Football Playoffs: Four area teams hit the road to start postseason

Oakman, Cordova, Carbon Hill play ranked teams

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 11/8/19

While the Jasper Vikings and Addison Bulldogs open the postseason in front of their respective home crowds, four other teams in the DME PrepZone area will take to the road in search of a first-round win against higher seeded opponents.

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Football Playoffs: Four area teams hit the road to start postseason

Oakman, Cordova, Carbon Hill play ranked teams

Posted

While the Jasper Vikings and Addison Bulldogs open the postseason in front of their respective home crowds, four other teams in the DME PrepZone area will take to the road in search of a first-round win against higher seeded opponents.

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Today’s Games

Oakman (6-4) at No. 10 St. James (9-1)

The Wildcats, one of two area teams to matchup with the South Region, head to the state capital to take on the St. James Trojans in Class 3A action.

Oakman, coming off of a double overtime loss to the Corner Yellow Jackets, have been a fixture in the playoffs this decade — qualifying every year since 2011. All of the Wildcats’ losses this year have come to playoff teams by a touchdown or less.

The Trojans, who have been very successful under head coach Jimmy Perry, are making their fifth-consecutive postseason appearance. St. James’ only loss on the year has been to Region 3 front-runner Pike Road, 35-24, on Oct. 4.

Oakman head coach Ryan Hall said his team’s preparation leading up to the game has gone well, with the Wildcats long-time experience in the playoffs lending a familiar air.

“The kids have been excited — it’s playoff football and Oakman’s tradition in the postseason helps out a lot,” Hall said. “Our program has been to the playoffs from senior class to senior class. These guys have grown up in it and been around it, they know what to expect and in turn, there’s a heightened enthusiasm with it.”

Hall expects a tough battle with St. James, who he says is very sound in its execution under the coaching veteran Perry.

“St. James is a sound, disciplined team — coach Perry has been in this sport for 35 to 40 years. He does a great job. They’ve got a really good backs, and defensively they have good tacklers and don’t make many mistakes,” Hall said. “We’ll have to play our best football in terms of taking care of the football and execution and that’s been the message to our players all week. It’s not about talent, it’s going to be who executes the best. The best team doesn’t always win these games, it’s the team that plays the best. It’s been our focus going into the game and we’ll have to play our best to win it.”

With both teams allowing just 15.5 points per game, look for scoring to be at a premium. Christian Hubbard, who needs just 96 yards to eclipse the 1,500 yard mark on the season, has scored 19 touchdowns and looks to be a factor against the Trojans.

Tonight’s contest will be the first between the two teams.

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Cordova (5-5) at No. 7 Jacksonville (8-2)

Cordova’s unlikely comeback in the second half of the season earned the Blue Devils Class 4A, Region 5’s fourth-place spot and a trip to Jacksonville and matchup against Region 6’s first-place team, the Golden Eagles.

The surging Blue Devils have found playmakers on offense in Kason Smith, Justin Wallace and Adam O’Rear, while the defensive trio of Justin Calloway, Ashton Nash and Jordan Perrin have made life miserable for opponents.

Jacksonville, undefeated in region play, has only suffered losses to Alexandria, 21-14, and to Piedmont, 35-14.

The Golden Eagles are making their seventh-straight trip to the postseason.

The only other meeting between the teams came in the first round of the 2016 playoffs when Cordova beat Jacksonville, 46-23.

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Carbon Hill (4-6) at No. 7 Pike Road (10-0)

Carbon Hill fought its way into the playoffs with key victories over Greene County, Lamar County and Holt to earn the first postseason berth for the program since 1999.

Up next for the Bulldogs is Class 3A, Region 3’s front-runner, Pike Road, which won its first region championship in program history this year.

Carbon Hill’s talented defensive trio of Alex Atkins, Haden Pare and Kade Perry will have a formidable challenge in stopping the Pike Road offense, which has outscored opponents 460-88 this season.

Tonight’s contest will be the first between the two teams.

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North Sand Mountain (7-3) at No. 9 Addison (8-2)

Like Oakman, Addison has clinched a playoff berth every year in this decade and starts off the first round in the friendly confines of A.G. Hicks Stadium.

Since early season losses to Class 3A powerhouse Piedmont and Region 7 leader Red Bay, the Bulldogs have demolished the competition, outscoring opponents 215-56, ending the year with a 43-0 shutout of Hatton.

North Sand Mountain, the No. 3 team in Region 8, has suffered lopsided losses to the region’s top team Fyffe, 62-14, and second place team Collinsville, 54-28. The Bison have clinched a playoff berth in five straight years.

It will be the first meeting between the teams.

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Corner (7-3) at No. 10 Madison County (8-2)

The Yellow Jackets weathered tough obstacles from both injuries and one of the state’s most challenging regions to earn their playoff spot against Region 8’s top team, the Madison County Tigers.

Corner has steadily improved since making midseason adjustments and the performance of quarterback Colin Daniel, a stable of running backs and play along the offensive line have been key contributors.

The Tigers’ two losses on the season came against non-region opponent Buckhorn, 35-21, and Region 8’s third-place team Guntersville, 49-42.

The two teams will meet for the first time tonight.