Cullman (3-4, 2-1) at Muscle Shoals (7-0, 3-0)
The skinny: Muscle Shoals entering the playoffs unbeaten for the first time since 2015 looks likelier by the week. The Trojans have not had a stressful game this year. … Muscle Shoals thumped Decatur 49-13 with an EJ Jarmon pick-six, a touchdown pass from Logan Smothers to Ty Smith and TD runs for Eugene Malone, Brooks Berry and Smothers (x2). … The Trojans’ next two region opponents should be their toughest yet, however, starting with this Thursday game against Cullman. … Cullman is coming off a two-touchdown loss to Athens, the other Region 7 team Muscle Shoals is yet to play. … The Bearcats whacked both Decatur and Columbia, just as Muscle Shoals did. … In six meetings over the last eight years, Muscle Shoals is 6-0 with an average margin of victory of 30 points.
TD pick: Muscle Shoals
Gadsden City (0-6, 0-4) at Florence (3-4, 2-2)
The skinny: Florence’s season might have turned for the better with last week’s 28-23 win at Huntsville. ... Dee Beckwith rushed for 120 yards and added 108 receiving yards and Gardner Flippo went 8-for-10 for 195 yards. … Isaac Mason sealed the win with an interception. … Gadsden City is winless but might be better than you think. The Titans lost to Austin 17-6 (which Florence lost to, 30-25) and lost 24-20 to Bob Jones (a team Florence whipped, 55-24). … After all, Gadsden City was 0-6 last year, too, and then beat Florence the next week 31-24. … That said, Florence appears to be a better team and has too much at stake to let Gadsden City hang around. The Falcons would do well to take control early and keep it.
TD pick: Florence
Russellville (6-0, 4-0) at Hamilton (5-1, 3-1)
The skinny: Oh how close we were to this being a matchup of unbeaten teams. Alas, Hamilton had its first rough night of the season and lost to Hayden 28-7. … Russellville was not too sharp either, hanging on for a 22-14 win over Lawrence County. … Each of these teams will eventually get a crack at Jasper, the No. 1-ranked team in the state in Class 5A, but the winner of this week’s game will be in line for at least a No. 2 seed in the playoffs and a first round game at home. … Even after its season-low output last week, Russellville ranks fourth in the state in Class 5A at 37.3 points per game to go with the No. 6 scoring defense. … Hamilton is 33rd and 22nd, respectively. … Aggie QB Jathan Jackson will probably have to make some big plays for Hamilton to win. … Last year’s meeting – the first since 1995 – was a 65-34 Golden Tiger win.
TD pick: Russellville
Brooks (4-2, 3-0) at Deshler (5-2, 4-0)
Radio: FM-93.9 and FM-105.5
The skinny: This is the de facto Class 4A, Region 8 championship game. … That’s what it was last year, too, when Brooks outplayed Deshler from start to finish in a 48-7 beatdown. … This time the game is in Tuscumbia, and Randall Martin hopes his Tigers can extend their win streak to six. … Deshler’s losses look better each week, as 6A Muscle Shoals and 5A Russellville are both still undefeated. … Brooks had had two weeks to figure out what went wrong in a 46-27 loss at Mars Hill. … This game pits the No. 3 scoring offense in Class 4A (Brooks, 45.8 ppg) against the No. 8 scoring defense (Deshler, 15.6 ppg). … Brooks has won the last two meetings but Deshler leads the series 27-7.
TD pick: Deshler
Rogers (0-6, 0-3) at West Limestone (4-2, 2-1)
The skinny: Overshadowed in a disappointing season for the Pirates, the Rogers defense is ranked 24th out of 59 Class 4A teams (23.8 ppg allowed). … Rogers will need that defense to be at its best to slow down a West Limestone team that beat Elkmont 75-0 and since then has scored 37, 41 and 45 points. … The Pirates continue to struggle offensively and enter off a 28-0 loss to Deshler. … Rogers looks to avoid an 0-7 start for the first time since 2013. … Rogers has won three straight in this series by at least 20 points each. That streak appears likely to end.
TD pick: West Limestone
Elkmont (1-5, 0-3) at Wilson (1-5, 1-3)
The skinny: There are three games left for Wilson in the 2019 regular season, and this is the best opportunity for a win. … Wilson has struggled after losing a better-than-average senior class after the 2017 season, but top Warrior athletes like Chris Silva and Tanner Melton ought to be able to cause problems for the Elkmont defense. … Both teams were routed by common opponents (Deshler and West Limestone), but Wilson at least scored in both games and also allowed fewer points to each than Elkmont did. … The teams have met five times since 2012, and Wilson has won all of them by at least three touchdowns.
