Brantley will test McKenzie

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2009

McKenzie at Brantley

Usually, the Brantley game is where we find out what the McKenzie Tigers are made of, and I don’t think this year will be any different.

Take a look at 2007: McKenzie started the season 5-0, then lost to Brantley, which started a four-game losing skid.

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In 2008, the Bulldogs were the only blemish on the Tigers’ regular season record.

“We’re going to have to play a perfect game with no mistakes,” said head coach Miles Brown. “We’ve got to execute our game plan, and our defense is going to have to step up to the challenge because they’ve been scoring a lot of points.”

However, I think this year the test works both ways.

Brantley hasn’t given up a single point in the last four games (Florala, Ariton, Highland Home and Pleasant Home), but those teams are a combined 5-19 this season, so the Bulldogs haven’t been pushed recently.

Brantley is also without Anthony Gulley, who is playing on Saturdays at Auburn, and I’m not sure they have a “big time” player this year.

Look for this one to be pretty close, but I think it might be the year McKenzie finally gets over the hump.

McKenzie 40, Brantley 36

Greenville vs Talladega

This week’s game for the Tigers is very similar to last week’s matchup.

Greenville faces off against the Talladega Tigers, and like Wilcox, Talladega is winless this season.

Despite that, head coach Ben Blackmon said they are a scrappy bunch.

“They’ve got a new coach, and they play hard,” he said. “They are a little undersized, but they play hard.”

There is an added twist compared to last week’s game — it’s homecoming for Greenville.

Needless to say, homecoming is full of opportunities to get distracted from Friday’s game, but Blackmon isn’t too worried.

“I hope our seniors have enough maturity to know that we’ve still got to play football,” he said.

Like last week, unless the entire team gets trampled by kids rushing the streets to pick up candy during the parade, Greenville should win handily.

Greenville 42, Talladega 0

Fort Dale vs East Memorial

Let me go ahead and say that I was impressed by the way Fort Dale rebounded from the loss to Macon-East.

I knew one of two things would happen: FDA would struggle and start doubting themselves or they’d come out with a vengeance.

Fortunately, it was the latter.

East Memorial, Friday’s opponent, has been prone to giving up large amounts of points this season, and that doesn’t bode well for them.

“They’ve got a quarterback who can fly,” Sampley said. “He’s little and he’s hard to find. They’ve also scored over 40 points in three games, but they haven’t played real good defense.”

Since it is homecoming, focus on the game might be an issue.

“It’s always a problem,” Sampley said. “I’ve been here 10 years, and we haven’t played well on homecoming yet.”

Despite that, I think the only thing that might make this one interesting is mistakes — in the past two games, FDA has been penalized for over 100 yards in each of them, and they’ve also struggled with turnovers.

If a couple of those mistakes happen at the wrong time, it could make this game closer than it would otherwise be, but I don’t think that’ll happen.

Fort Dale 48, East Memorial 13

BCMS at Sweet Water

It’s a given that the Panthers have their work cut out for them this week.

The Sweet Water Bulldogs are firmly in the hunt for their fourth straight state championship, however, they are not indestructible.

Thomasville beat Sweet Water in the opener, and Fruitdale pushed them to an 8-0 game.

If anyone can get their team motivated to give Sweet Water a challenge, my money is on Coach Smothers.

For proof, take a look at last year: Leroy put up 28 points in Sweet Water’s only loss, and the Panthers put up 24.

No one else scored more than 14 on them the entire season.

The challenge will be finding a way to stop the Bulldogs’ offense, and I just don’t think BCMS has the size or the depth to make that happen for four quarters.

Sweet Water 56, BCMS 13

Overall record: 18-6