For some Dothan Eagle high school football coverage teams, this week is the start of region play. For some, it’s an opening week of the season and for others, it’s another week of non-region games.
The second week of the high school football season has a little bit of everything on the schedule.
Twelve local Alabama High School Athletic Association teams begin region play after being lumped into a nine-team region this year by the AHSAA compared to the traditional eight-team region. There are three nine-team regions in the Wiregrass – Class 7A, Region 2, Class 3A, Region 2 and Class 1A, Region 2.
Area teams playing regional openers this week include Dothan and Enterprise in Class 7A and Ashford, Daleville, Houston Academy, New Brockton, Opp, Pike County and Providence Christian in Class 3A and Elba, Kinston and Houston County in 1A.
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Start: For eight area teams, the season opener arrives this week. All eight either played a jamboree or left last week.
The eight season openers are Eufaula, Rehobeth, Pike County, Slocomb, Cottonwood, Geneva County and Zion Chapel.
Non-Regional Games: Area teams in Class 5A, Region 2, Class 4A, Region 2 and both Classes 2A, Region 2 and Region 3 have another non-region week.
Those AHSAA area teams that have non-region games for the second straight week are Carroll, Headland, Dale County, Geneva, Ariton, Goshen and Barbour County.
Inactive this week: After playing a season opener, Samson enjoys an early week. The Tigers, who lost last week to Kinston 34-12, return to action next week at GW Long.
Thursday Night Lights: For the second straight week to start the season, Northside Methodist has a Thursday night game, but this time the Knights are on the road as they visit Cottonwood.
Interestingly, it is the fifth straight Thursday game in the last year for Northside Methodist – the last four against teams from Houston County with three of them on the road. They finished last season with back-to-back Thursday games against Daleville at Rip Hewes Stadium (won 48-6) before traveling to Rehobeth (lost 32-8) and Ashford (won 12-8). They opened this season last Thursday by defeating Houston County 42-20 at Rip Hewes.
The private Dothan school has to share city stadiums with Dothan and Houston Academy and thus has to play on Thursdays several times a year. This is the second of four scheduled Thursday games for the NMA, which has two more in October.
Since their inaugural football season in 2015, Northside Methodist is 6-10 in Thursday night games, including 2-3 last year and 0-4 in 2020.
Battle of the state-ranked teams: Two games involving Wiregrass teams this week feature a battle of state-ranked clubs, including one at Wildcat Stadium in Enterprise of a state playoff rematch from last year.
In Enterprise, the host Wildcats (1-0), ranked No. 7 in the state, welcome No. 2 ranked Auburn (1-0) for a Class 7A, Region 2 contest. A year ago, the teams meet in the second round of the state playoffs with Auburn winning 56-21.
The other top 10 battles Ariton at Highland Home, two teams ranked in Class 2A. Ariton (1-0) is ranked No. 4, while Highland Home (1-0) is No. 5. The Flying Squad reached the state semifinals last season.
Against a ranked enemy: In addition to Enterprise and Ariton, five other area teams face a ranked team this week – Slocomb, New Brockton, Houston County, Kinston and Lakeside School.
Houston County has one of the toughest assignments facing Class 1A-ranked Brantley. 1A member, Region 2 member Kinston meets no. 5, Elba, while Slocomb plays Class 2A No. 7 GW Long and New Brockton faces 3A, no. 8 Opp. In AISA action, Lakeside plays No. 4 Macon-East.
Opening Night Earnings: Kinston, Seminole County (Ga.), Headland and Goshen enjoyed an opening night win last week for the first time in years.
Kinston and Seminole County won home openers for the first time since 2017, while Headland and Goshen both picked up their first home opener win since 2019. Kinston beat Samson 34-12, Seminole County beat Kendrick 28-12, Headland beat Geneva 38-26 and Goshen beat Daleville 38-19 for opening wins last week.
ACA enters the second part: After a scoreless first half, Abbeville Christian cruised to a 21-0 season-opening win at Coosa Valley Academy on Friday.
Cal Knighton and Connor Hutto connected on a 55-yard scoring pass, Javion Turner scored on a 2-yard run and Justin Murphy completed a 25-yard TD pass to Cole Goodson. Goodson converted all three extra kicks into points.
Murphy led the ACA offense with 99 yards rushing, while Knighton threw for 67 yards with Hutto catching three passes for 93 yards as ACA used two QBs. Defensively, John David Meadows and Rylan Wilson each had a fumble recovery.
Seminole County wins: Devin Gale rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns, Kamauri Johnson 90 yards with a TD and Lavarius Hutchens for 71 and a score to lead Seminole County to a 28-12 victory over Kendrick on Friday in Columbus, Ga.
Defensively, Ry’Shawn Brown had 13 tackles, including six solo and two quarterback sacks and a tackle for a loss. Hilton Newsome added eight tackles for a loss.
Players honored by the AHSAA: Three players from Abbeville and two from Ariton and Houston Academy were honored in the first AHSAA Prep Spotlight of the season for the game last week.
Abbeville’s three honorees were Wauntavious Conley, Ku’Juan Kinsey and Zander Peterman. In last week’s 26-0 win over Beulah, Conley rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries and had eight tackles and one fumble recovery, while Kinsey had 16 tackles and two fumble recoveries and Peterman had 13 tackles, including two center backs. bags and a means of loss.
Ariton’s Ian Senn and Jordan Smith combined for 610 yards and eight touchdowns in the Purple Cats’ 60-28 win over Dale County. Senn was 15-of-23 passing for 295 yards and five touchdowns and added 33 yards rushing, while Smith rushed for 241 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries and had 41 yards receiving.
Houston Academy’s Kadyn Mitchell threw for 164 yards on 10-of-14 passing with two scores and rushed for 78 yards on just four carries, while teammate Will Wells caught seven passes for 135 yards and two TDs in the Raiders’ 28-0 win over Raiders. Wicksburg.
Jaxon Williams of Headland and Alvin Henderson of Elba were the other area Prep Spotlight honorees. Williams had 186 rushing yards and three touchdowns and was also 8 of 10 passing for 29 yards in the Rams’ 38-26 win over Geneva. Henderson rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries in the Tigers’ 40-8 win over New Brockton.