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Last week Results October 27
- Clay Ctrl. 30, Russ. Co. 14
- Handley 35, Munford 14
- RCHS 32, Dadeville 22
- Ranburne 64, C. Coosa 39
- Isabella 55, Woodland 14
- Wadley 47, TCC 0
- DaMauri Whetstone, Central: 8 touches, 90 yards, 3 TD
- LaDamion Boyd, Central: 18 car., 162 yards, TD
- Mo Winston, RCHS: 18 car., 70 yards, 2 TD 2 rec., 57 yards Kickoff return TD
- Avion Willis, RCHS: 8-10, 179 yards, TD
- Garrett Hendrix, Woodland: 13 car., 111 yards, 2 TD
As we enter the final week of the regular season, we now know where all of the local teams will be for the first round of the playoffs. Clay Central, Handley, Wadley and RCHS will all be at home in round one. So while we’ll dive into the first-round matchups in full force next week, we’ll take advantage of this week’s lighter schedule (Handley is off and four local teams – Wadley-Woodland and RCHS-Ranburne – play each other) to get an early look what that first postseason game will hold for the four local playoff teams.
A lot of times first-round matchups can be sort of ho-hum mismatches, and we’ll probably get that with Wadley vs. Cedar Bluff in the 1A opener for the Bulldogs.
RCHS could get a challenge from W.S. Neal in the first-ever meeting between those two teams. But the games I have my eye on in the first round involve a couple of intriguing coaching matchups in Class 4A and 5A.
These games aren’t etched in stone yet, so there’s still a chance that neither of these matchups materialize. But in Class 4A we’ll probably have Handley hosting St. Michael, despite a controversial win for St. Michael in overtime against T.R. Miller last week. If you haven’t seen the final play of that game go find it. St. Michael was awarded the game-winning two point conversion in overtime despite the fact that the receiver clearly dropped the pass on the conversion attempt.
That result threw St. Michael, Bayside and T.R. Miller into a three-way tie for second place in Region 1, but T.R. Miller will win that tiebreaker and finish second anyway if they beat W.S. Neal in the regular season finale Friday.
It will be the first playoff game for the St. Michael program, which is in its seventh year of existence. And it will bring former NFL star Philip Rivers to Roanoke. Rivers is the head coach of St. Michael and his son Gunner is the team’s freshman starting quarterback. Rivers is one of just eight quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for over 60,000 yards, and he is sixth all time with 63,440 yards. He will almost certainly be inducted into the NFL hall of fame when he becomes eligible in 2026.
None of that really matters in a high school playoff game, but his presence in Roanoke will be a hot topic nonetheless as it’s not every day a future NFL hall of famer comes to town.
However, as someone who has covered high school sports for the better part of 20 years, the matchup that has me licking my chops is the one that could take place in Lineville. There is a very good chance now that UMS-Wright will come to Lineville for round one, which means that the two coaches with the most all-time wins in Alabama state history would go head to head for the first (and probably only) time. UMS-Wright head coach Terry Curtis currently holds the state record with 353 career wins, and Central’s Danny Horn is right behind him with 350. Both coaches have won eight state championships. By just about any description these are the two best high school football coaches to ever walk a sideline in this state (not two OF the best, THE two best) and they could be standing on opposite sidelines across from each other a week from Friday.
In case you’re wondering about the details of how this matchup could come about, here’s what you need watch out for this Friday, and my assessment of the likelihood of each result:
Faith Christian needs to win over LeFlore (extremely likely)
UMS-Wright needs to beat Williamson (very likely, but not an absolute definite)
BC Rain needs to lose to Gulf Shores (also very likely)
Those three results would put UMS-Wright, BC Rain and Vigor into a tie for third place in 5A, Region 1. BC Rain would win that tiebreaker and get the No. 3 seed and UMS-Wright would then get the No. 4 seed by virtue of its win (by forfeit) over Vigor.
We’ve been playing high school football in this state for over 100 years. With Horn and Curtis in the latter stages of their careers this could very well be a once in a lifetime situation, and if it happens – with all apologies to Philip Rivers – I’m going to be in Lineville to be a part of it.
Games this week (7 p.m. Friday)
- Clay Ctrl. at Wetumpka
- RCHS at Ranburne
- Wadley at Woodland