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October 23, 2012

PREP FOOTBALL: Despite 4 straight wins, Cats drop out of 5A top 10

Vinemont, Hanceville, Addison receive votes

BIRMINGHAM —

In some seasons, the top spots in Alabama Sports Writers Association’s high school football poll are the definition of change.

With two weeks remaining in the 2012 regular season, that’s not the case. Four of the seven teams that started the season as the No. 1 team in their class — Hoover in 6A, Oneonta in 4A, Marion County in 1A and Edgewood Academy in the AISA — still own their spot in this week’s poll.

Two other classes have changed top teams just once. Class 5A started off with Hartselle at No. 1, but after a Week 5 loss to Class 6A Decatur, Muscle Shoals stepped up from the second spot.

 In Class 3A, Leeds held serve through the first two weeks of the regular season, then flopped spots with Piedmont in Week 3 despite being undefeated. The Bulldogs then stated their case in Week 5 with a 7-0 win over Leeds.

Class 2A has seen the most change this season as Elba came into the year as No. 1. After losing its opener to Opp, 21-20, Fultondale swept into the post position for the first time in school history — only to lose it two weeks later with a 25-24 loss to Woodland. Tanner, the preseason No. 3 team, has held the spot ever since.

The Times’ coverage area went 0-fer in the rankings for the first time this season, as Cullman dropped to 11th despite its four-game win streak since a one-touchdown loss to No. 8 Hartselle.

The Bearcats were replaced in the top 10 by undefeated Benjamin Russell, which shot up to ninth. After falling 20-17 to Vigor for its second loss of the season, St. Paul’s dropped from third to 10th, only four points ahead of Cullman.

Vinemont (three) and Hanceville (one) received votes in 3A, as did Addison (two) in 1A.

Eight games among ranked teams will resolve region championships. Class 6A features No. 5 Vestavia Hills hosting No. 4 Mountain Brook for the Region 6 title. No. 1 Hoover is also in a showdown for the Region 5 title, playing at No. 9 Tuscaloosa County.

No. 2 Jackson hosts No. 4 Demopolis for the Region 3 title and No. 7 Eufaula hosts No. 9 Benjamin Russell for the Region 2 crown. Class 4A sees No. 3 Dadeville at No. 2 Central of Clay County for the Region 3 title, No. 8 Tallassee is at No. 5 Beauregard for the Region 2 crown. Class 2A sees No. 9 Mobile Christian hosting No. 3 Sweet Water as a win would clinch the Region 1 title for the Bulldogs, while in 1A No. 6 Maplesville hosts No. 7 Keith for the Region 3 title.

The last week of the AISA regular season sees No. 2 Monroe Academy at No. 3 Tuscaloosa Academy and No. 7 Clarke Prep hosting No. 8 Pickens Academy.

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