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  School Football over the past 100 seasons.

2023 Games of the Week  - Week 7

Each week this season will post games of the week provided by our forum friends better known as the "Barber Shop Gurus". Welcome TheMUBM, Kodyaufan2 and Sloth Nationzz as they analyze games of their choice and even give us a prediction for each contest.

Previous Reports

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11


Week 7 Games
   Last Week:  3-1
   Season Total:  21-6

 Athens (8-3) at
 Cullman (5-6) 
at Woodard Stadium
Athens   Cullman
8-3 (3-2)  Record 5-6 (2-3)
6A-R7  Class/Region 6A-R7
NR  ASWA Ranking NR
68.1  Power Rating 64.3
AHSFHS Power Ratings have Athens as a 2 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The Athens Golden Eagles defeated Cullman by a score of 34-28 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   Cullman and Athens have met 59 times on the field.... Athens holds a 34-24 edge in the games played.

Comments:    This game will likely decided 3rd and 4th in the region. Athens still has a shot at second, but Hartselle seems like a tough task at this point. Athens is coming in rested off a bye week, while Cullman comes in off a tough loss.

    Athens has Gross leading the ship, throwing to weapons like Ridgle and Jones, but don't over look McIntyre out of the backfield. Not only is he a target that Gross likes to find, he can also find the endzone on the ground (coming off a 5 rushing TD performance aganist Mae Jemison.)

    Cullman who has had a couple of really bad losses this year got that pivotal win against Decatur that put them in likely playoff position. Athens handled Decatur with ease while Cullman struggled. That doesn't necessarily mean this game in set in stone, but it's going to be a tough road for Cullman. Gaines isn't a bad passer in his own right and Sessions and Turner have proven to be productive on the ground.

Prediction:  Athens 48 Cullman 21

 Deshler (8-4) at
 (#5)  West Morgan (12-1) 
at Rebels Stadium
Deshler   West Morgan
8-4 (6-1)  Record 12-1 (7-0)
4A-R7  Class/Region 4A-R7
NR  ASWA Ranking #5
63.1  Power Rating 78.7
AHSFHS Power Ratings have West Morgan as a 18 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The West Morgan Rebels defeated Deshler by a score of 56-35 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   West Morgan and Deshler have met 6 times on the field.... Deshler holds a 4-2 edge in the games played.

Comments:    This could be for the region title, although Brooks still has a chance to slip in and take one of the top two spots. Deshler is a perennial powerhouse, while West Morgan is being built into a legit contender under the tutelage of Drew Phillips.

    Deshler started off 0-2, unfamiliar territory for them, but they were losses to two teams who have proven to be very good, Russellville and Madison Academy. Since then they have reeled off 4 straight victories. Only one that was competitive was Colbert County and that game is always competitive. Price Thornton is a solid QB with some good receivers. And Deshler always has good backs. And of course, they run that wing-T as well as anyone.

    West Morgan is a machine. They are arguably one of the two best teams in 4A North along with Cherokee County. Peters himself is a solid QB, but with Fletcher and Mosley touching the ball, they don't find themselves in too many must pass situations. The one area where I have seen West Morgan being a little vulnerable is in their passing defense. Not always great a recipe for a wing-T team.

Prediction:  West Morgan 44 Deshler 17

 Fayette County (6-5) at
 Oakman (7-4) 
at Hosea Collins Field
Fayette County   Oakman
6-5 (3-3)  Record 7-4 (4-2)
3A-R5  Class/Region 3A-R5
NR  ASWA Ranking NR
51.3  Power Rating 47.4
AHSFHS Power Ratings have Fayette County as a 2 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The Oakman Wildcats defeated Fayette County by a score of 24-6 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   Oakman and Fayette County have met 9 times on the field.... Fayette County holds a 6-3 edge in the games played.

Comments:    Another game that is likely to settle 3rd and 4th in the region. Both teams come in having 1 loss and both of them lost to a very good 2A Sulligent team. Oakman by 11 and Fayette County by 8.

    I can't find a lot of FCHS, but we all know they are a storied program in the state of Alabama. They are a perennial playoff team and produce a lot of great athletes. They have pitched 2 shutouts and held Cordova to 7 points, so their defense looks pretty solid.

