The boys of summer call it free baseball.
In NASCAR, there’s no better reason to tune in than a green-white-checkered, wreck-filled finish.
It’s just simply overtime in football.
But last week, overtime was simply the worst part of my weekend. It was another headache I didn’t need in a weekend filled with the usual tight deadlines, but battling the weekend’s three-headed monster of high school, college and NASCAR.
On Thursday night, my last chance at getting in bed at a decent pre-midnight hour, I was in my jammies wearing out Firefox’s refresh on five seconds to try to learn the outcome of Munford-Alexandria.
The next night, I was living it in real-time with Weaver-Cleveland, while prep writer Brandon Miller had déjà vu all over again with Jacksonville-Anniston.
Add to it that I went a big fat 0-for-3 in the aforementioned games, and I felt like Tiger Woods on Sunday of basically any tournament.
This week, I don’t need overtime given my record on the tight ones.
While the deadlines are much more makeable, there could be a bevy of games headed in that direction. This week I’ll start with what I think are the close ones, or toss-ups. Given a coin toss has a 50-50 chance, I’ll take that over my choke job.
Home team, heads. Vistor, tails.
Clay Central at Handley: Handley’s had the number of the teams from the county of Clay. While two can be better than one, the psychological advantage sometimes cannot be escaped with a wardrobe change. But then again, a new outfit is all it takes to make you feel like a million bucks. Flip, and tails. … Clay Central 21, Handley 20.
Alexandria at Cleburne County: Cleburne County is surging. And after its win last week, Alexandria could have things back on track, too. Even if their records were further apart, it’s hard to call rivalry games like these. Flip, and heads … Cleburne County 21, Alexandria 20.
Wellborn at Woodland: Last week, I could have told you how I was going on this one. It was going to be close, but I was taking the Bobcats, just off their performance against a common opponent, Fultondale. Now, it doesn’t matter. Flipping, and heads … Woodland 21, Wellborn 20.
Lanett at Randolph County: Both teams lost to Reeltown but in much different fashion. I’ve got a gut feeling you can’t chase those daisies on this one. One play will determine this outcome. Then again, it could be one that breaks the other team’s back. Who will make it? George Washington is a smarter man than I. Flipping, and tails. (Gosh, I wanna do best-of-3 on this one.) … Lanett 21, Randolph County 20.
Spring Garden at Collinsville: Collinsville has owned this rivalry, but the Panthers own the best record heading into this contest. This is the biggest test yet to Spring Garden’s perfect record, and looking at common opponents take you nowhere, because so many have been decided by halftime. That’s my two-cents worth. Now for my 25-cents worth. Flipping, and heads. Collinsville 21, Spring Garden 20.
Glencoe at Cleveland: Cleveland is not a whole lot of fun to watch, unless you like gritty. This game isn’t one I’d typically go in depth about, but I think it’s going to be critical at the end of the season when playoff berths are handed out. Remember it. Flipping, and heads. Cleveland 21, Glencoe 20.
For those not as close:
Oxford at Grissom: You kinda lose that whole Friday Night Lights thing when you play at 3 p.m. The sun being out will be the only thing that’s not where it’s supposed to be … Oxford 35, Grissom 14.
Jacksonville at Lincoln: Jacksonville’s bound to think I’ve got something against them this season. I’ve doubted the Golden Eagles in almost every close game. It’s just logic, nothing but love for y’all otherwise. And yes, my logic has been off at times. Don’t feel bad, I doubted Lincoln early in the season, too. … Lincoln 32, Jacksonville 28.
Cherokee County at Anniston: I figured there’d be one, maybe two, losses for the Bulldogs at this point in the season. Never did I dream, they’d be .500 at this point. But I can’t predict injuries either. This one will get the Bulldogs back on the positive side of things, maybe enough to buy them some momentum down the stretch. … Anniston 24, Cherokee County 10.
Donoho at Cedar Bluff: After a red-hot start to the season, this season’s Amen Corner hasn’t been kind to Donoho. With no relief, quality opponent after quality opponent has been flung in the Falcons’ path. Weather the storm boys, and remember what you’ve accomplished. The playoffs are still ahead. … Cedar Bluff 34, Donoho 7.
Ohatchee at Pleasant Valley: I wouldn’t be surprised either way this game turns out. Somebody flipped a switch on the Creekbank, and I promise the season won’t be without a win. With the way they’ve played the past two weeks, it could come this week. No offense, but you’ll have to prove the finish before I can pick it … Pleasant Valley 28, Ohatchee 17.
For the rest of them: Valley Head 35, Jacksonville Christian 21; Wadley 42, Winterboro 21; TC Central 23, Verbena 6; Ranburne 42, Victory Christian 0; Munford 24, Hokes Bluff 21; Ragland 42, Meek 0; Ashville 28, White Plains 17.
Assistant Managing Editor Bran Strickland: 256-235-3590. On Twitter @Bran_Strickland.