Judging by last week’s sparkling 5-0 record, I’d say so. But the high school football season is marathon and not a sprint.
Each week, things get a little tougher, and boy, are there some crucial games this week. All six games on the slate are region battles, and those are the ones that matter most.
So, without further ado, let’s see how our teams will do in Week 2.
Collinsville (1-0) at Jacksonville Christian (1-0): C.J. was more than just OK for the Collinsville Panthers last week. Jones completed 7 of 10 passes for 134 yards and four touchdowns in the Panthers’ 38-13 win over Coosa Christian on Thursday.
Jacksonville Christian also got a clutch performance from its signal caller, sophomore Daylon Brackett. He only completed two passes, but both went for touchdowns in the Thunder’s 15-12 win over Woodville.
Brackett’s best days are still ahead of him, but the future is now for Jones. He’ll have another outstanding outing for the Panthers this Friday ... Collinsville 42, Jacksonville Christian 14.
Cedar Bluff (1-0) at Valley Head (0-1): The Tigers were certainly clicking on all cylinders Friday, particularly running back Robert "Bam" Henderson.
Henderson rushed for 113 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns in Cedar Bluff’s 42-0 thrashing of Gaylesville.
A much-improved Valley Head team awaits the Tigers this week. Valley Head gave Donoho all it could handle before ultimately falling to the Falcons 30-28.
Things may be close for a little while in this one, but I see Cedar Bluff pulling away with a big win in the end ... Cedar Bluff 35, Valley Head 14.
Spring Garden (1-0) at Gaylesville (0-1): Spring Garden senior running back Forrest Livingston is at it again. Against Fayetteville, Livingston had 22 carries for 181 yards and four TDs in the Panthers’ 34-17 victory over Fayetteville.
But as I said in last week’s column, the Panthers are more than just a one-back show. Junior running back Tyler Morgan also rushed for over 100 yards last week, and junior quarterback Will Ivey is a threat to throw now.
The Trojans had a tough outing last week at Cedar Bluff, but controlled the ball for the majority of the first quarter before penalties and mistakes did them in. Coach Brian Clowdis remarked to me following that game things will change, and I believe him.
However, I think Spring Garden might just have a little too much in the backfield for the Trojans to handle ... Spring Garden 28, Gaylesville 21.
Gaston (0-1) at Sand Rock (1-0): Sand Rock junior quarterback Dylan Mackey had a breakout performance last week at Pisgah. He did a little of everything for the Wildcats in their 31-19 victory. He completed 7 of 12 passes for 125 yards, rushed for 90 yards on 10 carries with two scores and booted a 30-yard field goal in the Wildcats’ 31-19 victory at Pisgah on Friday.
Here’s thinking he’ll help Sand Rock win again this week at home against Gaston ... Sand Rock 34, Gaston 17.
Piedmont (1-0) at Ashville (1-0): Congratulations go out to Piedmont head coach Steve Smith. He picked up his 150th victory in the Bulldogs’ 45-21 victory over Cherokee County Friday.
I know we’re only one game through the new season, but Smith is going to get plenty more wins if the Bulldogs play as sharply as they did last week.
This week, the defense will be tested by one of the state’s top quarterback prospects in 6-foot-4, 220-pound Ashville junior quarterback E.J. Moss. Moss led Ashville to a 25-21 victory over Springville last week.
I think Piedmont will be up for the challenge ... Piedmont 36, Ashville 21.
Cherokee County (0-1) at Alexandria (0-1): Things went about as bad as they could last week for the Warriors in their loss at Piedmont. Penalties, turnovers, giving up big plays ... you name it, and it seemed to happen to against Cherokee County.
Now another tough road test awaits in another longtime rival Alexandria. The Valley Cubs are also reeling from their 27-14 setback at Etowah, so this is essentially an early-season must-win for both, especially since it’s a region game.
The Warriors and Valley Cubs have played some memorable games in the past, and I expect this one will be another classic in their rivalry. Here’s thinking the Warriors will correct a lot of those mistakes they made at Piedmont and come out of Death Valley with a hard-fought win ... Cherokee County 31, Alexandria 27.