    Oakman seems to pretty well balanced from the film I have seen. I know that Rick Johnson ran all over Winterboro for a total of 263 yards and 2 touchdowns. He may be the x-factor in this game because he looks really good on film. And speaking of defense, Oakman is only allowing 11 points per game. Keep in mind both FCHS and Oakman still have Gordo and Winfield looming.

Prediction:  Oakman 22 Fayette County 20

 Pleasant Valley (5-6) at
 (#6)  Locust Fork (12-1) 
at Pate Field
Pleasant Valley   Locust Fork
5-6 (4-2)  Record 12-1 (6-0)
2A-R6  Class/Region 2A-R6
NR  ASWA Ranking #6
23.9  Power Rating 61.3
AHSFHS Power Ratings have Locust Fork as a 39 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The Locust Fork Hornets defeated Pleasant Valley by a score of 61-6 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   Locust Fork and Pleasant Valley have met 4 times on the field.... Locust Fork holds a 3-1 edge in the games played.

Comments:    This region is a three team race between PV, LF and Southeastern. At first glance, PV would seem to be the odd team out, but that's why they play they games.

    Pleasant Valley runs through Salster. He is a dual threat QB that relies a little more on his legs than on his arm but can definitely do both. PV just had a historic win streak snapped by an out of region drubbing at the hands of Ragland. Should be interesting to see how they respond.

    Locust Fork comes in averaging 54 ppg. They seem to do it with a lot of contributing members. Embry can do some through the air but more on the ground. Then you have a host of other players like Boatright, Tucker, Watts and Horn all contributing.

Prediction:  Locust Fork 47 Pleasant Valley 28


Week 7 Games
   Last Week:  3-1
   Season Total:  16-6

 Linden (6-3) at
 (#3)  Sweet Water (9-2) 
at Nolan Atkins Stadium
Linden   Sweet Water
6-3 (4-1)  Record 9-2 (5-0)
1A-R3  Class/Region 1A-R3
NR  ASWA Ranking #3
40.0  Power Rating 34.5
AHSFHS Power Ratings have Linden as a 4 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The Sweet Water Bulldogs defeated Linden by a score of 20-0 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   Sweet Water and Linden have met 70 times on the field.... Linden holds a 37-30 edge in the games played.

Comments:    This is a region championship game between two teams who have won two of the last three state championships in 1A, so the stakes couldn't be higher for a regular season matchup.

    It was hard to find much information about Sweet Water's team this year, but their results speak for themselves. Their lone loss was a competitive game against an unbeaten 3A Thomasville team. The expectations at Sweet Water are as high as anywhere in the state year after year, which is the result of a whopping 11 state championships all-time. Coming off a bye week and forfeit win over AL Johnson, this will be Sweet Water's first game in three weeks.

    Linden will live and die on the legs of Roderick Brown. He's their best player on both sides of the ball. Although they don't play annually anymore, Sweet Water is still the opponent Linden has played the most times, and Linden has always managed to be a thorn in their side despite the disparity between the two programs in terms of championships.

    These two programs are consistently in state title contentions it seems, so it's no surprise this series can be unpredictable. Here's a fun fact: Of all the current 1A teams that Sweet Water has played at least 4 times, Linden is the only one they have a losing record against.

Prediction:  Sweet Water 36, Linden 32

 (#4)  Highland Home (10-2) at
 Luverne (7-4) 
at Glenn Daniel Stadium
Highland Home   Luverne
10-2 (6-1)  Record 7-4 (4-3)
2A-R3  Class/Region 2A-R3
#4  ASWA Ranking NR
56.6  Power Rating 47.9
AHSFHS Power Ratings have Highland Home as a 7 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The Highland Home Flying Squadron defeated Luverne by a score of 60-0 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   Luverne and Highland Home have met 87 times on the field.... Luverne holds a 66-18 edge in the games played.

Comments:    Although Highland Home has only won 17 times in 86 meetings, this is still a very heated rivalry game, and the stakes have never been higher as both come in unbeaten seeking to keep pace with fellow unbeaten region foe Reeltown.

    Luverne does a lot of pre-snap shifting in and out of mostly power Wing formations. Most of the time, the ball is going to RB Myrez Gross, a 6'1 250 lbs bruiser of a player. Gross also plays on defense, where he will line up almost anywhere.

