Last week Results
- Handley 41, W. Plains 0
- RCHS 40, Ragland 34
- Wadley 48, Donoho 0
- Clay Ctrl. 48, El. Co. 6
- Thorsby 35, Woodland 6
- BB Comer 42, Ranburne 7
- Mo Winston, RCHS: 22 car., 171 yards, 2 TD
- LaDamion Boyd, Central: 12 car., 170 yards, 3 TD
- E.J. Goss, Handley: 6 car., 96 yards, 2 TD
- Cannon Kyles, Handley: 4-4, 67 yards, TD
- Kaide Garrett, Ranburne: 154 rush yards, TD 39 pass yards
- Kevin Cherry, Central: 5 car., 103 yards, 2 TD
- Bradley Brasher, Woodland: 4 rec., 77 yards, TD
A rash of one-sided games last week doesn’t leave a whole lot to analyze, but I do want to start by sharing some thoughts from my first look at this year’s RCHS team and their performance against Ragland.
First of all, Mo Winston is the kind of talented, speedy running back that RCHS just hasn’t had since J.D. Till ran for over 1,600 yards in 2020.
He made an attention-grabbing run on his very first carry of the night, a 19-yard display of burst and high end speed.
That speed also showed up on defense when he chased down Ragland running back A’ron Lee from behind after a 63-yard gain and tackled him short of the end zone.
RCHS had some lapses in focus and effort that helped keep that game close, but Ragland gets a fair share of credit for that as well. The combination of Lee and quarterback Antwan Byars in the backfield is pretty tricky to defend when they’re both playing as well as they did Friday.
Wadley will get its shot at slowing down that Purple Devils attack Friday in a game that will be very pivotal in the 1A, Region 6 race.
The Bulldogs haven’t been truly threatened through their first four games, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 173-35.
Wadley has already avenged two of its losses from 2022 in emphatic fashion, and they will have a chance to avenge the other two over the next two weeks (with RCHS awaiting in a non-region game next week).
If they come out of the next two games unscathed it looks like clear sailing to a region championship and a 10-0 regular season.
Handley and Clay Central made quick work of lesser region foes White Plains and Elmore County, respectively and are now on a collision course for what should be one of the most physical football games in Leader land this year.
Handley has created an identity as a team that mashes people up front on offense and creates running lanes for its talented backs. Central has taken on that same identity as Danny Horn has gone back to his wishbone roots and leaned heavily on his big offensive line. In fact, Central’s O-line will be one of the few that outsizes Handley’s defensive front.
Add in the fact that these two teams really don’t like to lose to each other, and you have the recipe for a high-intensity, hard-hitting, low-scoring contest. It should be a fun night in Lineville.
Woodland finally broke through and got its first points since its season opener, thanks to a 40-yard touchdown pass from Callen Gay to Bradley Brasher in the fourth quarter of their game against Thorsby.
Now rival Ranburne comes to town, and strange things happen in rivalry games – especially this one. Ranburne will be favored to win this game, but you can’t count out the Bobcats whenever the Bulldogs come to town.
Games this week (7 p.m. Friday)
- Handley at Clay Ctrl.
- Weaver at RCHS
- Ranburne at Woodland
- Ragland at Wadley