Mason Batchelor

Corner offensive tackle Mason Batchelor (78) steps into position during a region win over Hayden on Oct. 11, 2019. 

Check out a complete rundown of Week 9 matchups involving NJN-area teams below.

Tabernacle Christian vs. Victory Columbus

This game will now be played on Monday night at 7 p.m. 

The opening round of the Christian Football Association playoffs comes to Moncrief Park on Monday night.

No.-2 seed Tabernacle Christian (5-4, 5-1 CFA) will need a second win over 3-seed Victory Christian (5-4, 3-3 CFA) in order to qualify for the CFA championship game in Tuscaloosa next week. The Torches needed a second-half comeback to beat the Eagles, 46-28, on Sept. 13 at Moncrief Park.

Tabernacle running back Josiah Davis led the comeback effort with 185 yards rushing, four touchdowns and four 2-point conversions. He’ll need another productive outing this time around as senior ball carriers Tony Galbraith is not expected to play.

I’ve got the Torches surviving at home where they’re 3-1 on the year.

Mortimer Jordan vs. Moody

No. 9 Mortimer Jordan (7-2, 5-1 Class 5A, Region 5) will finish up the regular season with a home game against Moody (3-5, 2-4 Class 5A, Region 5) on Thursday. The game was originally scheduled for Friday night, but the change was announced on Monday.

Moody has lost two of its last three, including a 44-10 home loss to Center Point last week. Each of their five losses have come by two touchdowns or more; all but one of those loses came by 30-plus points.

Mortimer Jordan, on the other hand, has not suffered a 30-point defeat since the first round of the 2013 playoffs at Muscle Shoals.

I expect the (MJ) Blue Devils to bump their winning streak to seven games.

Fultondale vs. Isabella

They might be a Class 1A opponent, but that doesn’t make the fourth-ranked Isabella Mustangs any less dangerous.

Isabella (8-0), a team which has outscore its opponents by an average of 47-11 through the first eight weeks of the season, will take two steps up in classification on Thursday night when it visits Wildcats Field where Fultondale is 3-0 on the year.

The Wildcats (7-1, 6-0 Class 3A, Region 5) will need an answer for Mustangs’ quarterback Cole Aitchison, who tossed a pair of first-quarter touchdowns last week in a 60-6 drubbing of Ellwood Christian. Atchison also threw for 215 yards and four touchdowns against Maplesville—a team that beat Fultondale 40-6 in Week 0—two weeks ago en route to a 48-34 road win. He ran 75 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game.

The Wildcats are riding a seven-game winning streak and will need their best effort (by far) to remain in the win column this week.

Gardendale at Oxford

The seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets are coming off their first loss of the season—a 26-21 decision against Clay-Chalkville at Lamar Field, where No. 8 Gardendale travels on Thursday.

Oxford (7-1, 4-1 Class 6A, Region 6) entered last week’s region matchup averaging almost 40 points per game, but was held to a season-low 21 points against the Cougars, thanks in part to three turnovers. Each of their three touchdowns came off the right arm of Trey Higgins and into the hands of Roc Taylor—a junior wide receiver listed at 6-foot-4.

A win here would put Gardendale (7-1, 4-1 Class 6A, Region 6) in position to host a first-round playoff game. I expect the Rockets to drag this one into the fourth quarter with a shot at home-field advantage.

Corner vs. Lawrence County

Lawrence County (3-5, 2-4 Class 5A, Region 7) has lost its last three times out. Those loses, however, have come to opponents (Russellville, Jasper, Hamilton) who carry a combined record of 21-3 on the season.

Following a Week 7 win over Hayden, Corner head coach Jon Clements pointed to this matchup as a key factor in the playoff equation: “Nobody talks about Lawrence County, but they might be the most explosive team in our region just based on the playmakers that they’ve got.”

If the Jackets (5-3, 3-3 Class 5A, Region 7) can find a way to contain those playmakers and score a home win, they claim the 4-seed coming out of Region 7. A loss puts them in a three-way tie for the bottom seed with Lawrence County and the winner of the West Point-Hayden game.

I’ve go Corner locking down the fourth playoff slot on Friday night at home.

Erik Harris is the sports editor for The North Jefferson News. He can be reached at sports@njeffersonnews.com

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