Florence (2-4, 1-2) at Huntsville (4-2, 1-2)
The skinny: Massive opportunity for the Falcons, whose playoff outlook is solid with a win here but shaky with a loss. … With a loss, Florence might have to win three straight region games and hope for favorable results elsewhere. … The Falcons’ struggles against rival Muscle Shoals continued last week in a 29-10 loss, though there were positives. The defense held Muscle Shoals to six second-half points. … Huntsville – like Florence – seems to be squarely in the middle of 7A, Region 4. The Panthers lost 49-0 to the teams’ lone common opponent – James Clemens (which beat Florence 51-20). Huntsville lost 38-21 to Sparkman but blew out Grissom 43-14 early in the year. … Huntsville made the playoffs every year during its most recent stint as a 6A team (2006-13) but has only qualified once (2017) as a Class 7A team. … Mark Fleetwood is in his third year as coach. … Florence is 7-4 in the series and won last year 28-13.
TD pick: Florence
Muscle Shoals (6-0, 2-0) at Decatur (1-5, 0-2)
The skinny: Muscle Shoals continued its excellent year with a convincing 29-10 win over 7A Florence – its fifth straight in the series. … Logan Smothers completed 17 of 22 passes, and Mikey McIntosh caught a pair of touchdowns for the state’s No. 4-ranked offense in Class 6A. … Muscle Shoals ranks No. 1 in Class 6A in scoring defense at 7.7 points per game. … Decatur’s 1-5 record through six games is its worst since 1968. … The Red Raiders took a 27-25 to Class 5A Lawrence County last week – only their fourth in 25 meetings, according to the Decatur Daily – spoiling any momentum they might have earned in a 40-12 win the week before struggling Lee-Huntsville. … Jere Adcock is in his 24th year at Decatur and has taken the Red Raiders to the playoffs 19 times. … Muscle Shoals leads the series 5-4 and won last year 41-28. This one might not be as close.
TD pick: Muscle Shoals
Russellville (5-0, 3-0) at Lawrence County (Ala.) (3-2, 2-1)
The skinny: A week after wearing down West Point with rushing touchdowns, Russellville scored three of its five touchdowns against Haleyville via a Jacob Bishop pass. … That sort of flexibility is a good sign for the Golden Tigers in addition to the obvious – their five consecutive wins. … Rowe Gallagher caught four passes for 99 yards last week. … Russellville has the No. 3 scoring offense and No. 4 scoring defense in Class 5A. … Lawrence County should be confident after a rare win over 6A Decatur last week. … Ty Hutto passed for 246 yards and Grayson Vermeire ran for 201, according to the Decatur Daily. … Russellville lost this game during a difficult 2017 season but otherwise has won each of the 10 other modern meetings.
TD pick: Russellville
Hamilton (5-0, 3-0) at Hayden (1-5, 0-3)
The skinny: The Aggies haven’t met Jasper or Russellville yet, but week by week it’s starting to feel more like it could be a special season in Hamilton. … The Aggies dumped Winfield 40-27 last week for their fifth win in a row – their longest streak since winning six in a row during the 2013 season. Matching that streak looks probably as Hamilton hosts Hayden, which has been overwhelmed against 5A competition so far this year. … Hayden’s lone win came against 4A Oneonta, but the Wildcats took double-digit losses against Springville and Lawrence County before getting drilled by Russellville, Jasper and Mortimer Jordan in the last three weeks. … Hamilton won 30-21 last year. … Hayden is averaging 10.5 points per game and the Aggies are allowing 16.2 per game.
TD pick: Hamilton
Rogers (0-5, 0-2) at Deshler (4-2, 3-0)
The skinny: While Deshler is playing well at the right time, Rogers continues to struggle. … The Pirates did manage to put up a season-high 20 points on a good Lauderdale County team but gave up 42 on the other side of the ball. … Meanwhile, Deshler picked up a huge win by beating previously undefeated Colbert County. … The Tigers’ offense features a strong running game with running back Bryan Hogan, and they average 25.3 points per game. … After giving up only 30 total points the first three games of the season, Rogers has allowed over 40 in each of the last two … Deshler won 33-12 in last year’s matchup and leads the series 11-3. … Deshler coach Randall Martin welcomes his alma mater, and the team he coached from 2012-17, to Tuscumbia.
