Florence (1-2, 0-1) at Bob Jones (0-3, 0-1)
The skinny: Not necessarily a must-win game for Florence, but probably close. … For much of last Friday, Florence played well enough for a rare win over Austin but couldn’t hold on. … Florence’s first three weeks have mirrored the first three of last year, and the Falcons are cool if that pattern holds this week because they got their season going last year with a win over Bob Jones. … Teams know about Dee Beckwith, so Florence’s offensive potential might hinge on what it can get from teammates. … The defense forced a few turnovers last week, and that would make a big difference. … Bob Jones fell 35-17 last week to James Clemens, once of the favorites in this region. The Patriots had a fast start two weeks ago against Muscle Shoals before the Trojans took over to win 46-19. ... These teams have played every year since Florence was formed, and the Falcons are 4-11.
TimesDaily pick: Florence
Muscle Shoals (3-0, 1-0) at Hartselle (1-2, 0-1)
The skinny: The Trojans effectively got a night off last week with a glorified scrimmage against Columbia in which reserves played most of the night, and they’ll face a Hartselle team that was upset by Athens 28-19. … Muscle Shoals’ Javar Strong, who sat out to start the year due to injury, returned two interceptions for touchdowns last week. … Hartselle is coached by former Phil Campbell, Haleyville and Deshler coach Bo Culver. … Hartselle won 15-14 last year on a tipped and caught two-point conversion pass. … Hartselle leads the series 14-10-1 and the teams have alternated wins in their last four meetings.
TimesDaily pick: Muscle Shoals
Russellville (2-0, 1-0) at Hayden (1-2, 0-1)
The skinny: If you’re not already, start paying attention to Russellville. The Golden Tigers followed their overtime win at Deshler with a 41-7 thumping of a Corner team that made the playoffs last year. … Boots McCullough – great name, right? – ran 14 times for 147 yards last week and QB Jacob Bishop ran for a TD and also passed for 68- and 10-yard scores to Rowe Gallagher. … Russellville brought it defensively, allowing only 124 yards of offense after holding Deshler to 173 a week earlier. … Hayden was 2-0 last week but opened region play with a 27-14 loss to Lawrence County. … Russellville’s 48-13 win last year was the teams’ first meeting.
TimesDaily pick: Russellville
Hamilton (2-0, 1-0) at Dora (2-1, 0-1)
The skinny: For the tenth time in 12 years, Hamilton has started the season 2-0. But the last four times that’s happened, the Aggies have lost game three. They look to counter recent history with this game against Dora, which handed Hamilton a 37-12 loss last season. … Both teams already have a common opponent, Cordova. Dora won 27-15 and Hamilton won 19-14. … Hamilton got a nice 24-12 win last week against West Point. … Dora is a little hard to assess. The Bulldogs beat 3A Carbon Hill by four touchdowns and then lost 66-0 to Jasper, which is currently ranked No. 1 in Class 5A. … Win or lose, look for Hamilton to be much more competitive than it was in last year’s meeting.
TimesDaily pick: Dora
Wilson (1-2, 1-0) at Brooks (2-1, 1-0)
The skinny: Both teams are trying to remain unbeaten in region play after getting wins last week. Wilson held off Rogers 20-13 while Brooks used a couple of late scores to beat Central 35-28. … Brooks owns a 35-11 record in the series with the Warriors and has won two straight. The Lions have dominated the series since 2000 with a 15-2 record. … Wilson is looking to generate more offense, as it averages only 17 points per game while allowing 26 points per game. … Brooks has been able to score, averaging 44 points per game while allowing 38 points per game.
TimesDaily pick: Brooks
Central (0-3, 0-1) at Deshler (1-2, 1-0)
The skinny: Central plays its first road game this season while still looking for its first win. The Wildcats have been close in all three games this season, but are looking to break through against a team that was Class 4A runner-up last season. … Central lost 35-29 last week to Brooks after carrying a lead into the fourth quarter. … Dalton Hanback continues to lead area runners. … Deshler finally gave new coach Randall Martin his first win with a 55-0 win over Elkmont. … Deshler leads the series 29-6, including last season’s 35-21 win. … Deshler has played perhaps the toughest non-region schedule in the area, with losses to Class 6A, No. 3 Muscle Shoals and Class 5A, No. 5 Russellville.
TimesDaily pick: Deshler
Northside (2-1, 1-0) at Haleyville (2-1, 1-0)
The skinny: Haleyville has an opportunity to take a big step toward the playoffs after missing out last year. … The Lions came close to making some unpleasant history Friday, prevailing 7-0 against an Oak Grove team that hasn’t won a game since early in the 2017 season. … Eli Musso completed a 97-yard touchdown pass to Christian Chambers, and the Haleyville defense held Oak Grove to 137 total yards. … But though it might just have been an off night, Haleyville managing one touchdown against a team allowing 42 points per game since the start of last year is concerning. … Look for the Lions to pick things up here, but Northside impressed last week against Fayette County.
