Week 2 Preview

Holly Pond's Gunner Creel looks for running room.

It's never too soon to start talking about the playoffs.

That's right, Jim Mora — the playoffs.

Eight of the nine squads in The Times' coverage area kick off region play on Friday night.

By my count, that's eight tremendous opportunities to get a leg up in the postseason race.

If those teams can pull off victories, of course.

Looking ahead, a lot of these Week 2 matchups are — much like a 2 a.m. Taco Bell order — tough to pick.

But let's talk it out and see what we can come up with, shall we?

Before we begin, though, remember to cast your vote in "The People's Pick," a series of Twitter polls posted on my timeline (@winfreyjake) each and every Monday afternoon.

Class 2A, Region 5

% Addison (1-1) at Aliceville (1-1): The Bulldogs face a tough region opener on Friday night.

The Yellow Jackets eliminated Addison in the 2018 playoffs (38-22) — the lone meeting between the two programs — and have reached the postseason 24 consecutive years.

Aliceville lost to 4A No. 4 Gordo last week (30-12), while the Bulldogs crushed Lynn 50-0.

Coach David Smothers' team will need a strong performance to come away with a victory.

I think it'll happen.

% My Pick: Addison

% People's Pick: Addison (74 percent — 103 votes)

% Sulligent (0-2) at Cold Springs (2-0): The Eagles would love to get off to a fast start in region play.

To accomplish that, they'll need remove the thorn in their proverbial side that has been the Blue Devils.

Sulligent holds a 6-1 advantage in the series, with Cold Springs' last win coming back in 2013.

The Blue Devils have lost to a pair of higher-classification teams so far this season.

The Eagles, on the other hand, are looking to avenge a 36-7 loss to Sulligent in 2019.

I won't be surprised to see some points in this one.

% My Pick: Sulligent

% People's Pick: Cold Springs (80 percent — 76 votes)

Class 3A, Region 6

% Holly Pond (1-1) at Oakman (1-1): The Broncos dropped their season opener last Friday but have a chance to open up region play with a victory this week.

It won't come easily.

The Wildcats — a playoff squad nine years running — crushed Curry last week to rebound from a Week 1 loss to Gordo (Gordo's beating everybody, y'all.)

The series is tied 2-2, but Oakman has won the previous two matchups, scoring 106 points in the process.

% My Pick: Oakman

% People's Pick: Oakman (74 percent — 87 votes)

% Vinemont (1-1) at J.B. Pennington (1-0): The Eagles haven't had much luck with the Tigers recently.

J.B. Pennington has won four straight in the series, which it leads 15-3, and only one of those four games was decided by a single score — the Tigers won last year's matchup 27-18.

Vinemont is hoping to put last week's showing against Fairview in the rearview mirror and will need clutch outings from Colby Miller, Brodie Spear and others to come out on top Friday night.

The Eagles are certainly capable of winning this one, but it'll be a fight.

% My Pick: J.B. Pennington

% People's Pick: J.B. Pennington (60 percent — 93 votes)

Class 4A, Region 6

% Good Hope (2-0) at Ashville (1-1): I won't spend too much time on this one.

The Raiders are playing good football and look like a playoff team.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, lost last week to Southeastern, a 2A program that was established in 2012.

I expect this game — the first meeting between the two schools — to be over by halftime.

Editor's Note: Ashville's basketball team defeated my alma mater Douglas in the area tournament final in 2007, and I am still salty about it.)

% My Pick: Good Hope

% People's Pick: Good Hope (91 percent — 85 votes)

% Fultondale (0-2) at Hanceville (0-1): A pair of former 3A squads will duke it out on Friday night.

The Wildcats lead this series 4-2, including a 33-8 win in 2019.

Fultondale hasn't lost a region contest since October 22, 2015 — an impressive streak of 24 straight wins — and I'm sure coach Cody McCain would love to change that at Ray Talley Stadium.

The Bulldogs are coming off a bye week, and the Wildcats haven't found the win column so far this year, falling to John Carroll in Week 0 and Munford last week.

I'm going to side with history here but keep a close watch on this one.

% My Pick: Fultondale

% People's Pick: Fultondale (68 percent — 101 votes)

Class 5A, Region 7

% Fairview (2-0) at Guntersville (1-0): This has the potential of being an excellent game.

The ninth-ranked Aggies will battle the sixth-ranked Wildcats in a matchup that — in my humble opinion — gives the winner an inside track to a region championship.

Fairview possesses plenty of playmakers — Parker Martin, Tyler Simmons and Levi Garner to name a few — but so, too, does Guntersville.

Quarterback Cole McCarty, a Hewitt-Trussville transfer, and running back Logan Pate spearhead a superb offense, while linebacker Jerrell Williamson and defensive back Brandon Fussell lead a defense that tallied five interceptions in last week's victory against Arab, according to the Sand Mountain Reporter.

Further complicating things for Fairview is that the Wildcats lead the all-time series 17-3.

Don't sleep on the Aggies here, but I give the edge to the home team.

% My Pick: Guntersville

% People's Pick: Guntersville (57 percent — 92 votes)

Class 6A, Region 8

% Cullman (2-0) at Hartselle (1-1): It's rivalry night at J.P. Cain Stadium.

The Bearcats handled Jasper last week, while the Tigers easily took down Mae Jemison.

Hartselle leads the all-time series 48-46-4 and has won nine of the past 11 games between the schools.

Cullman, however, won last year's meeting 15-10, and seven of those aforementioned 11 contests were decided by single digits.

The Bearcats, though, haven't won at Hartselle since 1997.

But based on what I've seen so far this season, that's about to change.

% My Pick: Cullman

% People's Pick: Cullman (80 percent — 111 votes)

Non-Region Game(s)

% Lawrence County (0-1) at West Point (0-1): The Warriors won't begin region play until next week, but they'd like to pick up some momentum before that happens.

West Point won last year's game against the Red Devils 42-14 after falling 43-7 in 2018.

The five meetings before that? Decided by 8, 7, 1, 7 and 8 points, respectively.

The Warriors are coming off a loss to Good Hope, while Lawrence County fell to Hazel Green.

Not sure on this one, so I'll take the home team. 

% My Pick: West Point

% People's Pick: West Point (67 percent — 118 votes)

% My Record: 8-2

% People's Record: 9-1

Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 236 or at jwinfrey@cullmantimes.com.​

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