There’s no way Jacksonville hasn’t thought about losing all of its final four games last year.
After all, a year later, the Golden Eagles have the same record heading into Week 7. But this year, their 5-1 record, including 3-1 in Class 4A, Region 5, isn’t a fluke, and Jacksonville shouldn’t collapse.
Second-year coach Clint Smith and the team welcome Lincoln to Golden Eagle Stadium this week, and this isn’t the same Lincoln team that was 2011 region runner-up. It should be a win for Jacksonville.
The Golden Eagles follow that with region games against Cleburne County and Alexandria, who certainly will provide challenges, but Jacksonville should still make the playoffs.
The Golden Eagles have made the playoffs only once in the past 13 seasons, which came in 2009.
How will Saks weather the storm?
After Saks handled Alexandria with ease, the Wildcats struggled a bit last week against Glencoe.
Despite getting the 39-28 victory over the Glencoe, Saks didn’t look nearly as dominant as it did in when it outscored opponents 228-44 in the first five games of the season.
And it doesn’t get easier for Saks this week. Weaver, this week’s opponent, nearly matches the Wildcats in athleticism, and Saks has to travel across Highway 431 and down to Bill Bryan Stadium.
Saks is a win away from facing Piedmont for the Class 2A, Region 5 championship, but if Weaver pulls off the upset this week and defeats Ashville next week. then it will the Bearcats playing Piedmont for the region title in Week 9.
Can anyone slow down JCA QB?
The average fan may not know Daylon Brackett, but anyone who has played Jacksonville Christian is fully aware who he is.
Even though JCA sits at 1-6, no one has slowed down the quarterback.
Bracket has exactly 1,000 passing yards and nine touchdowns and 978 yards with 12 scores on the ground. The junior’s all-purpose yards total at 2,059.
He rushed for 210 yards and threw for 281 yards, combining for five touchdowns, against Gaylesville last week.
JCA travels to play Class 1A, Region 7 leader Valley Head (6-0) this week.
Will Munford go undefeated in its region?
No one in Class 4A, Region 5 has come within a touchdown of beating Munford.
Since the Lions’ 14-7 win over Cleburne County in Week 3, Munford has endured a 30-14 loss to Clay Central — showing it is beatable — but also dominated Jacksonville 36-20 and, most recently, Alexandria 36-0.
The final three region games are against Hokes Bluff, Cherokee County and Anniston. All three opponents struggle at times, and if Munford gets an early lead, Monteo Garrett, Tavon Lawson and the rest of the Lions’ skill players will stand on the sideline in the fourth quarter as the game is in hand.
However, if Cherokee County can overcome its turnover issues and Anniston rises to the occasion, there may be a battle in Weeks 8 and 9.
Can Anniston start a playoff push?
Anniston coach Eddie Bullock hasn’t missed the playoffs in his three previous seasons coaching the Bulldogs, but if that streak is going to continue, Anniston is going to have to start winning games immediately.
Anniston is 1-3 in Class 4A, Region 5, which is tied for sixth place. Only the top four advance.
Anniston must face Cherokee County, Hokes Bluff and Munford, and wins in all three games would put Anniston at 4-3 in Region 5.
Anniston has the potential.
In the 40-39 defeat last week, fans saw the quarterback Quint Dobbins has become as he threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.