TimesDaily pick: Northside
Colbert Heights (2-1, 1-0) at Lauderdale County (2-1, 1-0)
The skinny: Key region game for both teams, which opened with wins last week. … Lauderdale County leads the series 19-9, but Colbert Heights has won the past two games in the series, including 40-34 last season. … Both teams have won two straight after losing their season openers. … Colbert Heights topped Westminster Christian 27-20 last week as Andrew Tedford ran a pair of 1-yard touchdowns. … Lauderdale County held off East Lawrence 32-20, as Blade Wisdom caught a touchdown pass and ran for another score.
TimesDaily pick: Colbert Heights
Lexington (1-1, 0-1) at Westminster Christian (1-2, 0-1)
The skinny: A year ago Lexington highlighted an otherwise dismal season by whipping Phil Campbell, but the Bobcats got revenge last week to dampen Lexington’s mood after the win over Rogers. … A total of 10 points over two games suggests some work ahead for the Lexington offense, and that’s not ideal against a Westminster team that will feel some urgency after falling 27-20 to Colbert Heights last weekend. … Westminster Christian won 39-0 last year to even the all-time series at two games apiece.
TimesDaily pick: Westminster Christian
Clements (2-0, 0-0) at Phil Campbell (1-1, 1-0)
The skinny: Last week’s 34-7 win over Lexington might be the Bobcats’ most impressive yet under coach Kevin Barnwell, who took over last year. … Barnwell’s son, Luke, threw an 88-yard touchdown pass to Trey Leindecker and a 21-yarder to Ridge Raper in addition to running for two scores. … Phil Campbell outgained Lexington by over 300 yards, so the lopsided score is not misleading. … Clements is playing its region opener, and the Colts are hard to assess. Their opponents to this point have been Tanner and Elkmont – neither of which is very good – but Clements thumped both. … Phil Campbell won this game 15-7 last year. … With a win here, the Bobcats will be in the playoff mix deep into the fall. They last made it in 2015.
TimesDaily pick: Clements
Hatton (1-1, 0-1) at Sheffield (2-1, 1-0)
The skinny: These teams know as well as anyone what a difference a mid-September game like this can make. Sheffield won last year 17-16 on a late field goal, and that result was the difference in the Bulldogs making the playoffs and the Hornets missing out. … Sheffield looked more like Sheffield a week after getting drilled by Mars Hill, as Khori Bowling and AJ Cherry connected on four touchdown passes in a 56-24 win at Tharptown. … Hatton, meanwhile, followed its season-opening win over West Morgan with a 20-0 loss at Red Bay that might say more about how good the Tigers are. … A high-scoring game might favor Sheffield, which is 5-0 all-time against Hatton. Each meeting has taken place since 2012.
TimesDaily pick: Sheffield
Tharptown (1-1, 0-1) at Colbert County (3-0, 1-0)
The skinny: Tharptown had the misfortunate of being moved up from Class 1A to 2A just as Kevin Lacey was trying to get the football program on track, and the schedule is harder as a result.. … The Wildcats don’t have a ton of depth, and that’s a bad formula for opponents like last week’s (Sheffield) or this week’s (Colbert County) that can rotate reserves in at several spots. … Ethan Smith rushed 34 times (!!) last week for 180 yards in the Indians’ rout of Tanner and so far is averaging more than seven yards per carry. … Colbert County won 68-0 last year in the teams’ first meeting, and the Indians look legit.
TimesDaily pick: Colbert County
Addison (2-1, 0-0) at Red Bay (3-0, 1-0)
The skinny: This looks like the toughest game of the year so far for a Red Bay team that handled Colbert Heights, Phil Campbell and Hatton without too much trouble. … Addison won this region last year despite losing to Colbert County largely thanks to a 39-12 win over Red Bay. … That was the most points the Tigers allowed all of last year until the second round of the playoffs, and an experienced Tiger defense should fare better this time. … Arden Hamilton had four catches for 97 yards and two TDs last week. … Addison sandwiched wins over Curry and Winston County around a loss to traditional 3A power Piedmont (28-16). … David Smothers is in his eighth year as Addison coach.
TimesDaily pick: Red Bay
Decatur Heritage (3-0, 1-0) at R.A. Hubbard (3-0, 1-0)
The skinny: It’s early, but this game *could* be for the Region 7 championship. … The Eagles have throttled Phillips, Sumiton Christian and Valley Head, while the Chiefs cruised past Cherokee and Shoals Christian before beating Coosa Christian 29-20 last week. … DJ Wiggins has done good work as the R.A. Hubbard quarterback, and he threw two more TD passes last week to veteran Montoya Kellogg. … Heritage back Colton Keith ran for over 1,300 yards last year. … Heritage has 14 seniors. … This is the teams’ eighth straight meeting. R.A. Hubbard won three, then Decatur Heritage won three, and then R.A. Hubbard won again last year.
