Brandon Miller's five storylines to watch Friday night
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Sep 25, 2013 | 2323 views |  0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Head coach Steve Smith and his Piedmont Bulldogs will face powerhouse Leeds on Friday. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
Head coach Steve Smith and his Piedmont Bulldogs will face powerhouse Leeds on Friday. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
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Who will stand out the most?

Who will stand out the most?

Most games this week are non-region contests, which don’t affect the playoff picture, so teams don’t have extra pressure to win. However, there are several matchups Friday night that could swing a team’s season.

A few are Alexandria-Saks, Wellborn-Fyffe and Donoho-Collinsville.

While Donoho’s game against Class 1A, Region 7 foe Collinsville has serious playoff implications, the other three Calhoun County teams are trying to set the second half of the season up appropriately.

Alexandria is on the rise. Saks is playing well but has the thick portion of its schedule the next three weeks. Wellborn needs a signature win. Donoho is grinding while trying to clinch a postseason bid.

For Donoho and Jacksonville Christian, which plays 1A, Region 7 opponent Spring Garden, Week 5 games matter. For everyone else, they’re looking to improve and prepare for the second half of region play.

Can Oxford defy the odds again?

The last two weeks at Lamar Field have seen a complete turnaround for Oxford.

After starting the season with two losses, the Yellow Jackets sit at 2-2, including 2-1 in Class 6A, Region 7. Even so, Oxford’s schedule still isn’t getting easier.

Oxford travels to Florence on Friday to face the Falcons, who feature eight FBS and FCS prospects. Of those eight, quarterback Kendrick Doss is committed to Ole Miss and offensive tackle Cole Hardin is committed to Vanderbilt.

The Yellow Jackets will have their hands full, but not many expected Oxford to be where it is right now, either.

After getting in the win column with a 6-0 victory over Gadsden City, Oxford dropped 42 points on Huntsville, which only allowed 15 points through the first three games.

How does Pleasant Valley look after not playing last week?

While Victory Christian was too injured to play Pleasant Valley last week, the Raiders also were given a chance to heal. In addition, they had a week of practice focusing on themselves, as opposed to preparing for an opponent.

Now, a week later, how will Pleasant Valley look against White Plains?

Both teams are big and could bring a physical game. Will the Raiders have an advantage because they didn’t play last week or will being off serve as a disadvantage?

Offense or defense: Which will rule Munford vs. Clay Central?

Munford’s offense has been nothing short of impressive. The Class 4A No. 7 Lions are averaging 28.5 points a game, which was slightly diminished by scoring only 14 points against Cleburne County.

At the same time, Clay’s Central defense has allowed 14 points all season, an average of 3.5 a game. The fourth-ranked Volunteers also enter Friday coming off three straight shutouts.

Another difference that makes this matchup even more interesting is that Clay Central averages 22.8 points a game, while Munford allows 11.3 points.

Can Piedmont top Leeds again?

Last season, it was No. 1 vs. No. 2, but this year Piedmont is No. 2 and Leeds is No. 4.

Regular season games don’t get a lot more exciting than this Class 3A battle.

The excitement building around Friday night’s game in Leeds is surfacing from the Bulldogs’ 7-0 win at home last year and possible still from Piedmont’s 13-7 win in the semifinals in 2009.

Piedmont has run through every opponent this year and Leeds has done the same mostly, aside from losing to Class 3A Trinity and beating Class 4A Lincoln 12-6.

The bout most likely will be low scoring and can build confidence for Piedmont’s defense. and also its offense if the Bulldogs see the scoreboard three or more times.

Before the 2009 meeting in the postseason, Piedmont never had beaten Leeds. Now, the Bulldogs have a chance to make it a winning streak in their biggest game this season so far.
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