TD pick: Deshler
Central (1-4, 1-2) at Elkmont (1-4, 0-2)
The skinny: Central is coming off of the bye week after picking up its first win of the season over West Limestone, and Elkmont got its first win over Lexington last week. … The Wildcats’ running back Dalton Hanback is having a great season with 885 rushing yards, and he scored all six of Central’s touchdowns against West Limestone. … Central will look to continue its winning ways after starting the season with four straight teams that currently have winning records. … Central won 51-20 last season and leads the series 6-1.
TD pick: Central
West Limestone (3-2, 1-1) at Wilson (1-4, 1-2)
The skinny: Pivotal game for Wilson’s playoff hopes. If the Warriors win, all they’d likely have to do to earn a playoff spot is beat Elkmont the following week (because Wilson would probably own a tiebreaker over West Limestone for the fourth playoff spot). … If the Warriors lose, they’ll have to upset Central to have a chance, and they didn’t come close last year. … Offense has been a problem. The Warriors scored 41 points in their second game of 2018 but otherwise have not surpassed 21 in the last year and a half. … West Limestone thumped Clements 41-8 last week. Wilson is 4-5 since the series resumed in 2010 and won last year 21-7.
TD pick: West Limestone
Curry (0-5, 0-2) at Haleyville (2-3, 1-1)
The skinny: Haleyville was shut out last week against Russellville, but there’s no reason the Tigers – who average 17.6 points per game – shouldn’t have a much better offensive night against a Curry team allowing 43 points per game. … Haleyville has leaned on some young players this season but kept itself in position for a playoff berth in coach Chris Musso’s first season. … The Lions made it every year from 2012-17 (under Mark Heaton, Bo Culver and Todd McNutt). … Curry beat Haleyville 27-13 last year but has lost nine games in a row.
TD pick: Haleyville
Lauderdale County (5-1, 3-0) at Clements (3-2, 1-1)
The skinny: For the first time since 2009, Clements made the playoffs last season – granted with a 2-4 region record – in Michael Parker’s first year as coach, and the Colts have a chance to go back. … Lauderdale County, however, is hot. The Tigers have won five in a row, all by double digits, since a season-opening loss to 4A Brooks. … LCHS has scored between 32 and 42 points each game and – except for the loss against Brooks – held each opponent to 20 or fewer. … LCHS is a candidate to win the region title. Look for the Tigers to take a step closer.
TD pick: Lauderdale County
East Lawrence (2-3, 0-2) at Lexington (1-4, 0-3)
The skinny: A season that began with a thrilling win for Lexington has become more discouraging over the last month. … The Golden Bears’ first step to changing the narrative is earning a win against an East Lawrence team that has scored 20 points or fewer in all but one game this year. … East Lawrence is coming off a 9-7 win over Hatton. … Lexington lost 16-14 last week to Elkmont. Trey Martin and Lucas Thigpen scored touchdowns. … It was Lexington’s highest-scoring game this year, but the Bears rank 58th out of 59 Class 3A teams in points per game. … These teams have met the last three years. Lexington leads 2-1 but East Lawrence won 32-16 last season.
TD pick: East Lawrence
Phil Campbell (3-2, 1-1) at Westminster Christian (4-2, 2-1)
The skinny: The Bobcats enter this game off its first consecutive shutouts since 2001. Those shutouts, however, came against 1A teams Vina and Phillips, and Westminster Christian represents a significant step up in competition. … Westminster Christian has lost only one region game since moving from Class 4A into Class 3A, Region 8 before the 2018 season, and that was earlier this year to Colbert Heights. … Since then, Westminster ran over Lexington and Clements and got a non-region win at Randolph. … Westminster Christian won 40-7 last year, but Phil Campbell should score more this time around.
