Week five preview
By ZACHARY SEIFTER/ Staff Writer
With week five of the 2021 football season coming this week, all the teams in the county find themselves in different positions. Some are preparing for serious playoff races, others need wins to keep their season afloat, and some are trying to get into the win column for the first time this year.
All the local teams will be playing this week except one, Isabella High School. They will be given some much-needed rest following a big 28-22 win over Thorsby High School in week four.
The other six will try to pick up big regional wins.
Game of the week:
Chilton County High School (1-2) vs. Stanhope Elmore (2-2)
Chilton County High School will try to get back into the win column this week as they face off against Stanhope Elmore in their second regional game of the season.
CCHS is coming off a tough 21-0 loss to Calera High School in week four while Stanhope Elmore fell to Pelham in a tight 14-13 loss.
This will be a rivalry game of sorts. There is a bit of history between these two teams. Former CCHS head coach Brian Bradford left the Tigers in 2017 to coach Stanhope Elmore.
Now, CCHS will try to avenge last season’s 47-0 loss to Bradford and the Mustangs.
Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at CCHS on Sept. 17.
Thorsby (2-1) vs. Calhoun (0-3)
Thorsby High School will look to continue its early-season success against Calhoun High School this week.
Following a week three bye, the Rebels lost a close thriller to Isabella High School in week four by a score of 28-22.
Meanwhile, Calhoun High School has yet to pick up a win so far this season. The Tigers fell at the hands of Francis Marion High School last week, getting shut out 34-0.
The Rebels will look to get their first regional win of the season against Calhoun after being unable to pick it up last week. A win over Calhoun would give Thorsby its best start after four games since 2018.
Calhoun hopes to make up for its 2020 game against Thorsby, a game they had to forfeit due to COVID-19.
Maplesville (4-0) vs. Loachapoka (2-0)
Maplesville High School goes into week five as the only undefeated team remaining in the county. The Red Devils will try to keep that perfect record alive this week as they travel to Loachapoka High School in a big regional matchup.
The Red Devils are coming off their second regional win of the season, a 34-0 shutout over Billingsley High School. In two regional matchups this season, Maplesville has outscored its opponents 113-0.
This week will be an entirely different animal. Maplesville will be on the road to face an opponent that also has yet to lose this season. The Indians have taken out both of the opponents they have played this season, most recently beating Billingsley two weeks ago by a score of 40-14. They are averaging 39 points per game, a great challenge for a Red Devils defense that has given up just 34 points in four games, an average of under nine points per game.
Jemison (0-3) vs. Sipsey Valley (1-3)
Jemison High School will finish off a four-game home stand to start the season with a matchup this week against Sipsey Valley High School.
The Panthers are still looking for their first win of the season, and this regional game is a great place to start.
Jemison is coming off a tough 28-7 loss against Marbury High School. Sipsey Valley is also coming off a week four loss, a 60-12 blowout dealt to them by Demopolis High School.
Both teams have had struggles on each side of the ball. The Bears are giving up an average of almost 37 points per game. They are scoring just under 18 points per game on offense, a recipe that has led to a poor start.
Meanwhile, the Panthers have scored just two touchdowns in three games thus far. Going up against a struggling Sipsey Valley defense may be just what they need to get the offense going. On defense, Jemison is giving up an average of over 33 points per game. They will need to clean things up on that side of the ball if they want to pick up the win in this regional contest.
Verbena (2-2) vs. Barbour County (1-3)
Verbena High School is another team looking for its first regional win of the season. The Red Devils are coming off a 41-12 loss against Autaugaville High School, but hope to flip the script this week against a Barbour County team that has had some real struggles in the early portion of the 2021 season.
The Red Devils have shown flashes of promise at different points this season. Quarterback DJ Jackson has delivered moments of greatness on offense, while the defense has shown serious grit at times. This week, they will be tasked with shutting down a Barbour County team that has yet to score this season.
While that should have the Red Devils optimistic, they certainly will not overlook this opponent as they hope to get back over the .500 mark.
Billingsley (1-3) vs. Notasulga (4-0)
Billingsley High School will face an undefeated team for a second straight week as they continue to search for their first regional win.
After getting shut out by Maplesville High School 34-0 in week four, the Bears must turn their sights to Notasulga High School, a team that has started the season off very well.
The Blue Devils are coming off a blowout victory over Barbour County, beating the Jaguars by a score of 73-0.
Their offense has been up-and-down in their wins, scoring a combined 112 points in wins over Barbour County and Bullock County, while also scoring a combined 29 points in wins over Autaugaville and Winterboro.
While the offense has shown inconsistencies, the defense has been elite in the early portion of the season. The Blue Devils have given up a combined 20 points in their four games, an average of five points per game. They have also posted two shutouts thus far this season.
That defense will pose a serious threat to a Billingsley offense that has struggled thus far this year. The Bears have scored just 33 points in four games, an average of just over eight points per game.