The Sulligent High School football team notched its first victory for coach Scott Marchant last week when it beat Hatton in a Class 2A, Region 8 game.
Sulligent will look to make it two in a row when it travels to Lexington for another Region 8 contest.
All of the other five local West Alabama teams will be in action. Lamar County will play host to Phil Campbell in Class 2A, Region 8, Aliceville will visit Montevallo in Class 3A, Region 4, Pickens County will play host to Keith in Class 1A, Region 4, South Lamar will visit Marion County in a Class 1A, Region 5 in a non-region matchup, and Pickens Academy will travel to South Choctaw in an Alabama Independent Schools Association matchup.
All games start at 7 p.m.
Sulligent took its play to the next level in its Region 8-2A opener. The Blue Devils’ defense shined, while the offense turned one solid drive into a quality victory in its home opener.
“Our defense was really the story of the game,” Marchant said. “We were scoreless with about four minutes to go before the half. Our defense forced a safety. We took the free kick and had a real good offensive drive.
“In the second half, when we had to have a play, the defense really responded and rose to the challenge.”
The Blue Devils scored on a 60-yard touchdown pass from John Potmesil to Ty Metcalf.
“We are working on more consistently on the offensive side of the ball,” Marchant said. “The attitude is good and the kids are working hard. We are trying to do a few things differently. Hopefully, we can continue to improve each week.
Sulligent (1-1, 1-0 region) hopes to make strides on offense as the second half of the season approaches. The Blue Devils have scored three touchdowns in their first two games.
Lexington (0-2, 0-1) has lost to Central (39-21) and Red Bay (24-7).
Phil Campbell (1-1, 0-1) at Lamar County (2-0, 1-0)
Lamar County coach Ken Adams hopes the Bulldogs can build on their best performance of the season when Phil Campbell comes to Vernon for another Class 2A, Region 8 contest.
Last week, Lamar County beat Cherokee 49-13 in its region opener.
“We had some players really step up,” Adams said. “The first win (over South Lamar) gave us some confidence. Against Cherokee, we had some success early in the game. That allowed us to build the lead. It was an all-around good effort.”
The Bulldogs had 397 yards of offense, including 310 rushing. That was a much improved offensive effort from the team’s 6-0 season-opening win against South Lamar. The Bulldogs also forced another pair of takeaways.
“The defensive effort was strong again,” Adams said. “We had to be more physical as a team this year. I think the kids are beginning to buy into that. We are still a young football team in several spots, but you can tell we continue to grow.”
Against Cherokee, Alex Wheeler ran for 95 yards and one touchdown on seven rushes. Eric Smith added 40 yards and a pair of rushing scores, while Josh Smith also had a rushing touchdown. Thirteen players had at least one carry in the win.
Quarterback Dallas Cockerham hit Jamar Plant on a 65-yard touchdown and Alex Denton on an 18-yard touchdown pass. Denton also had a 51-yard punt return for another score.
Defensively, Spencer Martinez led the way with 15 tackles, while Tyler Sprouse had 12 tackles. Martinez also had a forced fumble and had two fumble recoveries. Lamar County had 11 tackles for loss.
“Phil Campbell will present a challenge,” Adams said. “We are excited about being back at home. Hopefully, our momentum will continue into the next game.”
Phil Campbell lost to Colbert Heights 47-20 in its region opener. The season opener was a 27-14 victory against Cold Springs.
Aliceville (1-1, 1-0) at Montevallo (0-2, 0-1)
The Yellow Jackets will look for a 2-0 start in Class 3A, Region 4 when they play at Montevallo.
Aliceville opened region play with a 39-14 victory against Sipsey Valley last week at home.
“Sipsey Valley is a new school,” Aliceville coach Charles Moody said. “That presented a unique challenge from a preparation standpoint. Fortunately, our kids were up to the challenge. We started strong and did not have a letdown. I am proud of the effort our kids gave.
“This is the type of effort we will have to play with to win consistently in our league.”
After a disappointing 28-20 loss to Greene County, the Yellow Jackets were determined to change their fortunes, especially after committing eight turnovers.
The turnaround began quickly. Demario Lanier ran the opening kickoff back 84 yards for a touchdown. Quarterback Christopher Crowell followed with a pair of scoring strikes as the Yellow Jackets sprinted to a 20-0 advantage after one quarter.
“I think this being the first home game of the year motivated our kids,” Moody said. “We jumped on them early and did not let up. The two offensive drives there in the first quarter were the key to the game.”
Crowell was 10 of 14 for 224 yards and four touchdowns. Lanier had five receptions for 113 yards and three touchdowns.
Offensively, Aliceville finished with 297 yards and zero turnovers.
Terry Mayhew, Marqueze Marshall, Gerald Sterling, and Tyshon Windham led the defense.
Montevallo has lost to Calera (48-0) and Greensboro (38-13).
Keith (1-1, 0-1) at Pickens County (2-0, 1-0)
Pickens County plans to keep its high-flying offense going when it plays host to Keith in Class 1A, Region 4 action.
The Tornadoes opened region play with a 58-7 road win against Shades Mountain Christian last week. Pickens County has 105 points in its two victories.
“We are off to a good start,” Pickens County coach Patrick Plott said. “Now the challenge is to keep the kids level-headed and working hard. If we stay focused, we have a chance to continue on this path.”
Against Shades Mountain, De’Marko Hall had 185 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns. In two games, Hall has already found the end zone 11 times this season. Sophomore quarterback Devonte Simon led an offense that has scored on nine of 12 possessions.
“Defensively, we made some strides,” Plott said. “The players did a good job of executing some of the things we prepared for in practice.”
Keith opened the season with a 40-6 non-region victory at Calhoun. The next week was not as kind as the region opener was a 40-6 setback at Maplesville. Friday’s contest will bring a close to a season-opening three-game road swing for the Bears.
South Lamar (0-2, 0-1) at Marion County (2-0, 1-0)
After some early-season struggles, South Lamar found its offense Friday night. Still, the Stallions came up short in a 40-33 Class 1A, Region 5 loss to Hubbertville at home.
Hank Parker had 128 rushing yards and scored a pair of touchdowns, while Kyle Aldridge, Jordan Smith, and Greg Posley each scored a touchdown.
“We learned a lot from that game which should help us move forward,” South Lamar coach Josh Harper said. “Our kids have competed hard in both games. Now, we need some success to back that hard work up.”
South Lamar had great difficulty containing Hubbertville’s Hunter O’Mary. O’Mary ran for 122 yards and scored five rushing touchdowns.
“Marion County will be a big test,” Harper said. “They have size and speed. We just have to continue to play hard and find a way to take advantage of our opportunities.”
The Red Raiders opened region play with a 55-7 win at Brilliant. Marion County blew open a tight contest with three second-quarter touchdowns. Quarterback Sean Wallace was 9-of-11 for 174 yards and three touchdowns. The Red Raiders ran for 421 yards, including 100-yard games by Wallace (seven rushes, 125 yards), Justin Sanderson (11 rushes, 102 yards), and Jamal Thomas (3 rushes, 100 yards).
Marion County opened the season with a 35-7 home win against Hackleburg.
Pickens Academy (0-3) at South Choctaw (1-2)
Pickens Academy steps out of region play with road trip to Toxley.
Last week, in its Class 2A, Region 1 opener, Pickens Academy lost to Springwood 49-13. John Morgan Owens scored on a 1-yard to
Scott was sports editor for The Dispatch.