TD pick: Westminster Christian
Red Bay (5-0, 2-0) at Sheffield (4-2, 2-1)
Radio: FM-97.9 and FM-101.5
The skinny: Buoyed by the fourth-ranked scoring defense in Class 2A, Red Bay seeks its first 6-0 start since 2015. … The Tigers enter off a 43-16 win over neighbor Belmont (Miss.) in which Jalen Vinson threw for 247 yards. … Coach Michael Jackson’s team has had only one close game this year, a 16-10 win over Addison that put Red Bay in strong early position for a region title. … Sheffield lost 26-6 to Addison to weeks ago but rebounded last week with a come-from-behind 34-22 win at R.A. Hubbard. … Khori Bowling threw three touchdowns. … Red Bay is 5-2 in the series since 2010, including a 24-12 win last year.
TD pick: Red Bay
Colbert County (5-1, 3-0) at Addison (4-2, 1-1)
The skinny: In a strange twist, Addison won this region last year despite Colbert County winning the head-to-head matchup 35-8. … The Indians hope for another convincing win as they try to bounce back from their first loss of the season, 26-14 to 4A Deshler. … Addison’s two losses, likewise, are understandable. The Bulldogs lost 28-16 to 3A power Piedmont and 16-10 to unbeaten Red Bay. … Colbert County’s offense was slowed last week against Deshler, so the Indians might have to rely a little more on that “Boom Squad” defense that has defined each of their five wins.
TD pick: Addison
Tanner (1-4, 1-1) at Hatton (1-4, 0-3)
The skinny: The Hatton offense is in a funk. Since a 20-9 win over Tharptown to start the season, the Hornets have scored 0, 8, 6 and 7 points in four consecutive losses. … But though last week’s 9-7 loss to East Lawrence was a disappointment, the bright side for Hatton is three of the harder region games (Red Bay, Sheffield and Colbert County) are out of the way. … If Denton Bowling’s team is going to challenge for a playoff spot, the Hornets must win these next two games against Tanner and Tharptown. … Tanner enters off a 39-3 win over Tharptown but has struggled since former coach Laron White took the Sparkman job after the 2016 season. … Tanner was a region champ in White’s last seven years in charge but since then has won five games in 2 ½ years. … Hatton won 38-14 last year.
TD pick: Hatton
Cherokee (0-5, 0-2) at Waterloo (5-1, 3-0)
The skinny: Overshadowed somewhat by No. 1-ranked Mars Hill, Waterloo is putting together another quality season. … Colton Vaden’s late interception helped seal a 30-28 win over Lynn last week. … The Cougars have won four games in a row, which several years ago would have seemed extraordinary but these days isn’t surprising. … It’s still Waterloo’s second-longest win streak of the last decade, behind last year’s six-game streak. … Junior Summerhill has already run for 897 yards this season, and Campbell Parker has thrown for 827. … Cherokee has had a rough go in the first half of the season. … The Indians have winnable games ahead the rest of the month, but Waterloo has a lot of firepower.
TD pick: Waterloo
Vina (2-3, 2-0) at Mars Hill (5-0, 3-0)
The skinny: Mars Hill had its biggest win of the season last week, defeating Brooks 46-27 in a game it dominated from the start. … The Panthers’ running game was the difference, as Justus McDaniel (111 rushing yards and two touchdowns) and Peyton Higgins led the way much like they have all year. ... Vina is coming off a bye week after losing 48-0 to Phil Campbell the week before but has fared better this season after going 0-10 in 2018. … Mars Hill won 69-0 last season and leads the series 2-1.
TD pick: Mars Hill
Phillips (0-6, 0-3) at Shoals Christian (0-6, 0-2)
The skinny: Phillips is 0-6 for the first time since 2003, while Shoals Christian is there for the second time in three years. … The Bears entered the season hopeful of extending their run of playoff appearances to eight years and still have a chance at it. But Phillips will need to beat the Flame, Hackleburg and Cherokee over the next three games. … Shoals Christian can also qualify for the playoffs with consecutive wins over Phillips, Cherokee and Vina, but Shoals Christian has not won three straight games since 2014. … Both teams were shut out last week. … Adam Lawler is in his first year coaching Phillips and Kelly Rushing in his first year coaching Shoals Christian, so someone will get his first win with his current program.