TimesDaily pick: R.A. Hubbard
Phillips (0-3, 0-1) at Mars Hill (2-0, 1-0)
The skinny: Mars Hill’s final score against Hackleburg suggested a shootout, but the Panthers led 34-0 in the first half before utilizing reserves. … Expect a similarly fast start here for Mars Hill against a thin Phillips team. … The Bears’ seven-year playoff streak is in jeopardy following an 8-7 loss to Vina last week. … Mars Hill’s Justus McDaniel rushed for three touchdowns last week. Griffin Hanson and Peyton Higgins each added two TDs. … Mars Hill has scored at least 35 points in 15 of its 17 games since the start of that year. … Mars Hill won 64-0 in the teams’ first meeting last year.
TimesDaily pick: Mars Hill
Hackleburg (0-3, 0-1) at Waterloo (2-1, 1-0)
The skinny: Though Hackleburg never threatened Mars Hill last week, coach Rod Hudson and others associated with Hackleburg had to be encouraged to see some of the offensive work the team did in the second half. … Freshman quarterback Caden Jones seems to be coming along and threw for 241 yards, three TDs and just one interception. … Ethan Heggy and Noah McCarley were among those involved in the scoring. … Waterloo, meanwhile, dominated Shoals Christian last week. Junior Summerhill totaled 176 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. … Campbell Parker and Richard Parrish also accounted for multiple touchdowns. … Waterloo’s 47-34 win last year was its first in 19 meetings with Hackleburg.
TimesDaily pick: Waterloo
Cherokee (0-2, 0-0) at Vina (1-2, 1-0)
The skinny: With a touchdown run by Malachi Fletcher, two-point conversion by Braden Moomaw and a defense that held Phillips to just seven points, Vina won its region opener for just the third time in the last decade. … Coach Ben Guin said he hopes his team realizes it is good enough to win games with some hard work, and Vina appears to have a decent chance against a similarly thin Cherokee team that allowed 46 and 48 points in its first two games. … Cherokee had last week off to recover from playing two talented opponents in R.A. Hubbard and Colbert County. … Cherokee has won 11 straight meetings, seven of those in the past decade, and last lost to Vina in 1950. … Vina last started region play 2-0 in 1989.
TimesDaily pick: Cherokee
Shoals Christian (0-3, 0-1) at Ala. School for the Deaf (0-1)
The skinny: Through three weeks, each final score for Shoals Christian has been less pleasant than the previous one. Expect that trend to change for the better this week in Talladega. … Shoals Christian visits Alabama School for the Deaf, one of two teams the Flame beat last fall. … Alabama School for the Deaf has traditionally played a mix of in-state and out-of-state teams, and its only game so far is a 45-7 loss to Valley Head. … This is a good opportunity for the Flame to get Win No. 1 under Kelly Rushing and build needed confidence.
TimesDaily pick: Shoals Christian
Decatur County Riverside (1-2) at Wayne County (1-2)
The skinny: Both teams picked up their first wins last week, with Wayne County handling Middleton 48-26 and Riverside beating East Hickman 35-6. … JoJo Swinea and Aaron Stooksberry each scored two touchdowns for Wayne County, which handed Cary Crews his first win in his second stint as the Wildcats’ head coach. … Riverside had scored only 10 points in its first two games before erupting for 35 last week. … Riverside won 38-0 last season.
TimesDaily pick: Riverside
Warren County (2-1) at Lawrence County (2-1)
The skinny: Lawrence County looks to bounce back from its first loss, a 24-point loss at Maplewood in a game that was close into the fourth quarter. … Warren County picked up a 36-35 win over Rockvale last week for its second win in three games. … This is the first meeting between the two teams. … Kaiden Matney provided Lawrence County’s only touchdown last week with an interception return. … Xander Lee ran a 2-point conversion for the winning score in the closing seconds.
TimesDaily pick: Lawrence County
Loretto (1-1) at Collinwood (2-1)
The skinny: Loretto is coming off an early season open week while Collinwood took a 43-28 loss at Summertown. … Loretto’s last game was a 28-3 loss to neighbor Lawrence County. The Mustangs opened the season with a 24-20 win over Wayne County. … Collinwood won 17-16 last season, but Loretto won 31-21 two years ago. … Alex Haddock led Collinwood last week with a pair of touchdown runs. Noah Sanderson added a touchdown run and Dayton Scott threw a touchdown pass to Dalton Chastain. …
TimesDaily pick: Loretto