E.A. Sports Today

The week that was

Piedmont, Oxford, Alexandria, Saks, Weaver all remain unbeaten; Jacksonville, Cherokee County pick up dramatic first wins

By Jay Pace
For East Alabama Sports Today

Things are getting interesting folks and we’ve still got six weeks of the regular season left.

This week, we’ll start at the top and work our way from there. If you’re going to start at the top you don’t have to look far to find Piedmont.

Over the last past 11 seasons, the Bulldogs have morphed into a powerhouse under Steve Smith and the last couple seasons they have been one of the very best teams in the state regardless of classification — with back-to-back state championships to show for it.

After stumbling out of the gate in their opener against Rockmart, the Bulldogs have found their stride under first-year QB Cardavion Myers. They were down for much of Friday’s night game at Randolph County before roaring back down the stretch en route to a 41-31 win that turned back the biggest threat to their supremacy to date. Piedmont doesn’t rebuild. It reloads.

Speaking of reloading, Oxford has done just that under Ryan Herring. A year after an undefeated regular season got spoiled in the opening round of the playoffs, the Yellow Jackets boast an offense that appears to score at will and a defense that doesn’t give up much of anything. The Yellow Jackets have outscored the competition through four games 142-34. Last week’s 24-point win over Cullman has been their closest matchup yet in terms of margin of victory.

After missing the playoffs last year, Alexandria has returned to form, winning four straight to open the season. The Valley Cubs made it look easy again last week, clobbering Boaz 42-14, basically taking the second half off.

Let’s not discount what Saks and Weaver have done so far in 2017. The Wildcats and Bearcats are on a collision course to face one another in an epic non-region showdown to close the regular season. Athlete-on-athlete, skill-vs.-skill, speed-vs.-speed. But that’s a ways down the road. For now, they must take care of what’s in front in much the same fashion they have done through the first four weeks of the season. These two schools are going to make a lot of noise come playoff time. Just you wait.

Jacksonville knocked Hokes Bluff from the ranks of the unbeaten while picking up their first win of the season, 28-27, when Hokes Bluff misfired on a late two-point conversion. Don’t be fooled into thinking the win was a fluke or due to some key injury for Hokes Bluff; that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Eagles have been plagued by a tough early-season schedule and some gut-wrenching losses. RB Macey Carr is a workhorse in the Golden Eagle backfield and is on his way to a monster year. He may have had to change numbers for the game, but not his productivity. Coach Clint Smith’s bunch still has plenty to play for and still controls its postseason destiny.

If at first you don’t succeed, call Gustav Larsen. Knotted at 12-12 with Anniston, Larsen was called upon to kick the game-winning field goal at the end of regulation but missed, sending the game into overtime. Given a second chance, Larsen, a Danish exchange student, made good this time, nailing a 20-yarder in OT, lifting the Warriors to their first win of the season. That took courage, folks. Good job Mr. Larsen. You’re already a hero in Centre, Ala., and you’ve only been here a short time.

Hope you enjoyed the week as much as I did. Can’t wait for what’s coming up.

Cover photo from Friday’s Wellborn-Weaver game by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos

You must be logged in to post a comment Login