FNN’s POWER FIVE is not a head-to-head comparison of the teams we rank. Our POWER 5 is about true “Championship Potential”. To determine the weekly POWER FIVE rankings, we consider each team’s “potential” as we view it at that point in the season. We compare it to “wins-losses”, ASWA rankings, performance in big games, the FNN “eye test” and ultimately post-season playoff performance.
As we hit the mid-point of the season, we have some shake-up in this week’s POWER 5.
CHEROKEE COUNTY WARRIORS – There’s nothing we’ve seen that even begins to change our mind about which team from the area has the greatest potential to earn a coveted “Blue Map” in December. The Warriors just continue to throttle any team that steps in their path back to the Super 7. This past Friday, homecoming scalps were taken from Hanceville 55-0. FNN Player of the Week Jacob Cornejo scored four touchdowns. He also had an interception on defense in leading the second-ranked Warriors to another win. QB Carson Tittle tallied 83 yards on nine carries with two end zone visits. Carson Chesnut ran for a 67-yard TD in the 4th quarter while Tyson Wood raced 33 yards for the Warriors' final touchdown on the night. The Warriors travel to Munford on Thursday.
B B COMER TIGERS – In front of a state-wide TV audience, Fossett’s cats mauled a collection of Yellow Jackets from Vincent. Comer hung 29 on the Jackets before they knew what happened. Kamore Harris gets a lot of press for the #1 ranked Tigers…and it’s all deserved, but senior QB Devin Harvey was the star of the Thursday night show. Harvey rushed for a pair of 5-yard touchdowns in the opening half and went to the air for two more. The first was an 8-yard scoring toss to freshman Dearian Riley in the first period. Richard Weed was the recipient of Harvey’s second TD pass, a 23-yard strike with under two minutes to go in the half. Harvey’s performance in the win earned him our nod as FNN’s Realty Pros Week 4 Player of the Week. The Tigers host winless Saks this Friday.
CENTRAL-CLAY COUNTY VOLUNTEERS – Danny Horn’s sharp-shooters boarded the previously unbeaten “Strain Train” from Handley Friday night and left no doubt who was in charge. The Volunteers hammered the Tigers 31-6 in a much-ballyhooed non-region meeting in Lineville this past Friday. Ladamion Boyd ran 17 times totaling 240 yards and a pair of touchdowns for his night’s work. The Vols defense shut down Handley’s rushing attack, limiting the Tigers to just 63 yards on the night. Central-Clay County resumes region play this week when they travel into Death Valley to face Alexandria.
OXFORD YELLOW JACKETS – If there’s a team that is rapidly on the rise in FNN’s POWER 5, it’s the gold-domed ones from the intersection of Highway 21 and 78. Oxford is unbeaten and after Friday’s swarming of Pinson Valley, the Yellow Jackets appear to be on a late October collision course with Clay-Chalkville that will be of epic proportion. The 40-6 win at Pinson Valley Friday firmed up any non-believers in Oxford’s potential. It was the backfield duo Jaydon Thomas and DK Wilson that delivered 28 second-half points to secure Friday’s road win. Mims had another solid outing at QB, throwing for 105 yards on 13-of-23 attempts and two touchdowns. He did give up a pick-six interception. Oxford has another tough road test this week when they travel to 4-1 Hartselle.
HANDLEY TIGERS – Strain’s cats from Roanoke left some fur in Clay County after a tough 31-6 loss to the 5A Volunteers, but we still see them as a 4A powerhouse that will contend in the south. The toughness of a team is tested most following a loss. Look for Handley to rebound this Friday when they go cat to cat at home against the 2-3 Lanett Panthers. The Tigers return to region play hosting Anniston on October 6th. In our opinion, Handley remains in the driver’s seat in 4A-Region 4.
NEXT TWO IN –
JACKSONVILLE GOLDEN EAGLES – Even with the region loss at Handley, Clint Smith’s highfliers still have home field to play for, hoping for another shot at Handley in the playoffs. They had little trouble at Talladega Friday, ripping the Tigers 51-0 at Mary Dumas Stadium. QB Jim Ogle showed out again, going 14-of-21 for 297 yards and three touchdowns. Xavier English paced the team in rushing and receiving with 10 carries for 48 yards and four catches for 110 yards. Jacksonville travels to Ohatchee this week for a non-region meeting of two Calhoun County teams. It will be FNN’s Game of the Week.
LEEDS GREEN WAVE – The Green Wave had an off week in front of this Friday’s non-region meeting with 0-5 Sylacauga. It should be an easy night for Leeds in front of their return to region play next Friday in a huge game at Southside-Gadsden that you’ll see live on FNN’s Game of the Week. Leeds is on a collision course with the 411 Boys from Moody on October 20th in a game that will likely determine the 4A-Region 6 champion again this season.
TWO TEAMS WE’RE WATCHING
PLEASANT VALLEY RAIDERS – There’s something with a little pixie dust on it going on around this pirate ship. The Raiders are unbeaten after four weeks of play and excitement is in the air as Ragland comes to Raider Stadium this Friday for a non-region match-up. PV can’t get caught looking ahead to next Friday’s critical region trip to Locust Fork, or the Devils will pitchfork them for their first “L” of 2023.
CLEBURNE COUNTY TIGERS – We were impressed with both the performance of the football team and the atmosphere at “The Pit” in Heflin this past Friday. The Tigers were impressive, punishing Munford with a pounding ground game that ended in a 37-21 win. Cleburne County has a legit shot at finishing third in 4A-Region 4… may be better as they still have all the region frontrunners ahead on the schedule. They must go to Handley and Jacksonville and then face the Bulldogs at home on October 27th. They’ll have to beat Anniston to finish third, and who knows, if they could steal one on the road, maybe as high as second.
Well, there you have it. FNN’s POWER 5 following Week 4 play. We update the POWER 5 standings every Sunday following Friday play throughout the season. Enjoy the games as the regions begin to take shape.
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