Brandon Miller's five storylines to watch Friday night
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Sep 18, 2013 | 2734 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Anniston's Quintavious Dobbins runs against Cleburne County. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
Anniston's Quintavious Dobbins runs against Cleburne County. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
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Who stays more consistent: Alexandria or Anniston?

Both teams stepped up last week and got wins, but neither has done it two weeks in a row.

In fact, Alexandria is fresh off its first win of the season, and it came in dominant fashion. The Valley Cubs’ rushing attack got rolling for 543 yards, as it had its original starting offensive line back on the field after several Week 1 injuries.

For Anniston, youth and inexperience took a backseat in the Bulldogs’ 22-21 comeback win on the road last week against Lincoln.

In the victory, DeMarcus Thomas proved himself as a weapon, rushing for 64 yards, gaining 45 yards in receptions, and picking up 122 return yardage. In addition, he had the game-winning catch.

With both teams coming off their first wins in Class 4A, Region 5, will Alexandria break its early-season slump or will Anniston show it has grown up?

Has ‘Build It’ changed to ‘Built It?’

Don’t sleep on White Plains.

The Wildcats are 2-1, including 1-1 in Class 3A, Region 5, and fresh off a huge win over Weaver. It’s not that the win itself was huge or surprising, but instead the way White Plains earned it.

Defensively, the Wildcats shut out Weaver. Offensively, White Plains found a new weapon in the rushing game, Rod Young.

So, what does this mean?

This is not your usual White Plains team. Maybe the team slogan “Build It” should change. It appears the Wildcats’ foundation is down and the walls are going up. Although it is only Week 4, White Plains has Glencoe and Pleasant Valley in the next two weeks, which means the Wildcats could be 4-1 heading into the Piedmont game Oct. 4.

Does Ashville score on Saks?

Springville, Piedmont and Cleveland have kept Ashville off the scoreboard this season.

Saks is next for Ashville, and while the Wildcats most likely will ride back to Calhoun County on Friday night after an easy win, let’s be honest — no one wants to be “that team.”

Although a win is a win no matter how it’s earned, Saks takes a lot of pride in its defense and there’s nothing that fires up a defense more than a shutout.

The Wildcats have not allowed more than 14 points this season but haven’t snagged a shutout. With non-region opponent Alexandria coming to Jack Stewart Field next week and the core of the Class 3A, Region 5 schedule following the next three weeks (Glencoe, Weaver and Piedmont), a shutout would be a big boost for the Wildcats.

Does Jacksonville take control of the region this week?

The 2012 collapse may still be giving Jacksonville nightmares. Sitting in first place with a 3-1 Class 4A, Region 5 record after Week 6 last season, Jacksonville lost the last four games of the season and missed the playoffs.

Don’t count out the Golden Eagles this season, though. A win against ninth-ranked Munford would put Jacksonville alone at the top of the region standings.

Don’t expect anything less than an all-out battle for first place spot, either. Munford is nearly the same team it was last year, with do-it-all player Monteo Garrett back at quarterback. But the same can be said for Jacksonville. The 2012 final was Munford 37, Jacksonville 35.

Prepare for a war for the first place.

Does Oxford see the scoreboard more this week?

It would be coach’s nightmare for an offense not to score more points that it has first downs. But Oxford was a different case last week.

The Yellow Jackets had five first downs and scored six points. That’s not good.

Saying that, Oxford’s defense accepted call after call. The scoreboard told the story: Oxford 6, Gadsden City 0.

Yellow Jackets running back Racean Thomas was all but out for the game — finishing with six carries for 7 yards — so wide receiver Tredarian Gamble stepped up. Quarterback Ty Webber also improved as the game went on. In the end, it was just good for Oxford to get in the win column.

Looking at this week’s game, however, Huntsville (3-0, 2-0 Class 6A, Region 7) has allowed only 15 points in the first three games. The Panthers are going to bring quite a challenge to Lamar Field.
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