Aside from defending state champion Oxford’s dominance, Class 6A Region 7 play has been an ultra-competitive one.
So it’s no surprise that with two weeks left in region play, no team has been officially eliminated from playoff contention. Oxford and Fort Payne, in some order, will be the top two seeds. Meanwhile, Scottsboro, Arab, Pell City, Southside and Springville all have a shot at the region’s third and fourth seeds.
“We’re all still in it,” said Scottsboro head coach Don Jacobs. “This thing is coming down to the next two weeks. Win the next two and you’re in.”
Scottsboro (2-5, 1-3) begins that important region stretch by hosting Southside (5-3, 2-3) Friday at 7 p.m. at Trammell Stadium.
It’s the 23rd meeting between the teams in a series that began in 1984 and that Scottsboro leads 13-9. It’s the first matchup between the teams since 2015, when Scottsboro snapped a six-game losing streak in the series with a 41-39 victory.
That victory helped Scottsboro reach the playoffs, and one Friday would aid the Wildcats’ cause this season. Southside, meanwhile, has just one last shot to improve its region record as Scottsboro is its region finale. The Panthers are missed two-point conversions away from being the No. 2-seed, having lost 28-27 to both Arab and last week at Fort Payne.
“Southside is a good football team,” Jacobs said. “They can run it, they can throw it, can do just about whatever they want to. Got a big quarterback (Michael Rich Jr), he’s about 6-5, 205 (pounds). Got a real good sophomore wideout (Audlen Battles). Defensively, they aren’t going to do anything crazy. Just pretty solid overall.”
Rich was 20-of-32 passing for 272 yards and three touchdown passes against Fort Payne while Battles had 12 catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns and running back Carnel Davis rushed for 161 yards and one score on 30 carries.
Meanwhile, Gavin McCrary is set to make his second start for Scottboro at quarterback for the injured Jacob Manning.
McCrary passed for 111 yards and rushed for 111 yards while having a hand in three touchdowns, two rushing and one passing during last week’s 35-21 non-region loss to Oneonta.
“That was his fourth day as a quarterback. I was pleased with the way he played,” Jacobs said. “Could’ve he have done somethings better? Yeah, but we all could’ve. He did what we asked of him. He had 222 (total) yards, and that’s pretty good.”