Valley highlights week six matchups
Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Week five showed where each team in the Greater Valley Area stands in their respective regions, but each game moving forward will have more meaning.
Lanett is 2-4 for the first time since 2011, and they’ll be fighting with LaFayette and Goshen for the fourth playoff spot in their region.
LaFayette is 1-4, but they have the same region record (1-2) as Lanett. They’ll have their homecoming against Horseshoe Bend, and that game could be a make-or-break game for the Bulldogs.
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Valley is sitting at 3-2, and the Rams are about to get into the thick of their region schedule. They’ll play Central of Clay County, who is right above them in the region standings.
Beulah will travel to Dadeville with the Bobcats will be looking for their first win of the season.
Springwood will play their homecoming game against Lighthouse, who is 5-1 on the season.
All of these games except for LaFayette will be played Thursday due to Hurricane Ian, and Chambers Academy is off.
Game of the week: Central Clay County (3-2) at Valley (3-2)
The Valley Rams are about to play three straight region games, starting with a home game against Central Clay County.
The Rams are coming off of a big 27-23 win over Russell County, and they’ll try to carry that momentum into the game against a team who is coming off of a 21-7 win over Alexandria.
This game will have major region implications for the Rams as a win would propel them into second place.
Valley head coach Adam Hunter knows this game will be a challenge for his team.
“We’ve had a good day of preparation,” Hunter said.
“I think we’re upbeat. We had a good win to take into this week. It carried over to practice. We have to be really good. We have to be disciplined on defense. If we can be disciplined, we can be there in the fourth quarter. It’s going to be one of those battles that’s back and forth all the way until the fourth quarter.”
Valley will have to prepare for Central Clay County’s physicality.
“They like to run the football,” Hunter said. “They’ll run and then hit you with the pass. We have to keep our eyes bright. We have to do a good job on run defense. We just have to be disciplined. Offensively, they’re fast. We’re going to have to throw on them to open up the run.”
For Hunter, his team’s preparation hasn’t changed.
“Playing on Thursday versus Friday doesn’t change too much,” Hunter said.
“You lose one day. If you’re not ready to play by Wednesday, that one day isn’t going to affect you. Monday and Tuesday are our big days. Wednesday is more of a polish day for us.”
This will only be the third meeting between these two teams, and the Rams have never beaten the Volunteers.
Their last meeting was in 2017, when Central Clay County won 28-3.
This figures to be the toughest region game remaining on Valley’s schedule, and the game will be played at Ram Stadium on Thursday at 8 p.m. EST.
Lighthouse (5-1) at Springwood (4-1)
The Springwood Wildcats have been dealing with a lot of injuries this season, but they’re still 4-1. They’re coming off of a 40-31 win with several players out against Southern Christian, and they’re still a little beat up.
“We’re thin,” Springwood head coach Joey Burch said.
“We started the season thin. We were fortunate enough to have some depth. We still have four or five that are limping around. We’re playing a very good team. They lost one game to the best team in the nation. We hope to get some guys healthy. Moving the game up might have given us one more day to ice and stretch, but they’re dealing with the same issues. I was pleased last week to see some of the guys step up.”
When teams lose players in 8-man football, it has even more of an impact than in 11-man due to players having more individual impact.
Lighthouse is coming off of a 63-28 loss to undefeated Evangel Christian, and the Warriors will be looking to upset Springwood on their homecoming.
This will be the first ever meeting between these two teams, and it will be a good test to see how Springwood matches up with some of the other top 8-man teams in the state.
The game will be played at Wildcat Stadium at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday.
Lanett (2-4) at Reeltown (3-1)
The Lanett Panthers are having somewhat of a down year due to the youth on the team, but they’re still in the race for the 2A playoffs.
The Panthers are coming off of a 37-0 loss to undefeated Handley, and they’ll have to bounce back against a Reeltown team who just dominated Barbour County 76-0.
Lanett is fighting with LaFayette and Goshen for the fourth playoff spot in their region.
Reeltown is 3-0 in their region, and they’ll be looking for the one seed in the playoffs.
The Panthers will finish the season with four straight region games where each game will be key to making the playoffs.
This will be the eleventh all-time matchup between these two teams, and the series is tied 5-5.
The two teams haven’t played since 2017, and Lanett won the last matchup 43-20.
The game will be played in Notasulga at 8 p.m. EST.
Horseshoe Bend (2-3) at LaFayette (1-4)
The LaFayette Bulldogs are also having a somewhat down year, but they’re still in the playoff race.
The Bulldogs are coming off of a 60-28 loss to Goshen, and things won’t get easier as LaFayette will play four straight region games.
Horseshoe Bend is coming off of a 48-20 win over Fayetteville, and they’ll look to get their first region win of the season.
The Bulldogs are in their third year under head coach Juan Williams, and he’ll try to lead them into the playoffs for the third straight year.
Every game from here on out is important for Lafayette, and a win over Horseshoe Bend would put them in a position to fight Lanett for the fourth spot in the playoffs next week. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, their loss to Goshen could hurt them in the long run.
History favors the Bulldogs, as they lead the all-time series 9-3.
LaFayette won the matchup last year 42-21.
The game will be played at Bulldog Stadium on Friday at 8 p.m. EST.
Beulah (0-5) at Dadeville (5-0)
The Beulah Bobcats are coming off of their best game of the season in their 35-21 loss to Prattville Christian Academy, and now they have to face an undefeated Dadeville team.
Dadeville is coming off of a 45-0 win over Notasulga, and they’ll look to remain undefeated against the Bobcats.
Beulah will play three straight region games to try and sneak into the playoffs, but they’ll have to go through a Dadeville team who has been nothing but dominant this year.
For Beulah head coach Matthew Johnson, he knows Dadeville will be the toughest team on their schedule.
“They’re very basic, but they’re really good at it,” Johnson said. “They’re one of the top teams in 3A in the state of Alabama. They’re a tough team. They’re a downhill running team. As far as schematics, that’s the toughest thing to prepare for. Defensively, they’re very sound. They’re just a very good football team.”
This will be the ninth meeting between these teams, and Dadeville leads the overall series 7-1.
The last time these two teams played, Dadeville won 40-0 last year.
The game will be played at Dadeville on Thursday at 8 p.m. EST.