Column: Predicting the big game

Published 8:24 am Thursday, August 30, 2012

I can’t think of a better way to kick off a season than with a rivalry game. I know it’s not even September yet, but I’m excited.

The last few weeks of jamborees have whetted my football appetite and between the great high school games scheduled for tonight and tomorrow and college football’s Saturday kickoff, there’s a lot to be excited about.

Before I get to pickin’, there’s one thing you might notice — I’ve already got a 1-0 record this year.

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“How did that happen?” you might ask. “I didn’t see a column in last week’s paper.”

You’re right. I posted it at last Thursday, and you had the opportunity to read it there.

Every week, I’m planning to post my predictions to our website and Facebook. So get on Facebook, like us, and let me know whether you think I’m spot-on with my predictions or out in left field.

Now, on to the good stuff.

Luverne at Brantley
There are certain clichés about rivalry games. Each team gives it their all, you never know who’s going to win, that’s why they play the game, etc.

All of those things are true about this rivalry.

Take last year, for example. On the scoreboard, it was a 19-0 Brantley win, which is a fairly convincing margin.

In person, it was much closer than that and still in doubt late into the game.

Luverne’s offense was able to move the ball pretty well against Georgiana and showed some big-play potential.

I haven’t seen Brantley play this year, but many of the players are back from last year’s team, including key players at running back, quarterback and wide receiver.

The key will be defense.

The Bulldogs are big and stout, but Luverne’s defense didn’t give up anything against Georgiana.

Ultimately, I’m going to have to go with Brantley.

Luverne may get a couple of scores, but I think Brantley pulls away late in the game.

Brantley 20, Luverne 13

CCA vs Autauga
It’s going to sound like a cop-out, but I think this one could go either way. Both teams can make a good case for a win.

CCA looked impressive on their first time on the field two weeks ago against Pike Liberal Arts.

That continued with a 50-0 shellacking of Chambers last Friday night.

On the other hand, Autauga made it to the state championship game last year and has one of the top tight ends in the nation in O.J. Howard, who has committed to play for Alabama.

If Howard is Autauga’s only threat, CCA may be able to shut him down. The Generals defeated Coosa Valley last week, but it wasn’t what I’d call a statement win.

In the event of a toss-up, I’m going to go with the hometown boys.

CCA 35, Autauga 28

Highland Home at McKenzie
This ought to be a great game. Both of these squads are dealing with the loss of a strong senior class.

McKenzie defeated J.U. Blacksher in the jamboree, and Highland Home lost both halves it played, but jamborees don’t mean a whole lot.

I bet the Squadron have come out with a great week at practice, and I expect them to be ready for McKenzie.

The Tigers are young, and I think Highland Home will wear them down before the game is over.

Highland Home 20, McKenzie 13

Overall record: 1-0