    Highland Home is led by their dynamic duo on defense in DE Jakaleb Faulk and LB CJ May. Faulk, who also plays receiver on offense, has a long frame with the strength to consistently lift ball carriers off the ground. For May, we may need to create a stat for reverse pancakes, because more often than not he will just flatten any offensive lineman who dares get in his way.

    This rivalry has seemed to gain some steam in recent years with Highland Home snapping a 10 game losing streak to Luverne in the 2018 regular season, only to have Luverne turn around and defeat them in the state semifinals later that season. The following year, Highland Home won again but was forced to forfeit the game due to an ineligible player. I'm expecting an instant classic this year.

Prediction:  Highland Home 27, Luverne 20

 Westbrook Christian (5-5) at
 Piedmont (5-7) 
at Field of Champions
Westbrook Christian   Piedmont
5-5 (2-5)  Record 5-7 (4-3)
3A-R6  Class/Region 3A-R6
NR  ASWA Ranking NR
42.6  Power Rating 42.4
AHSFHS Power Ratings have Piedmont as a 2 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The Piedmont Bulldogs defeated Westbrook Christian by a score of 35-19 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   Piedmont and Westbrook Christian have met 4 times on the field.... Piedmont holds a 4-0 edge in the games played.

Comments:    While there are certainly playoff implications in this game, that's not why this is one of the games of the week.

    For 17 years, Steve Smith walked the Piedmont sidelines, making the playoffs each year and winning 5 state championships along with 10 region titles. Now, for the first time, Coach Smith will walk the Visitor's sideline at Piedmont's Field of Champions as he leads Westbrook Christian into what I'm sure will be a raucous environment.

    I really feel for Coach Miller and Piedmont this week. He was given the impossible task of filling the shoes left by Steve Smith, while also being handed a murderer's row of a schedule. Piedmont sits at 1-4, and the last time they lost more than four games in a season was 2005...the year before Steve Smith came to town. They still have everything to play for, but they can't afford a loss here if they hope to make the playoffs.

Prediction:  Westbrook 28, Piedmont 23

 John Carroll (9-3) at
 (#4)  Pleasant Grove (10-2) 
at Spartan Stadium
John Carroll   Pleasant Grove
9-3 (5-2)  Record 10-2 (6-1)
5A-R5  Class/Region 5A-R5
NR  ASWA Ranking #4
64.6  Power Rating 74.7
AHSFHS Power Ratings have Pleasant Grove as a 12 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The Pleasant Grove Spartans defeated John Carroll by a score of 37-12 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   Pleasant Grove and John Carroll have met 17 times on the field.... Pleasant Grove holds a 11-6 edge in the games played.

Comments:    I had John Carroll pegged as a dark horse team to watch in the preseason, but I thought it would be a great story for them to simply make the playoffs. But here they are at 5-0 and legitimate region title aspirations.

    Pleasant Grove has relied a lot on the arm of Eric Handley this season, and with good reason. The 3 star Wofford commit has been dazzling this season, and he threw for over 300 yards against the vaunted defense of 6A state championship contender Parker last week in a 22-21 upset.

    The top player for John Carroll is Zach Archer, who plays both ways for the Cavaliers. QB Carson McFadden has done a great job under Center for them this year as well. John Carroll does have a state championship way back in 1973, but their 41% winning percentage all time is one of the worst of any school with a state championship. Their most recent region title was in 1998. Needless to say, this isn't a school accustomed to being in games like this.

    It has been a LONG time since John Carroll has had this much hype around their program. They opened the season with a massive upset of 6A Homewood, so I don't think the moment will be too big for them. I do think, however, that the talent and athleticism of Pleasant Grove will be too for them.

Prediction:  Pleasant Grove 42, John Carroll 23

   Sloth Nationzz

Week 7 Games
   Last Week:  3-1
   Season Total:  20-4

 T.R. Miller (8-4) at
 Bayside Academy (8-3) 
at Freedom Field
T.R. Miller   Bayside Academy
8-4 (5-2)  Record 8-3 (5-2)
4A-R1  Class/Region 4A-R1
NR  ASWA Ranking NR
52.9  Power Rating 51.0
AHSFHS Power Ratings have the teams as even.

Last Meeting:   The T.R. Miller Tigers defeated Bayside Academy by a score of 31-17 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   Bayside Academy and T.R. Miller have met 16 times on the field.... T.R. Miller holds a 12-4 edge in the games played.

