The playoff picture for each local team
Published 12:49 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023
We are just a little over halfway through the regular season. Now is a good time to take a look at where each local team is at in their pursuit of a playoff berth.
Through its first three games, Beulah looked to be on a direct route to the playoffs. The Bobcats were 2-1, the team’s best start since 2019, and they had two double-digit wins.
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Now, just a few weeks later, Beulah is on a two-game losing streak. Last week, the Bobcats fell to Prattville Christian 21-30.
Injuries have started to pile up for Beulah at pivotal positions. Starting quarterback Demarion Foreman left the game last week and did not return. Foreman had been on a tear to start the season, and his health will largely impact the season moving forward.
Luckily for Beulah, only one of the losses came in region play. The Bobcats play in 3A-Region 4, and they currently sit fifth in the region standings. That would likely leave Beulah on the outside looking in if that remained the same at the end of the season.
Randolph County, Walter Wellborn, Childersburg and Dadeville are currently above the Bobcats in the region standings. Wellborn beat Beulah 60-34 earlier this season, and the Bobcats face Dadeville, Childersburg and Randolph County over the next three weeks.
Winning two, or even one, of those matchups gives Beulah a good shot of making the playoffs. However, going winless in those three games would undoubtedly eliminate the Bobcats from playoff contention.
Chambers Academy (5-1)
Unsurprisingly, Chambers Academy is in a great position to lock up the team’s 11th straight playoff appearance.
The Rebels are currently in second place in 2A-Region 1 of the AISA. That second-place standing is not because of any loss. Hooper Academy is currently in first with a 2-0 region record. Chambers Academy has only played one region game to this point in the season, that game being a 38-6 win over Edgewood Academy.
All of the region games are ahead of the Rebels’. Chambers Academy faces Abbeville Christian, Macon-East Academy and Hooper Academy next.
Wins in those three matchups would give the Rebels their eighth straight region championship and a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bulldogs are in danger of missing the playoffs for the second straight season. Currently, LaFayette sits in sixth place in 2A-Region 3.
Region matchups have been tough for LaFayette early this season. The team’s one win in region play came against Barbour County, and the two losses came by more than 30 points against Reeltown and Goshen.
The Bulldogs are coming out of a bye week and facing Horseshoe Bend this week, the team just below them in the standings. Next, LaFayette faces Lanett and Highland Home.
A loss to Horseshoe Bend could put LaFayette close to elimination, but there is room for optimism. The Bulldogs won the matchup by 18 last season.
Goshen is currently fourth in the standings, the last spot needed to make the playoffs, and the Bulldogs lost the matchup against Goshen 34-0 earlier this season.
LaFayette likely has to at least beat one of Lanett or Highland Home to make the playoffs.
The Panthers are on a three-game losing streak and face undefeated Highland Home this week. Lanett currently sits in fifth place in 2A-Region 3.
That record puts Lanett in danger of missing the playoffs, something the Panthers have not done since 2015.
Goshen is one spot above Lanett in the region with the same record, 1-2, in region play. The Eagles hold the tiebreaker currently with a better overall record. That tiebreaker is going to become mute when the two teams face off in three weeks.
Lanett’s next three games are against Highland Home, LaFayette and Goshen. Wins over LaFayette and Goshen are likely enough to give the Panthers another playoff berth.
The Wildcats are a lock to make the playoffs because every team in the region makes the playoffs, but the loss to Cornerstone Christian earlier in the season likely puts the team out of contention for a region championship unless the Chargers drop their last two region games.
Springwood sits second in 8-man football in the AISA, with the only region loss coming to Cornerstone.
The Wildcats have just one more region game on their schedule, they play North River Christian to end the regular season. Springwood has beaten every team in the region, besides Cornerstone, by more than 20 points.
At second, the Wildcats are set up for a bye in round one. Springwood is hoping to be on a crash course to facing Cornerstone again in the playoffs.
The Rams are on a four-game winning streak and currently sit in second in 5A-Region 4.
Clay Central is just above Valley with a better overall record. Both teams are undefeated in region play.
The Rams face Clay Central this week in a potential region championship game. Even with a loss this week, Valley is primed for its first playoff appearance since 2019.
After Clay Central, the Rams face Tallassee and Elmore County. The region is very tight. Elmore County and Beauregard have just one loss in region play.
Elmore County and Beauregard sit directly below Valley in the region standings.
Just two wins in the next three games is enough for Valley to clinch a playoff berth.
Even two losses would not be enough to eliminate the Rams. At any rate, Valley is in a very good position at this point in the season.