TD pick: Phillips
R.A. Hubbard (3-3, 1-2) at Gaylesville (1-4, 0-2)
The skinny: R.A. Hubbard ended a two-game losing streak last year with a 48-0 win over Gaylesville, and the Chiefs come into this year’s matchup on a three-game losing streak. … R.A. Hubbard lost to 7th-ranked Decatur Heritage and then Falkville before letting go of a lead last week against 2A Sheffield. … Veteran defensive player Ca’Ni McCoy leads the Chiefs with 58 tackles and six sacks this year. … Upcoming region opponents Valley Head and Woodville have had better years than Gaylesville so far, so the Chiefs need a win here to stay in good playoff position and should get it.
TD pick: R.A. Hubbard
Decatur Heritage (6-0) at Colbert Heights (4-2)
The skinny: Colbert Heights plays a Class 1A team for the second week in a row, but this is a better-than-average 1A team. … Decatur Heritage cruised past Shoals Christian last week for its sixth win in a row, one of five easy wins this year to go with a solid eight-point win over R.A. Hubbard. … The Eagles beat Colbert Heights 23-22 last year and won’t be intimidated. … Still, the Wildcats have done what’s expected of them the last two weeks in handling East Lawrence and Cherokee. … Gage Pugh had two rushing touchdowns and a fumble return for a TD last week. … Carson Shaw and Andrew Tedford will also need to make plays to keep the Wildcats in this game.
TD pick: Decatur Heritage
Marshall County (5-1, 2-0) at Lawrence County (Tenn.) (3-3, 0-2)
The skinny: Marshall County comes in riding a two-game winning streak, including last week’s 42-12 win over Springfield. … In that game, Marshall County’s Kel Greer rushed for 128 yards and four touchdowns, while Javarria Rocker rushed for 74 yards and a score. All of Greer’s touchdowns came in the second half. … Lawrence County has lost two in a row after starting the season 3-1. During the losing streak, Lawrence County has been outscored 80-7. … Marshall County’s only loss was 36-30 to Shelbyville. … Marshall County has scored 30 or more points in each game this season.
TD pick: Marshall County
Community (1-5, 0-2) at Loretto (2-3, 0-2)
The skinny: Key Class 2A, Region 5 game as both teams are looking for their first region wins. … Loretto is coming off a tough 31-30 loss against Summertown in which a late field goal was blocked. … Loretto is trying to snap a two-game losing skid, while Community has lost five straight since opening the season with a 20-17 win over Cornersville. … Community has not scored more than 22 points in any game this season. … Loretto won 42-12 in 2018. … Commnuity began its football program in 2006 and has never had a winning season. … Loretto is trying to reach the playoffs for the first time in three seasons under coach Neal Cruce.
TD pick: Loretto
Huntingdon (6-0, 2-0) at Collinwood (3-3, 2-0)
The skinny: Winner maintains at least a share of first place in the Class A, Region 6 race. … Collinwood has won two straight, including a 44-30 win over Zion Christian a week ago, since losing three straight. … Huntingdon passed its first test last week, edging Milan 40-39. The Mustangs are averaging 46.5 points per game. Until last week, they had not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game. … Collinwood’s three losses are by an average of 12 points.
TD pick: Huntingdon
Bruceton (2-3, 1-1) at Wayne County (1-4, 1-0)
The skinny: Wayne County will try to keep pace in the Class A, Region 6 race with the winner of the Huntingdon-Collinwood game. … Bruceton has won two straight games by one point for its only wins this season. … Wayne County’s only win was 48-26 over Middleton, a team Bruceton beat 21-20. … This is Bruceton’s fifth straight road game. … Wayne County has scored only 50 points in its four losses.
TD pick: Wayne County
Last week: 16-4 (80%)
Season record: 94-26 (78.3%)