Comments:    In a battle that will decide second place in the region, you get a pretty good matchup. A very consistent program in Bayside playing against the tradition power in TR Miller. The Tigers were able to shut down Bayside last season with a 28-3 victory.

    However this is a different year with a new man leading the Admirals. As I mentioned earlier, whoever wins this game will most likely get to host a first round playoff game. Big difference as nothing quite beats being at home for a playoff game.

    I think TR Miller has been in this position and will get the victory. I just think they are slightly better, but by a razors edge.

Prediction:  TR Miller 31 Bayside Academy 28

 (#4)  Auburn (9-3) at
 Opelika (4-6) 
at Bulldog Stadium
Auburn   Opelika
9-3 (6-2)  Record 4-6 (4-4)
7A-R2  Class/Region 7A-R2
#4  ASWA Ranking NR
88.9  Power Rating 78.9
AHSFHS Power Ratings have Auburn as a 8 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The Auburn Tigers defeated Opelika by a score of 31-30 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   Opelika and Auburn have met 98 times on the field.... Auburn holds a 48-47 edge in the games played.

Comments:    Big time rivalry in the Lee County area. These two teams have a long storied history against one another. Auburn was able to escape with a victory over Ramsay last week, in thanks to their very talented kicker, Towns McGough.

    Opelika hasn't knocked off their foes since the 2019 season. Will that change this week? Or will Auburn show that they are still a major player in the 7A south.

    I think Auburn will get the victory, but it will be close as these games usually are. Give me the Tigers to get the victory over the Bulldogs.

Prediction:  Auburn 28 Opelika 25

 (#5)  Dothan High (8-3) at
 (#1)  Central Phenix City (12-0) 
at Garrett-Harrison Stadium
Dothan High   Central Phenix City
8-3 (6-2)  Record 12-0 (8-0)
7A-R2  Class/Region 7A-R2
#5  ASWA Ranking #1
94.0  Power Rating 96.6
AHSFHS Power Ratings have Central Phenix City as a 5 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The Central Phenix City Red Devils defeated Dothan High by a score of 48-14 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   Central Phenix City and Dothan High have met 4 times on the field.... Central Phenix City holds a 4-0 edge in the games played.

Comments:    In the same region as the previous matchup, you have the tale of two stories. Dothan has only lost one game, and it was in double overtime against Auburn. No shame in that lost. Outside of that, this team has been dominant with only one game even being remotely close.

    That game was last week against Baker. Even then, Dothan still won 35-14. Central Phenix City is looking for another region title, and another title. However their region is very difficult.

    They now face the team that many would say is third best in their region. Can Central Phenix City show why they are considered one of the best teams in 7A?

    I think Central Phenix City realizes how good Dothan is. Being at home also helps as that is a bit of a drive for Dothan. It will be close, but the Red Devils pull away late.

Prediction:  Central Phenix City 42 Dothan 21

 Sparkman (5-5) at
 James Clemens (7-4) 
at Madison City Schools Stadium
Sparkman   James Clemens
5-5 (3-4)  Record 7-4 (6-1)
7A-R4  Class/Region 7A-R4
NR  ASWA Ranking NR
89.1  Power Rating 75.6
AHSFHS Power Ratings have Sparkman as a 12 point favorite.

Last Meeting:   The James Clemens Jets defeated Sparkman by a score of 31-30 in week 7 on the road  on Fri., Oct. 6 during the 2023 football season.

Series:   James Clemens and Sparkman have met 12 times on the field.... James Clemens holds a 10-2 edge in the games played.

Comments:    Finally we make our way up near the Tennessee border. A big unexpected presence in that region 4 has been Sparkman. They have allowed just 18 points this season.

    However you will hear from some that their schedule has been weak. The numbers certainly back up that argument. This is their first big test outside of the Austin game, the only team to score on Sparkman.

    Will the Senators continue to be the big surprise of the region? It won't get easier from here, and the Jets are ready to spoil the fun.

    The train stops here with James Clemens getting the victory. IT has been a fun story and Sparkman will still make the postseason, but this is a classic example of a team who's been there versus a team who's just getting there. James Clemens gets the win.

Prediction:  James Clemens 35 Sparkman 24

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Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

From 1947 until his retirement in 1992 Glenn Daniel's teams won 302 games at Pine Hill and Luverne. He was the winningest coach in state history until 2010.