CHHS to take seventh straight, Bulldogs will also win

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 11, 2001

Sports Editor

I had a nice trip to Miami last week to watch Troy State play the Hurricanes but if you think the terrorist attacks that happened on Sept. 11 haven’t affected our entire nation, then you’ve never been sitting in the press box of Orange Bowl Stadium while passenger planes soar over your head.

Miami’s International Airport isn’t too far from the stadium. Some of those commercial flights would come flying in lower then others and in the back of my mind I couldn’t help thinking what would happen if those planes suddenly took a nose dive toward the 50-yard line.

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Anyway, I’ll be in Starkville this weekend to check out the Trojans and Mississippi State, so I’ll miss some great high school action. Here’s my picks for this week.

Greenville at CHHS: The Tigers are 3-3 and 2-0 in region play, which makes this a big one for them as well as the Trojans (6-0, 3-0 region). GHS head coach Alvin Briggs has said "he’ll match-up his defense against anybody," and you can believe the first-year head coach on that one. After dropping the first three games of the year by close scores, the Tigers rebounded with a win over Southside, followed by an upset of Stanhope-Elmore and last week’s 25-0 victory over Carroll-Ozark. The win over the Mustangs came in three overtimes and while Stanhope appears to be nowhere as good as they have been, that victory by the Tigers raised some eyebrows in Troy.

I mean, facts is facts. Stanhope has owned CHHS on the football field in the last 20 years. You’d think those folks up in Millbrook would finally be satisfied after the Trojans knocked Stanhope out of the playoffs in 1980 and proceeded to win the state title, wouldn’t you? Not.

Getting back to the game on Friday, the Tigers’ defense is tough, but so are the Trojans. These kids flat out fly to the football. They gang tackle. They hit. Fred Jones, Chaz Richards and the rest can pop shoulder pads with the best of them. What CHHS lacks in size, it makes up for in speed.

And Greenville hasn’t faced a more versatile offense then CHHS before. They’ve got four quality running backs and two quality quarterbacks. Roderick Burden steps under center and you don’t know where the ball is going. He throws. He keeps. He hands off. As fast as Burden is, he could probably snap the ball, scoot up to the concession stands to help sell peanuts, and be back on the field before the play was blown dead. He’s that talented.

Sounds like I’m leaning toward CHHS, doesn’t it? Sounds like you’re right.

Greenville 7, CHHS 18

Calhoun at Pike County: What’s the deal with the Bulldogs scheduling all of these basketball teams? Oh, that’s right. Calhoun’s in their region. This will be the second team this year Pike County has faced, whose basketball squad won a state title last season (the other being Barbour County in 2A). After last week’s payback 41-0 win over then-No. 3 in 1A Courtland, you would have expected the Bulldogs to make a significant gain in the Class 3A rankings on Tuesday. Not so. PCHS received just two votes, one of those from yours truly. Talk about being dissed. But Wayne Grant relishes the opportunity of playing outside of the spotlight. That makes it easier for the ‘Dogs to sneak up on people. Come November, they could be sneaking into Birmingham for state championship.

Calhoun 6, Pike County 35

Goshen at Straughn: Straughn’s top runner from last season Derrick Florence was booted off the team in the spring. Likewise with Goshen’s top rusher Dee Brundidge. These two teams battled it out for the No. 1 spot in Class 2A Region 3 last year and while Straughn appears to have recovered from the loss of Florence, the Eagles haven’t recovered from losing all of their starters on the offensive line to graduation. The Tigers have the inside track to win the region for the second straight year with a victory already over powerful Highland Home, but a Goshen upset would have the people in Crenshaw County doing cartwheels.

Goshen 18, Straughn 28

Pike Liberal Arts at Macon-East: Another road trip to a top ten AISA team is definitely not something to look forward to for the Patriots. The defending Class 2A state champs appear to be headed back to Troy this year for the AISA’s "Triple Championship." Pike Lib will have to salvage their season at home the next two weeks against Hooper and Dixie.

PLAS 24, Macon-East 38

And back by popular demand for the second straight week, this Friday night’s game "which means absolutely nothing to anyone reading this column."

Fyffe at Crossville: Fyffe is ranked No. 4 in Class 2A, which you wouldn’t expect from a school named after Don Knotts’ namesake on the "Andy Griffith Show". Look for the Barney’s of Fyffe to nip Crossville in their collective buds.

Fyffe 21, Crossville 15