TD pick: Wilson
Good Hope (5-1, 2-1) at Haleyville (3-3, 2-1)
The skinny: This is a big chance for Haleyville to solidify its playoff chances. … It’s tough to know how good 8th-ranked Good Hope really is. The Raiders opened the season with five wins in a row but are coming off a 41-16 loss to Northside. … Haleyville, meanwhile, enters this game off a 15-6 win over winless Curry. … The Lions took control with an early score, as quarterback Eli Musso scored a touchdown. … Ty Black ran for 105 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter. … Haleyville did not give up any points in the first, second or fourth quarters. … Haleyville is allowing 18.7 points per game, 14th best in Class 4A.
TD pick: Good Hope
Phil Campbell (3-3, 1-2) at Lauderdale County (6-1, 4-0)
The skinny: Lauderdale County continues to roll, knocking off Clements 48-7 on the road last week. Phil Campbell didn’t have the same success on the road, losing 55-6 to Westminster Christian, snapping its two-game win streak. … Tiger quarterback Slade Brown has thrown 19 touchdowns this season, and Kameron Jones has rushed for six. … Phil Campbell is led by running back Trey Leindecker, who’s rushed for 869 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. … Lauderdale County won 52-46 in 2018 and leads the series 12-1. … Look for that trend to continue this week for the Tigers.
TD pick: Lauderdale County
Lexington (1-5, 0-4) at Colbert Heights (4-3, 2-1)
The skinny: Both teams are coming off losses, with Lexington falling 28-14 to East Lawrence and Colbert Heights losing 26-20 to Decatur Heritage. But taking the whole season into account, Colbert Heights is in much better shape. … Both Gage Pugh and Carson Shaw have combined for 12 touchdowns on the ground this season. … Players to watch for Lexington are Trey Martin and Lucas Thigpen. … Lexington’s lone win this season came in the first game, beating Rogers 3-0. Since, the Bears have struggled. … Colbert Heights won 42-25 last season but Lexington leads the series 17-11. Look for Colbert Heights to get back in the win column this week.
TD pick: Colbert Heights
Red Bay (6-0, 3-0) at Colbert County (5-2, 3-1)
The skinny: Red Bay rolled to its sixth straight win, beating Sheffield 30-14 despite trailing 14-8 at halftime. … Colbert County dropped a 44-12 contest to Addison, its worst regular season loss in nearly two seasons. … The Tigers are led by their quarterback Jalen Vinson, who’s thrown for 956 yards and five touchdowns. The leading receiver is Arden Hamilton, who’s caught all five of those touchdowns and has 507 yards. … Slade Berryman leads Colbert County with 14 touchdown passes this season. … The Indians will want to bounce back playing at home, but Red Bay has been strong this season. … Red Bay won 12-7 in 2018, but Colbert County leads the series 8-6.
TD pick: Red Bay
Hatton (2-4, 1-3) at Tharptown (1-4, 0-3)
The skinny: Though Hatton has only two wins in its six games this year, the Hornets have held the opponent to 20 points or fewer five times. They have the No. 18 scoring defense in Class 2A. … That might be the key for Hatton against Tharptown, which has had trouble on both offense and defense since a season-opening win. … Hatton dominated Tanner 46-13 last week, as Briley Kerby ran for three touchdowns and passed for two. … Tharptown has lost 14 straight games in region play, which dates to its time in Class 1A. … Hatton is 5-0 in the series and won 66-7 last year.
TD pick: Hatton
Waterloo (6-1, 3-0) at Vina (2-4, 2-1)
The skinny: Vina has dropped its last two contests by a margin of 102-0 and Waterloo hasn’t lost since the second game of the season, continuing its win streak last week with a 54-8 win over Cherokee. … Players to watch for Vina are Jackson Landers and Braden Moomaw. … Cherokee is led by running back Junior Summerhill, who has rushed for 1,110 yards and 18 touchdowns to lead area rushers. … Waterloo won 48-0 last season and leads the series 27-16. Look for Waterloo and Summerhill to keep it going again this week.
