Check out a complete rundown of Week 10 matchups involving NJN-area teams below.
Tabernacle Christian vs. Russell Christian
The 2-seed Torches beat 3-seed Victory Christian 48-30 on Monday, and 1-seed Russell Christian took care of 4-seed Tuscaloosa Christian 42-14 on Friday to set the table for a Christian Football Association championship game rematch.
Tabernacle Christian (6-4, 5-1) will be looking for a different outcome than it got last year when the Torches fell to Russell Christian 52-14 in the CFA championship game. The Warriors (10-1, 7-0), once again, will be a tall order.
They score an average of 46 points per game to go with a defense that allows 12 points per game. Dating back to 2016, they have won 20 consecutive league games and 32 of their last 34 overall.
“When we played them before our offense did not produce first downs… so we have got to be hard-nosed enough to go make first downs against those guys and we’ve got to throw the ball just well enough to back their safeties up; man, they walked eight guys right down in the box when we played them last time,” said Tabernacle head coach Keith Dabbs of the upcoming challenge.
Gardendale vs. Mountain Brook
This is a tough precursor to the playoffs for the Class 6A Rockets (7-2, 4-2 Region 6).
Class 7A Mountain Brook checked in at No. 7 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association Week 9 rankings. The Spartans (7-2, 5-2 Region 3) climbed as high as fifth in 7A thanks to a 7-0 start to the year, but have dropped two straight to two of the top contenders in their classification. Top-ranked Thompson handed them their first loss on Oct. 18, 33-21, and fourth-ranked Hoover followed that with a 34-10 win at Spartan Stadium last Friday.
According to Village Living, Mountain Brook totaled 35 yards on the ground against Hoover while quarterback Strother Gibbs tossed a pick-6 in the opening quarter and later lost a fumble that was scooped up for another score.
A similar mistake this week in Driver Stadium could make things interesting.
Corner vs. Oakman
Corner Stadium will play host to a battle of two playoff teams this Friday night.
The Yellow Jackets are penciled in as the postseason 4-seed coming out of Class 5A, Region 7 and will visit Region 8 champion Madison County next week in the first round. Aided by three straight conference wins, Oakman has secured the 3-seed coming out of Class 3A, Region 4. Friday night’s contest will have no playoff implications, but could extend winning streaks on either side.
Corner (6-3, 4-3) has not lost since a late-September visit to Hamilton, stringing together four wins over Dora, Hayden, West Point and Lawrence County. Defense has been key to that stretch, as the Jackets have held those opponents to eight points per game.
Oakman (6-3, 5-2) has scored at least 40 points the last three times out, but I’ve got Corner coming up with enough stops to score a win.
Fultondale at Tarrant
It’s been 16 years (five wins) since Fultondale lost to Tarrant in the Wildcat Bowl, winning those five matches by an average score of 37-10.
Fultondale’s senior class will graduate without a single region loss on its record (24-0) and can make it 4-0 against their arch-rival with a road win this week.
Tarrant (3-5, 3-3 Class 2A, Region 5) has lost two of its last three and enters this week averaging a little more than 14 points per game. It should be a good bounce back for the Wildcats (7-2, 6-0 Class 3A, Region 5) who are coming off their second loss of the season.
As the region champion, Fultondale is set to host in the first round of the playoffs on Nov. 8. Their opponent is not yet determined.
Pinson Valley vs. Lee Huntsville
This likely won’t be much of a challenge for the fourth-ranked Pinson Valley indians.
The Tribe (6-2, 5-1 Class 6A, Region 6) should enter the playoffs next week on a four-game winning streak following this matchup with 1-8 Lee Huntsville. The Generals have been shutout three times this season, including last week’s 50-0 loss at Athens.
Pinson Valley—the Region 6 runner-up behind Oxford—has been dominant at times on defense this season, and I expect another stout showing from that unit again this time around.