Cordova’s playoff pursuit begins with game at Curry

Week 8 preview: Oakman, Carbon Hill hit road for region games

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 10/10/19

The Cordova Blue Devils finally got the quality win they been looking for in a 21-14 victory over the Oakman Wildcats two weeks ago.

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Cordova’s playoff pursuit begins with game at Curry

Week 8 preview: Oakman, Carbon Hill hit road for region games

Posted

The Cordova Blue Devils finally got the quality win they been looking for in a 21-14 victory over the Oakman Wildcats two weeks ago.

Following an open week, that the team used to take a well-deserved rest and prepare for the remainder of the Class 4A, Region 5 slate, the Blue Devils now turn their attention to a challenging, but achievable goal — earning a postseason berth.

Although Cordova (1-5) is winless in region play with an 0-3 record, winning the last of its three region matchups and finishing at 3-3 could push the Blue Devils into the playoffs in a great reversal to the struggles the team experienced in the first half of the season.

Cordova head coach Justin Jones said the bye week carried several advantages outside of giving his players the opportunity to rest — such as healing time for injured players and allowing the team to gain focus on their goal of playing in the postseason.

“The off week was good for us — we were able to get some guys back from injury and it let us regroup. We drew that line in the sand and designated that we ended the first half of the season on a good note and let’s roll into the second half — we want to keep it going,” Jones said.

“The win and the off week did a lot for our confidence,” offensive lineman Seth Ingram said. “There’s been good energy in practice since the Oakman win — I think we all have new motivation and purpose.”

While the Blue Devils entered the season looking to establish an identity and leaders in several areas, playmakers have emerged to complement the team’s top strength — its offensive line. Quarterback Kason Smith and running back Justin Wallace have put up strong, consistent performances in many of Cordova’s games, while linebacker Jordan Perrin and defensive lineman Dawson Pate have made exceptional plays on defense.

“We’ve told our guys, especially our seniors, that anything that is established — be it a business, house or a team — has to have a foundation. We’ve asked them to be the foundation for a new successful era of Cordova football,” Jones said. “When the structure of such an establishment is in place and thriving, you look back at that foundation to build it further — we want this group to be that foundation. Over the next few weeks, we all have that opportunity.”

Jones said the keys to success in tonight’s game against the Curry Yellow Jackets are controlling the line of scrimmage, led by the play of the offensive and defensive lines.

“Curry is a team that ran the ball very well against Haleyville. They’ve got a big offensive line and did a really good job of controlling the tempo of the game. Their defensive front is impressive too,” Jones said. “Every week, we have to control the line of scrimmage and the atmosphere of the game. That means how fast the game is played, how physically we execute and managing the clock the right way. It will come down to which team wants to impose their gameplan and style of play to control the atmosphere.”

Cordova leads the overall series against Curry, 57-18-4, with the Yellow Jackets winning last year’s matchup, 18-14.

The preview show can be seen in its entirety on the Daily Mountain Eagle’s YouTube page.

The game will be broadcast live on WJBE 88.5 FM and mountaineagle.com with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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This week’s other games

Oakman (3-3, 2-2) at Lamar Co. (1-5, 1-3)

Oakman looks to snap a two-game losing streak tonight at Lamar County.

The Wildcats enter tonight’s game in fourth place in the 3A, Region 4 standings behind Gordo (4-0), Winfield (3-1) and Greene County (3-1).

Oakman was dealt a gut-wrenching loss last week against Winfield. The Wildcats completed a Hail Mary on the final play, but were flagged for excessive celebration and missed the extra point in a 20-19 loss.

Against Winfield, Oakman quarterback Malachi Bridges had three touchdown passes, including the 32-yarder to Christian Hubbard on the final play of the game.

Tonight’s game starts a crucial three-game region stretch. Oakman is looking to make the postseason for the ninth straight season.

Lamar County has struggled this season and brings a three-game losing streak into tonight’s game.

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Carbon Hill (2-4, 2-2) at Winfield (4-3, 3-1)

Carbon Hill kept its playoff hopes alive with a win over Lamar County last week.

Now the Bulldogs try to make it two in a row tonight at Winfield.

Carbon Hill got huge individual performances in last week’s 34-20 victory, led by Players of the Week Devon Daniel (229 rushing yards and two touchdowns) and Alex Atkins (17 tackles, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble).

The Bulldogs play the 3A, Region 4 front runners in consecutive weeks. They head to No. 2 Gordo next week.

Carbon Hill is currently tied with Oakman for fourth in the region standings, though Oakman holds the tie-breaker.

Winfield edged Oakman 20-19 last week.

The Pirates have won 12 in a row in the series, including a 35-12 decision last year.

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West Point (2-4, 1-3) at Dora (2-4, 0-4)

Dora looks to snap a four-game losing streak in tonight’s 5A, Region 7 matchup against West Point at Horace Roberts Field.

The Bulldogs were shutout for the second time in region play last week, falling to Corner 28-0.

West Point has dropped two straight games, falling to region leaders Jasper and Russellville by a combined score of 93-13.

West Point leads the all-time series 6-4 with Dora winning last year’s game 50-29.

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Hayden (2-5, 1-3) at Corner (3-3, 1-3)

Corner snapped a three-game skid and kept its playoff hopes alive with a road win over Dora last week.

Three different Corner players had rushing touchdowns in the game. The team was led by quarterback Colin Daniel, who threw for 138 yards and added 87 yards and a score on the ground.

The Yellow Jackets will need a win over Hayden to stay in the playoff hunt.

Hayden snapped a four-game skid last week, beating previously undefeated Hamilton 28-7.

Corner leads the all-time series 32-25, but Hayden has won three straight in the series, including 32-15 last year.

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Cold Springs (3-3, 2-1) at Winston County (2-4, 0-3)

If Winston County hopes to make the playoffs this season, the Yellow Jackets will need to start a winning streak tonight at home against the Cold Springs Eagles.

Winston County is currently winless in 2A, Region 5 play while Cold Springs is tied for third.

The Yellow Jackets have dropped three straight games and have scored just 12 points over the last three games combined — losses to Tarrant (26-6), Sulligent (18-6) and No. 6 Aliceville (39-0).

Cold Springs has dropped two straight games — Aliceville (27-19) and Appalachian (37-28) — and was off last week.

Winston County leads the series 6-1 and won last year’s meeting 40-8.

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No. 10 Addison (5-2, 2-1) at Tanner (1-5, 1-2)

Coming off its biggest win of the season, Addison hits the road for a 2A, Region 7 game at Tanner.

Addison defeated previously unbeaten Colbert County 44-12 last week behind a dominant third quarter that turned a 13-12 halftime lead into a rout.

Weston Smith had three rushing scores for the Bulldogs.

Tanner, once a perennial state contender is now 5-22 since 2017. The Rattlers won back-to-back state titles in 2012-13.

Addison leads the series 8-3-1 and won last year’s meeting 43-18.

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Other games

Lynn (2-4, 1-3) at Hubbertville (4-2, 2-2)

Pickens County (5-1, 4-0) at Meek (0-7, 0-4)