The high school football season will enter its third week on Friday night with all area teams jumping into the region wars. Following is a preview of this week’s match-ups:
Pleasant Home (0-1) at Elba (1-1)
The Elba Tigers will be back on the friendly turf of Mack Wood Field Friday night when they host the Pleasant Home Eagles in the region openers for both teams. Elba leads the brief series 1-0 after claiming a 28-14 win last season, and picked up its first win of the young season last week with a wild 36-34 win over the 3A Opp Bobcats. The Tigers are led on offense by junior quarterback Ja’Quez Prince, who has rushed for over 200 yards and passed for over 200 yards in their two season openers. While the Elba offense has lit up the scoreboard for an average of 33 points per game, the Tiger defense has struggled in allowing an average of 36 points per outing. Pleasant Home dropped its season opener to Elberta 26-6, but had an open date last week and will be well rested and well prepared for the Tigers after two weeks to get ready for the region opener. The Eagles are coming off a 1-9 season after posting an 11-10 record the previous two years.
Brantley (1-0) at Kinston (0-1)
The Brantley Bulldogs will be on the road Friday night as they open region play in Kinston against the Kinston Bulldogs, led by new head coach Rudy Free. Brantley leads the series 29-4, won last season 39-0, and has won the last 29 meetings with their region rivals. The green clad Bulldogs posted an impressive 59-20 win over 2A New Brockton a week ago and will enter the game ranked 4th in the state in Class 1A. Kinston lost its opener to Samson 14-10 on a late score, but opened the eyes of its opponents with the hard fought road loss, and appears to be ready to challenge for a return trip to the playoffs.
Luverne (1-0) at New Brockton (0-2)
The New Brockton Gamecocks will continue to challenge the state’s top teams Friday night in a week #3 match-up against the powerful Luverne Tigers, at Gamecock Stadium. Luverne leads the series 10-3 and rolled to a big 48-7 win last season, and will be big favorites again this week against the Gamecocks that have been outscored 101-33 in their two season opening losses. The Tigers won their season opener last week with a 41-6 romp over Georgiana, and after settling for runner up honors last season in the 2A ranks have their sights set on a state title.
Zion Chapel (1-0) at Goshen (1-0)
The Zion Chapel Rebels will be on the road Friday night when they travel across the county line to tangle with the Goshen Eagles. Goshen leads the series and posted a lopsided 55-6 win last season, but the Rebels will carry a 1-0 record into the region clash after a 20-13 win over Red Level in their season opener and have their sights set on their first state playoff trip since back in 2011. The Eagles posted an impressive 21-7 win over Ariton in last week’s opener and are looking to continue their streak of 11 straight trips to the playoffs.