A pair of local schools remain in the state football playoffs as Round 3 kicks off this week.
Mortimer Jordan vs. Center Point
No. 9 Mortimer Jordan (10-2) gets another shot at the Center Point Eagles (9-3), but this time the game will be played at Jimmie Trotter Stadium and this time, loser leaves town. The winner however, takes on the winner of No. 10 Madison County at No. 4 Central-Clay County next week for a berth in the Class 5A state championship game.
As Region 5 opponents, Mortimer Jordan and Center Point played at Bowman Field on Sept. 6. The Eagles punched in the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter to earn a 28-21 home win. The Blue Devils went on to win the league championship while Center Point qualified for postseason play as the No. 4-seed.
Head coach George Bates and the Eagles pulled the 1-4 upset in the first round, beating No. 5 Etowah 42-13. They returned home in the second round for a 26-10 win over Scottsboro. According to reports, Center Point limited Scottsboro to less than 200 total yards of offense and forced four turnover-on-downs last week. Eagles’ quarterback Javon Davis—a transfer out of Fultondale—tossed three touchdowns in the win.
Can Davis outgun Mortimer Jordan quarterback Kourtlan Marsh? I’m going with Marsh, based on his nearly 3,000 yards of total offense.
Pinson Valley at Muscle Shoals
No. 3 Pinson Valley (9-2) has won its first two playoff games, first by a 42-7 difference over Homewood and later by a 48-10 score over Fort Payne.
The Indians’ defense has been strong in 2019, holding opponents to 11 points per game, and second-ranked Muscle Shoals (12-0) might have to move that wall without starting quarterback Logan Smothers, who went to the sideline with an injury late in the first half against No. 10 Gardendale last week and did not return. Smothers—a Nebraska commit—had the Trojans scoring at a rate of 44 points per game before last week’s 30-27 victory at Gardendale.
With Smothers out, Muscle Shoals went with sophomore quarterback Luke Peoples, who went 6 for 10 passing for 133 yards and a touchdown. Most of that yardage came on a short catch and long run (74 yards) by Ty Smith in the fourth quarter.
I like Pinson Valley’s defense a lot in this matchup. Tribe moves into the semis with a win.