The elephant in the room is that my prediction for a Brilliant Tiger road victory in Hackleburg has left me with my foot in my mouth.
It was the game I was least sure about in my predictions, and I’m not surprised I got it wrong. The Hackleburg Panthers protected their home turf at Ray Family Stadium on Friday night, disappointing the Tigers 26-6. They improve their record in the historic, in-county series to 35-31 over Brilliant, answering back to the Tigers’ 21-0 shut-out last year.
As for my successful predictions, Hamilton defeated Sulligent at home 37-22, and I was proud to see Winfield clinch a victory 32-14, playing up a class against 4A Northside.
MCHS joined Hamilton and Winfield in getting its second win of the season, shutting out the Vina Red Devils on the road in an overwhelming 48-0 run-away.
It was not how I was expecting, but Tharptown did get a win out of Phillips. The Bears forfeited the match due to a mixture of injuries and illness.
Rolling into Week 3 of the season, our Marion County teams will all turn to region play.
Brilliant @ Meek
The Brilliant Tigers (0-1) will go on the road to meet the Meek Tigers (1-1) in Class 1A, Region 6 play on Friday. Both teams suffered county rivalry losses last week. Brilliant fell to Hackleburg 26-6 and Meek lost to Winston County 28-22 in overtime.
This will be the 32nd time these schools will meet, and Meek leads the series narrowly 16-15. Brilliant was the dominant Tigers team last year, beating Meek in Tiger Stadium, 55-30.
Meek has more field time this season, but I’m expecting Brilliant to learn from their mistakes and tie the series.
The Waterloo Cougars (0-2) only have three wins in their 21-game history against the Hackleburg Panthers (1-0). Last year, the Panthers were forced to forfeit their road game against Waterloo due to COVID-19 infections in the school. Like I noted above, the Panthers are on the heels of a big statement win against Brilliant. I don’t see the Cougars mustering up the momentum for a win this Friday, and I’m definitely not betting against Hackleburg after they proved me wrong last week. The Panthers will pick up win number 2 and their first Class 1A, Region 8 victory for the season on Friday.
Curry @ Hamilton
The Hamilton Aggies (2-0) beat the Curry Yellow Jackets (0-2) in 2020, 35-14. Hamilton leads the series 12-1. Going into Class 4A, Region 5 play, Hamilton has earned two wins and has shown its ability to get the ball in the end zone, scoring nearly 40 points in both games. Curry has lost their first two games to Oakman and Carbon Hill, who both ran up 66 points against the Yellow Jackets.
With Hamilton’s proven offensive ability and them playing at home in Joe Sargent Stadium, this will be their third win of the season.
Marion County vs Lynn
The Marion County High School (MCHS) Red Raiders (2-0) practically shut out both Waterloo and Vina to open the season. The Lynn Bears (0-1) opened their season with a shut-out loss to Addison last week 28-0. The Red Raiders will also be at home in Bill Rayburn Stadium for the home-field advantage.
I think we can expect to see the Red Raiders’ defense pull off another great performance, and we will likely see MCHS 3-0 after their first Class 1A, Region 6 game this Friday.
Both the Phillips Bears (0-2) and the Decatur Heritage Christian Eagles (0-2) will enter Class 1A, Region 8 play without wins. The Bears had to forfeit their last game, and they were scoreless in their opener against Phil Campbell, where they lost 27-0. The Eagles have been able to get on the board this season though and had a close loss to Colbert Heights last week 29-27. They lost their first game to Falkville 34-20.
The Bears will be hungry for points this game and will have made improvements since Week 1, but I think the Eagles' experience in the end zone will give them a comfortable lead.
Tarrant @ Winfield
The Winfield Pirates (2-0) and the Tarrant Wildcats (0-0) will play just the third time in their schools’ history. Tarrant forfeited their entire season last year, and the Class 3A, Region 6 Pirates will be their opening game for the 2021 season. The last time these two teams met was in the 1988 and 1989 playoffs, where the Wildcats shut out Winfield in two consecutive years.
With little history behind this series and the Wildcats not having any prior games this season to gauge how they will perform on Friday, this could be a shot in the dark. Tarrant should expect a Pirates team that knows their game plan and knows their way into the end zone. Especially with the game being play in Winfield at the Estes Hudson Stadium, I’m putting my money on the Pirates taking the game.
See complete story in the Journal Record.