GHS vs. Luverne tops games this week

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 6, 2000

Sports Editor

Here’s a short preview of the opponents Pike County teams will be facing this week.

Luverne at Goshen

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AHSAA Hall Power Ranking: Luverne (3A) 40, GHS (2A) 7

After winning a few state titles in the late 90s, the Luverne Tigers have fallen on hard times.

Last year, head coach Butch Norman’s team suffered through a 2-9 record, which was just good enough to earn them a brief apperance in the AHSAA Class 3A state playoffs.

As it was, the Tigers earned that playoff spot by defeating the Goshen Eagles.

For the last 14 years the Tigers have gotten the best of Goshen. The Eagles last win over the Tigers was in 1986.

This season, it appears Goshen should be able to exact a measure of revenge against Luverne. The Eagles defeated Billingsley last week 54-0, while Luverne fell to Highland Home 40-8.

But then again this is a rivalry game and all bets are off.

Luverne lost Dee Crittenden to gradutation. Crittenden gave the Eagles fits last season running the ball. Junior Justin Moody returns to lead the Tigers’ offense and was an effective quarterback last season, although his strength is in running the football and making good decisions. Moody won’t be called on to win games through the air.

The real battle will be between the Goshen offense and the Luverne defense. The Eagles have proven they can put up points in a hurry. Goshen tailback Dee Brundidge’s first three touches of the game last week resulted in touchdown runs of 45, 58 and 84 yards.

If the junior speedster gets going like that against Luverne it could be a long night for the Tigers.


Pike Liberal Arts School at Greenville Academy

AISA Hall Power Ranking: PLAS (3A) 13, Greenville Academy (2A) 18

This game has been moved to Thursday night and on paper it looks like the Patriots should pick up their first win of the season.

After a 10-0 1996 season, which saw the Torndaos come close to winning the AISA Class 2A state championship, Greenville Academy has dropped down in respectabilty. Like PLAS, they are a team searching a for a much needed victory.

The Tornados are coached by Steve Whittington.Whittington took over the head coaching job last season and posted a 1-9 record. GA opened this year with two straight losses to strong South Montgomery County Academy and last week to Sparta.

The key for the Patriots will be not to make mistakes. PLAS suffered 5 turnovers last week against Mobile Christian.


Opp at Charles Henderson High School

AHSAA Hall Power Ranking: Opp (4A) 8, CHHS (5A) 26

The Trojans get the Class 4A No. 6 team in the state to open the 2000 season. Opp was a playoff caliber team last year and defeated St. James on Friday in a 14-7 defensive contest.

The Trojans have had two weeks to work on a game plan for the Bobcats, who are led by running back Robert Justice and quarterback Allen Burgess.

CHHS defeated Opp 18-13 last season and the Bobcats will have revenge on their mind for this season.

The play of the Charles Henderson offense will be a major factor in this game. Running backs Terrill Smith and Felix Soloman will have their hands full against what appears to be an impressive Bobcat defensive front.


Lanett at Pike County

AHSAA Hall Power Ranking: Lanett (3A) 23 , Pike County (3A) 8

Both Lanett and Pike County suffered close losses last week with the Panthers falling to Beauregard 14-13 and the Bulldogs losing a shoot out to Eufaula 34-33.

This will be the first regional game for both PCH and Lanett which makes this a critical contest.

Lanett is led by quarterback Tommy Holloway who tossed a TD pass and also returned a punt for a touchdown last week against Beauregard. Josh Calhoun, (6-2, 270), leads a solid Panthers’ defensive unit.

Pike County will have the benefit of playing this game at home, but with depth being a major concern, the Bulldogs will have to put points on the board early and often.