Brandon Miller's five prep football storylines to follow Friday night
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Sep 04, 2013 | 2889 views |  0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With Week 1 in the books, local high school football fans can turn their attention to the second week, which has bigger stakes because most teams open region play.

These games will help determine who makes the season-ending state playoffs and who stays at home.

With that in mind, here are five storylines to follow:

Can Wellborn rebound?

Losses always hurt, but Wellborn’s 37-14 loss against Saks last Friday was devastating.

Beyond the score, the Class 2A ninth-ranked Panthers simply didn’t play well. The offense was unable to get any kind of rhythm and three-and-outs were much more common than drives with at least one first down. The outcome showed when the Panthers dropped five spots in the weekly prep rankings.

Wellborn travels to Region 6 opponent Vincent on Friday in need of a good performance and a victory. The Panthers need the experience of playing true Wellborn football to move forward.

But Wellborn isn’t alone, even just in Region 6.

Ohatchee struggled against White Plains, only scoring six points despite having third-year tailback Tristian Allen back in the backfield. And Woodland, which was ranked 10th entering the season, was pounded by Bowdon (Ga.) 69-20 last Friday.

Even though it's just Week 2, this may it may be do-or-die time for these three.

Which Wildcats will roll?

Eyebrows were raised throughout the county when White Plains completed its 23-6 win over Ohatchee and Saks took care of business against Wellborn 37-14.

It’s not that people were surprised the two teams won, but the way they did it drew notice.

Following two outstanding performances on opposite ends of the county in Week 1, White Plains and Saks — both nicknamed Wildcats — meet in what should be an interesting showdown Friday. It’ll be a battle between Saks’ Tre Smith and Company vs. White Plains’ Johnny Bynum and the rest of the team to determine who the real Wildcats are, at least for now.

Is Lucas Anniston’s guy?

Welcome to Calhoun County, Donovan Lucas.

Anniston’s Lucas gave Greenville all it could handle and helped send the Tigers home with a loss Friday, as he ran for 178 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.

The standout performance immediately raises the question about whether Lucas is the go-to back for Anniston, which has plenty of athletic runners.

With strong back coming through Anniston recently, including Jacksonville State’s Troymaine Pope, who led Anniston to the Class 4A semifinals in 2011, Lucas has the chance to lead this Bulldogs team back to the playoffs.

Can JCA roll into history?

Jacksonville Christian’s 40-24 win over Class 1A, Region 7 opponent Woodville increased the Thunder’s win streak to three games, dating back to last season.

With a good Collinsville team next on JCA’s schedule, if coach Tommy Miller’s team is going to get to the next level of play, now is as good of a time as any.

Possibly even bigger than having its winning streak continue, JCA has a chance at history. The Thunder never have won four games in a row, including between seasons. Since 2002, JCA has won three games in a row seven times, but has never been able to get that fourth win.

Can anyone beat Piedmont?

Go ahead and mark down Cherokee County on the list of teams that tried and failed to hold the field with the Bulldogs.

It’s the same case with Piedmont every season, as the Bulldogs win in blowout fashion nearly every week. Class 3A’s third-ranked team will face good competition, especially Oct. 26 when it travels to No. 2 Leeds.

Then again, under coach Steve Smith, the Bulldogs have not lost a regular season game since 2010, and that’s not an accident. However, if there’s one game Piedmont should think long and hard about after the Leeds game, it’s Saks, which most likely will be for the Region 5 title.
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