Five storylines to watch Friday night
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Oct 30, 2013 | 1945 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Does Clay Central get revenge on Madison Academy?

After winning its first nine games in school history last year, Clay Central hit a bump with Madison Academy, which went on to win the Class 3A state championship.

The Mustangs won 33-7 in 2012, but Clay Central gets another chance to face Madison Academy on Friday when the two schools meet in Clay County.

Madison Academy has won 19 straight since falling to 5A Cullman last year.

As for Clay Central, the Volunteers are fresh off a loss to Dadeville last week, which put them in second place in Class 4A, Region 8.

Clay Central has never lost two games in a row in the football program’s two-year history. Then again, the Vols have only lost three games in school history.

Will Ranburne win the top seed?

Ranburne hasn’t held the top playoff seed out of its region since 1993, but the Bulldogs have a shot to do it this year.

Ranburne is in a three-way tie for the Class 2A, Region 6 lead, and with all the tiebreakers, the top three seeds for playoff purposes won’t be settled until Friday night.

Ranburne went 6-1 in region play this year, which tied Fultondale and Wellborn for first place.

Ranburne, however, still has a game to play. The Bulldogs travel to Ashville (1-8) on Friday. Fultondale is at Parrish, and Wellborn is at Weaver.

Is Oxford’s streak in jeopardy?

The Yellow Jackets take a seven-game win streak into Friday night’s home game against Spain Park, while the Jaguars are coming off their first loss of the season.

Since Sept. 13, no one has been able to hold the field with Oxford, but Spain Park certainly brings one of the biggest challenges the Yellow Jackets will see all year.

To add a little more excitement to the game, consider the history.

The last time Oxford won eight straight games, the eighth win came against Mountain Brook in the quarterfinals in the 2011 Class 6A playoffs.

Will Jacksonville’s Clint Smith beat his former team?

Second-year Jacksonville coach Clint Smith will face his former team Friday night when the Golden Eagles visit Saks.

In addition, Saks is coached by Jonathan Miller, who was the team’s defensive coordinator under Smith.

Smith faced Saks last year, and the Wildcats handed it to their former coach. Excited to show their old coach what they could do, Saks won 31-7.

Both squads are shining in 2013. Saks is 9-0, while Smith has Jacksonville into the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and the second time since 1999.

With Saks trying to achieve a perfect regular season and Jacksonville trying to keep one of its best seasons of the past decade on the right track, this matchup seems to be as close as the series has been.

Saks leads 24-23-1 and holds an 877-838 scoring edge.

Saks has a two-game winning streak in the series, but Jacksonville won the previous four.

Will Weaver-Wellborn come down to the wire again?

Looking on paper alone, Wellborn dominates Weaver year in and year out.

The Wildcats hold a commanding 15-1 lead in the series, having scored nearly four times as many points as the Bearcats. Weaver’s lone victory came in 2007.

However, the last two games were close, with Wellborn winning 12-6 in 2011 and 28-21 in 2012.

Last year, Weaver entered this game on a slide, having lost four of its previous five.

This season, the Bearcats have alternated winning and losing each week. If that stays true, consider that Weaver is coming off a loss last week.
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