, which is a good sign that they will once again make a lot of noise in the playoffs.

As for Highland Home, the Squadron (4-5, 4-3) captured a 36-0 victory over winless B.B. Comer on their home turf. The win helped them squeak into the playoffs.

Crenshaw Christian claimed its fourth win in row with a 31-0 shutout over Chambers Academy at home. The Cougars (6-3, 6-2) have played really well the last half of the season assuring a spot in the Alabama Independent School Association's Class A state playoffs.

With a third consecutive perfect week, this prognosticator's record improves to 29-5 or 85 percent.

The big game this week will be the cross-county contest between 1A powerhouse Brantley and 2A powerhouse Luverne Thursday night in Brantley.

Throughout the season fans await this heated standoff between the two Crenshaw County rivals. No matter what each team has done all year, in this case very well, the fans come out in droves to cheer on their team. It's a battle for bragging rights.

The Bulldogs have displayed a very dominant running game this season and have played strong at times on defense. The Tigers have done the same, but when it comes to the passing game, they have the upper hand.

Luverne's coaching staff will need to mix things up and give junior quarterback Ryan Brown the opportunity to make some big plays happen. The Tigers' defense will have to hem up Bulldog running backs Devaris Skanes and Chris Booker or they could cause a lot of problems early in the game.

As for Brantley, its defensive backs will have to keep up with the Tigers' quick receivers and stay focused on the pigskin. Offensively, running won't be enough to outwit Luverne's fast defense.

Last year, Brantley visited Luverne and went home with a 14-13 win. This year, the Tigers will be looking to repay the favor.

Luverne is more accustomed to the new system second-year

Head Coach Mike Dubose installed last year and is able to execute it better than they did during this time last year. A year can make a lot of difference.

Brantley, on the other hand, is still strong and should put up a fight. The Bulldogs' system has been in place for several years.

Fans should expect another close game.

It's not going to be easy to pick the winner without making players, parents and fans angry, so the easiest way to pick is by a coin flip.

Luverne heads, Brantley tails.


It's heads.

Prestridge's Pick: Luverne.




Highland Home will take on Class 3A Montgomery Academy on the road tomorrow night. Montgomery Academy defeated Catholic of Montgomery 23-17 last Friday night.

The Squadron will have to play a near-perfect game to capture a win over the Eagles.

Mixing things up offensively has worked for Highland Home during the last couple of games and the coaching staff should continue to do so. The Squadron will have to make big plays happen on both sides of the ball, while capitalizing on turnovers.

Prestridge's Pick: Montgomery Academy.




Crenshaw Christian Academy will host Dixie Academy in its final area game of the season. Dixie lost to Calvary Christian 25-6 last Friday night. The Cougars defeated Calvary the third game of the season, 41-6.

CCA should continue to depend on the run, but also mix in the pass, which has come to life the second half of the season. Offensively, the Cougars have really come on strong and the defense has continued to improve from week to week.

Crenshaw Christian has a chance to go a long way in the playoffs if they'll remain focused, protect the football and cause some turnovers.

Although there's no such thing as a gimme game, this should be an easy win for the Cougars.

Prestridge's Pick: CCA.

Adam Prestridge is editor of

The Luverne Journal. He can be reached at 334-335-3541 or by e-mail: adam.prestridge@luverne