TALKIN' PREP FOOTBALL: Loaded Week 8 slate awaits local teams

·5 min read

Oct. 13—The clock is ticking on the regular season.

There are only three weeks left before the playoffs begin, which means each and every game remaining on the schedule is becoming more and more meaningful for our local squads.

It's another full and potentially entertaining slate in Week 8, so let's get right down to business.

Before we begin, though, remember to cast your vote in "The People's Pick," a series of Twitter polls posted on my timeline (@winfreyjake) each and every Monday afternoon.

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Class 2A, Region 5

% Winston County (3-4, 1-3) at Cold Springs (0-7, 0-4): It's been a difficult campaign for the Eagles.

Cold Springs, though, will try to build some late-season momentum against the Yellow Jackets on Friday night.

Winston County won 46-21 last year and leads the all-time series 7-2 heading into Cranford Stricklin Stadium.

% My Pick: Winston County

% People's Pick: Winston County (89 percent)

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Class 3A, Region 6

% Susan Moore (3-4, 2-3) at Holly Pond (3-4, 1-4): Both of these teams are looking to bounce back and stay in the postseason race.

The Bulldogs won last year's matchup 35-6 and have historically dominated the series. Susan Moore, however, has dropped four straight following a 3-0 start to the season.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are trying to reach the four-win mark for the first time since 2018.

% My Pick: Susan Moore

% People's Pick: Holly Pond (59 percent)

% Vinemont (3-4, 3-2) at Oakman (5-2, 4-1): Well, it's real simple.

At least, that's what Billy Bob Thornton tells us in "Friday Night Lights."

A win this Friday night (or next week against Holly Pond), and the Eagles will return to the playoffs once again.

The Wildcats, however, won't make it easy.

Oakman's two defeats have come versus ranked teams — Class 4A No. 7 Gordo and Class 3A No. 6 Winfield — while its margin of victory this season is a robust 36 points.

Vinemont, though, won 20-17 in 2020 — so I wouldn't count out the Eagles.

% My Pick: Oakman

% People's Pick: Oakman (85 percent)

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Class 4A, Region 6

% Dora (5-2, 3-1) at Good Hope (6-2, 4-0): Here's a solid matchup.

The Raiders enter Friday night's contest riding a six-game win streak, while the Bulldogs have racked up three consecutive victories.

Both defenses are playing well, and both teams have explosive playmakers on offense.

Last year's meeting was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols, but Dora leads the all-time series 6-1.

I think this is going to be a really, really good game.

I also think this is going to be a really, really close game.

% My Pick: Good Hope

% People's Pick: Good Hope (84 percent)

% Ashville (3-4, 0-4) at Hanceville (2-5, 0-5): The Bulldogs are out of the playoff picture.

However, Hanceville has a chance to close out its first season under Ryan Brewer with some victories.

It starts with Friday night's matchup against Ashville, which is also looking for its first region win this season.

Both teams have been inconsistent offensively, though the Bulldogs have shown a bit more explosiveness.

Ashville won 38-14 last season, but give me the home squad this time around.

% My Pick: Hanceville

% People's Pick: Ashville (55 percent)

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Class 5A, Region 7

% West Point (5-2, 2-2) at Douglas (4-3, 1-3): Let's go to Billy Bob again.

It's real simple for the Warriors — win, and they're in the playoffs. Lose, and it's going to be an uphill battle.

West Point knocked off the Eagles 49-0 last season and currently leads the all-time series 7-0.

This is probably the best Douglas team of the past few years, and I see this possibly being a close contest.

After all, the Eagles are — potentially — playing for their first postseason berth since 1998.

In the end, though, I think the Warriors get the job done and advance to the playoffs for the sixth time under Coach Don Farley.

% My Pick: West Point

% People's Pick: West Point (87 percent)

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Class 6A, Region 8

% Athens (4-4, 3-2) at Cullman (6-2, 4-1): The Bearcats will be seeking revenge on Friday night.

Cullman hasn't had much luck against the Golden Eagles in recent memory, dropping three straight games — including a 28-0 loss last season — in the series.

However, I'm inclined to think that soon changes at Oliver Woodard Stadium.

Athens is surrendering 30.5 points per tilt in 2021, while the Bearcats are allowing just 13.1 points per contest.

Defense still matters, and that's where the home team has the edge.

% My Pick: Cullman

% People's Pick: Cullman (82 percent)

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Non-Region Games

% Hamilton (4-4) at Addison (4-4): The Bulldogs will duke it out with the 4A Aggies on Friday night.

Addison has had some tough luck this season, with all four of its losses being decided by nine points or less.

Hamilton, meanwhile, has dropped four straight following a 4-0 start.

The Aggies beat the Bulldogs 21-7 last season, and this could be another close one at A.G. Hicks Stadium.

In that case, give me the home team for one statistical reason.

Addison is allowing only 17.3 points per game defensively, while Hamilton is allowing 30.5 points per game.

% My Pick: Addison

% People's Pick: Addison (51 percent)

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% Brewer (1-7) at Fairview (6-1): Last, but not least — the Aggies welcome in the Patriots on Friday night.

Brewer defeated Mae Jemison last week for its first win of the season, while Fairview eased past Crossville.

The Aggies won last year's matchup 49-16, and I think the score will be similar this time around. Here's why.

Fairview is averaging 41.4 points per contest. The Patriots, meanwhile, are allowing 43.8 points per contest.

That math doesn't bode well for the road squad in this one.

% My Pick: Fairview

% People's Pick: Fairview (94 percent)

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% My Record: 48-9

% People's Record: 41-16

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