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Eagles’ seeding still in doubt

Fort Dale at Lee-Scott

This matchup against Lee-Scott is just one piece of the puzzle in a region that is still very much up for grabs.

Depending on the outcome of a couple of games, Fort Dale could end up with anything from the top seed to the fourth seed in the region.

In order for the Eagles to claim the top spot, FDA will need to beat LSA and Pike Lib will need to beat Macon-East.

However, none of that matters to head coach Speed Sampley.

“All we can do is win,” he said. “The rest will shake itself out.”

The Eagles will be taking on a tough Lee-Scott team that hasn’t lost a game by more than nine points all season.

“Robert Maddox is their head coach, and they are very solid at what they do,” Sampley said. “They’re throwing it more than they did last year, but they’re still mostly a running team.”

“Even though the score was 28-6 last year, it was a closer game than that. I expect it’ll be close like that again this year,” he added.

One added twist is Lee-Scott’s kicker/punter, who is averaging over 40 yards per punt.

“They’ve got good coverage, and we’ve relied on good returns to get us good field position over the season,” said Sampley, who isn’t sure that’ll happen against LSA. “Our offense has to click better because of that.”

I expect a hard-fought contest, but with a top playoff seed on the line, I think the Eagles have some strong motivation to play well.

FDA 35, LSA 20

Greenville at Chilton County

The Tigers locked up a region championship last week with a huge win over Demopolis, and Greenville is surely hoping to stay focused.

“We’ve got to get squared away and get focused back on the game,” said head coach Ben Blackmon. “We had Saturday and Sunday to celebrate, but now we’ve got to get back to what got us here – focusing.”

Blackmon called Chilton County’s team “scrappy,” and their records bears that out.

The Tigers are 5-3 and only lost to Demopolis by a touchdown.

However, no matter how big Greenville won in past games, they’ve been able to concentrate on the game ahead.

With a home game in the first round of the playoffs locked up, there’s definitely the potential for Greenville to slip up, but I don’t think it’ll happen.

The Tigers have their eye on the goal of an undefeated season, and I don’t expect them to slip up now.

GHS 28, Chilton County 13

BCMS at J.F. Shields

Last week was a must-win game for Butler County, and this week’s game isn’t any different.

The Panthers are fighting for a playoff spot, and this week they travel to Uriah to take on J.F. Shields.

Head coach Shane Smothers said Shields resembles his BCMS team.

“They’re lacking depth, and they’re a lot like us in size,” he said. “They’re hungry, and they haven’t gotten their first win of the year yet.”

To give the Panthers a little extra incentive, this Friday night is homecoming at Shields.

“We know that we’re going to get their best effort,” Smothers said.

There’s a lot on the line for BCMS — they have to beat Shields to have any chance at making the playoffs.

“Their goal is to be the spoiler,” Smothers said. “We’re taking this game seriously, and we’ve got to keep getting better. Coming off the big win over Coffeeville last week, we’ve got a little momentum, and since it’s a must-win, that just makes it that much bigger.”

I don’t expect BCMS to have any trouble with Shields.

What BCMS lacks in size, they certainly make up for in speed, and I don’t think Shields has anyone that can match up with the Panthers’ skill players.

On a side note, Victor Marshall broke the 1,000-yard mark last week against Coffeeville to become the first running back to reach that mark under Smothers.

I’m looking for another 200-yard game out of Marshall this week.

BCMS 48, Shields 6

McKenzie at Providence Christian

The Tigers have already locked up the second seed in the region, so Friday’s game against Providence doesn’t have any playoff significance, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a big game.

Providence is usually a pretty strong team, and coach Miles Brown doesn’t anticipate anything different this year.

“They’re very disciplined, they do what they’re told to do, and they do it very well,” Brown said.

Other than quarterback Calvin Henderson, the Tigers are pretty healthy, but it’ll be at least a couple of weeks before Henderson returns to the field.

I’m sure McKenzie would love to get some momentum heading into the rivalry game with BCMS, and Brown said he expects Providence to want a win for the same reason.

“They’re going to be gunning for us, trying to get some momentum going into the playoffs,” he said.

Even without a whole lot on the line, I expect McKenzie to pull out a win Friday night.

McKenzie 42, Providence Christian 28

Current record: 25-7