TD pick: Waterloo
Shoals Christian (0-7, 0-3) at Cherokee (0-6, 0-3)
The skinny: One of these teams will finally get its first win. … Shoals Christian had one of its more competitive showings of the season, getting a touchdown from Zaiyln Fuqua and a blocked punt for a touchdown by Benjamin Russell, but it wasn’t enough against Phillips. … Cherokee, meanwhile, couldn’t hang with a Waterloo team that has established itself as one of the top teams in the region. … Fuqua is a freshman and should be a big piece of Shoals Christian’s future. … Willie Cox scored Cherokee’s touchdown and conversion last week.
TD pick: Shoals Christian
Hackleburg (1-5, 1-2) at Phillips (1-6, 1-3)
The skinny: Hunter Lanford had three touchdowns last week, two rushing and one by catching a Ken Edwards pass, leading Phillips to its first win of the season. … Improbable though it might have seemed just last week, Phillips’ playoff chances are real if the Bears win this game. … But that’s a big if. Hackleburg is painfully young and is having a second consecutive tough season, but the Panthers can score points. They put 46 on Shoals Christian and 48 on Hubbertville over the last two weeks (though Hubbertville scored 71). … Keep an eye on Hackleburg’s Caden Jones and athlete Ethan Heggy. ... Phillips won 38-8 last year, breaking an eight-game losing streak in the Hackleburg series. … Hackleburg leads the series 50-22-2.
TD pick: Hackleburg
Mars Hill (6-0, 4-0) at Central (2-4, 2-2)
The skinny: Mars Hill stayed undefeated with a 60-0 win over Vina last week and eight different players scored touchdowns. … Panther running back Peyton Higgins leads the team on the ground with 37 carries for 603 yards and nine touchdowns. … Central continued its winning ways with a 48-13 win over Elkmont to improve to 2-4. … Running back Dalton Hanback eclipsed 1,000 yards and now has 17 rushing touchdowns on the season. … The Class 1A Panthers will look to continue their success against Class 4A teams after beating Brooks earlier this season. … Mars Hill beat the Wildcats 26-9 in 2018.
TD pick: Mars Hill
R.A. Hubbard (4-3, 2-2) at Woodville (2-4, 1-2)
The skinny: This is an important week for R.A. Hubbard, which is tied in the loss column with Woodville for fourth place. … A win here puts R.A. Hubbard in solid shape for a repeat trip to the playoffs, but a loss makes the postseason outlook dicey. … R.A. Hubbard has used turnovers to help its cause this year, recovering ten fumbles and intercepting six passes. … Todd Perkins leads the Chiefs with 428 yards and six scores on 63 carries. … Derrick Wiggins has passed for 480 yards, with nearly half of the receiving yardage coming from Montoya Kellogg (211 yards). … Woodville’s football history dates to 2006, and the Panthers have never finished with a winning record. … Woodville leads the series 2-1, with the teams alternating wins the last three years.
TD pick: R.A. Hubbard
Class AA, Region 5
Mt. Pleasant (3-3) at Loretto (3-3)
The skinny: Non-region game for both teams, which will play for the first time since 2014 when Mt. Pleasant edged the Mustangs 34-33. … Mt. Pleasant has lost 3 of 4 games, with its only win in that stretch coming against Wayne County. … Loretto also owns a win over Wayne County, winning 24-20 in the season opener. … Loretto snapped a two-game skid last week with a 41-14 win over Community as Logan Fisher scored a pair of touchdowns.
TD pick: Loretto
Class A, Region 6
Collinwood (3-4, 2-1) at McEwen (3-3, 2-1)
The skinny: Collinwood had its two-game winning streak snapped last week when No. 2 Huntingdon posted a 35-0 win. … Trojans beat McEwen 48-34 last season. … McEwen has won two in a row and 3 of 4 and is part of a four-way tie in the region standings with one loss. … Key game in region standings for second place as Huntingdon appears headed for the title.
TD pick: McEwen
Wayne County (1-5, 1-1) at Huntingdon (7-0, 3-0)
The skinny: Wayne County is in danger of losing a fourth straight game as it travels to region leader Huntingdon. … The Wildcats are coming off a 12-6 loss to Bruceton in which they ran only 20 plays. … Huntingdon, ranked second in the state, blanked Collinwood last week 35-0 and has allowed only 27 points in its three region wins. … Huntingdon beat Wayne County 46-22 last season.
TD pick: Huntingdon
Last week: 21-2 (91.3%)
Season record: 115-28 (80.4%)