The last two weeks have seen ZERO movement within the FNN POWER FIVE. There has been nothing close to an upset since Ohatchee knocked off Piedmont two weeks ago. However, you can hold your breath this week, because three of the top five in the poll have huge region championship matchups, with two of the three on the road. Week 9’s Friday night could result in mass chaos in the POWER FIVE going into the final week of the regular season next week.
After this Friday’s play, we should know the first round of the AHSAA playoffs for the most part as region play concludes.
Here’s this week’s FNN POWER FIVE following Week 8 of the 2020 regular season.
1 – OXFORD YELLOW JACKETS
The Big O just keeps on rolling as they blasted Springville 69-6 for their 7th win of the 2020 regular season. The Jackets scored on all seven of their first half possessions with its longest drive consisting of just five plays. Oxford scored 49 points on just 23 plays. Higgins and company rolled up 473 yards of total offense, while the Tigers were held to only 139 yards. Oxford’s all-everything QB completed 10 of 13 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns. Higgins also rushed three times for 85 yards and two touchdowns. It was a performance that earned him FNN’s Harrison Sports Chiropractic Player of the Week. Higgins favorite target, Roc Taylor caught four passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns. And RB Keeshon Siosi continues to improve, picking up 88 yards on just five carries, adding a pair of touchdowns. Oxford faces their biggest test this week since their Week 1 trip to Pleasant Grove when the Jackets travel to Fort Payne this Friday the face the unbeaten in region play Wildcats. The winner will be the Class 6A, Region 7 champion.
2 – FYFFE RED DEVILS
The Class 3A top-ranked Red Devils ran their win streak to a state-best 38 games and improved to 8-0 overall this season and 5-0 in Region 7 play with an easy 51-7 thrashing of Geraldine this past Friday. Hunter Gillilan scored on runs of 7 and 11 yards and threw a 14-yard TD pass to Malachi Mize. Mize also scored on a 33-yard run. Kyle Dukes had a 9-yard TD run and an interception while Brody Hicks scored on runs of 8 and 48 yards. There’s not much to be said about the Red Devils…the only question is there anybody in 3A that can give this bunch a game? It’s not likely we’ll find out until at least Week 3 of the AHSAA playoffs. Fyffe hosts Asbury this Friday.
3 – ALEXANDRIA VALLEY CUBS
The Valley Cubs just keep beating up people. Last Friday it was the Moody Blue Devils that suffered the fate of facing the “Three-Headed Monster”. Alexandria’s offense was a fine-tuned machine against winless Moody, as the Valley Cubs roared out to a 48-6 halftime lead. “Mr 300” from last week, Ronnie Royal paced Alexandria, rushing for 114 yards on 12 carries. This sensational freshman scored on runs of 6, 5 and 12 yards. Royal also caught four passes for 50 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown pass from Wesley Wright. Javais McGhee wasn’t going to be left out of the action, scoring two touchdowns, one on a 41-yard catch from Wright and the second on a 33-yard scamper. Wright completed 10 of 19 for 189 yards. He also rushed for a touchdown from 3 yards out. Antonio Ross’ stats for the night included five catches for 64 yards and three carries for 32 yards. Luis Torres put Alexandria’s final points up with a 35-yard field goal. Alexandria travels to Homer Smiles Stadium in Leeds this Friday night to decide the 5A-Region 6 championship.
4 – WALTER WELLBORN
There’s not much you can say about the Panthers’ 69-0 win at home over Weaver this past Friday on “The Hill”. Wellborn handled it’s business early and often with the Panthers’ starters building a 50-0 lead after just one quarter. Wellborn finished the night with 468 yards of total offense. The Panthers added 19 points in the second quarter and it was 69-0 at the half. Now, it all comes down to this Friday’s showdown with the defending 3A state champions from Piedmont. The scenario is simple. If Wellborn wins, they’re the outright 3A-Region 5 champions. If Piedmont wins, it creates a three-way tie atop 3A-Region 5 and the Bulldogs would be the region champions based on tiebreaker points, with Wellborn finishing 2nd and Ohatchee 3rd. FNN will be at “The Hill” to spotlight this huge matchup in our Game of the Week.
5 – OHATCHEE INDIANS
Ohatchee scored on its first six possessions Friday night to defeat Pleasant Valley 39-8. The win kept the Indians in the Class 3A, Region 5 hunt…or at least for a tie in it. Ohatchee needs Wellborn to defeat Piedmont for the Indians to finish 2nd in the region so they can host in the first round of the AHSAA playoffs the first Friday in November. If Piedmont wins, Ohatchee will be relegated to finishing 3rd in the region and will have to travel in the first round. In the win this past Friday, Ohatchee rushed for 270 yards. RB Noah Fuller paced the Tribe with 80 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. QB Eli Ennis’ 41-yard sprint got Ohatchee’s third touchdown. It was the longest run of the game. Ennis had just two carries for 44 yards and did not play on offense after Ohatchee took a 27-0 in the second quarter. He finished 1 of 4 passing. Ohatchee finishes up region play this Friday when they travel to face winless Weaver. The “Creekbank Crazies” will definitely have an eye on the Piedmont/Wellborn score throughout the night.
FIRST TEAM OUT
The Bulldogs served notice Friday night that they’re ready for this week’s showdown at Wellborn by burying Hokes Bluff 40-7. Last year, the Panthers beat Piedmont 40-35 at home in regular-season region play. Piedmont avenged that loss in the 3A North semifinals, 41-7, and went on to win the 3A title. In Friday’s win over the Eagles, QB Jack Hayes passed for 261 yards and five touchdowns in the win. Over the past two weeks, Piedmont’s defense has been “lights out”, only allowing 7 points total in both wins. Hokes Bluff didn’t get a first down until midway through the 3rd quarter. Aside from Hayes’ strong performance passing, the running of Elijah Johnson appears to be coming around as well to complement the Piedmont offensive attack.
TEAMS WE’RE WATCHING
Handley, Lanett, and Westbrook Christian
That’s it for the post Week 8 FNN POWER FIVE. Look for the weekly poll to come out on most Sundays following each week’s action. Remember, we create the poll for fun and conversations…please don’t take it too seriously. You’re welcome to disagree with us in comments, but please keep them kind and give legitimate reasons why you see things differently. Again, the poll is about season POTENTIAL, not team vs team!
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