College football has so much going for it and at times, it can have situations that makes it hard to understand.
Conversation coming out of the University of Florida on wanting to dismiss coach Jim McElwain in just his third season.
Regardless of how it happened, McElwain has led the Gators to consecutive SEC championship games vs. Alabama. Expectations were high going into 2017 that they would once again be heading to Atlanta in early December.
But things in Gainesville have come unraveled.
Florida suspended 10 players, including two starters for allegedly using a campus credit card illegally.
Then adding fuel to the fire, McElwain began the previous week claiming that his staff, players and himself had received death threats. Two days later, McElwain retracted his story.
The week concluded with a 42-7 drubbing by arch rival Georgia in the game that was well known for many years as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party."
Florida has gone from the top and has already crash landed at 3-4, 3-3 in the SEC and out of contention for the East title.
Now Florida administration is looking at dismissing McElwain following the Georgia game, using every avenue they have by written rules to avoid paying him $12.9 million to buy out his contract.
When I learned of the incident like everyone else earlier in the week, I had questions. When McElwain did not provide details of potential death threats and declined to turn it over to law enforcement for investigation, my take was a move by him to fire up his squad, knowing that Georgia was going to be difficult to beat.
The final numbers on the scoreboard Saturday in Jacksonville indicate that without much to say.
From my perspective, McElwain was insubordinate for this. You would think a person with his apparent intelligence wouldn't pull such a stunt in misleading people that at one time, believed in him.
Perhaps, he was desperate.
Take away the death threat issue, Florida has not been the typical team Gator fans and others following them, even in the last two years when they posted 19 wins and played Alabama in back to back years for the SEC championship.
A hail mary saved them against Tennessee, it took a late minute drive to avoid a 30-year win streak vs. Kentucky to continue, a missed extra point cost them overtime with LSU and a bad fourth quarter on offense sent them to a 19-17 loss in the Swamp to Texas A&M.
Florida administrators created the stir when reports had the incident to be enough in probable cause to pull the rug from underneath McElwain with four games left in the regular season.
Probable cause of an incident was similar in July when Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze reportedly used a school phone to contact an escort service. Freeze avoided getting dismissed by resigning.
McElwain was unethical. He put himself into a corner and may not get out of it.
But what makes it worse, a team has to start over in getting a new coach and trying to resurrect the program, even in one bad season.
There is more to this than we has been released. McElwain and the administrators are in opposite directions.
I can understand on if administration believes it was insubordinate for the alleged death threats. McElwain gave them the bullets and they would be the one to fire the final shot for his team at the Swamp.
McElwain is now on a list of at least half of the SEC coaches could be replaced with the majority of not living up to expectations.
Many of us see Butch Jones at Tennessee to be the first to be shown the door, Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M is back on thin ice after the Aggies got trampled 35-14 by Mississippi State Saturday night.
Bret Bielema from Arkansas is barely breathing, Barry Odom at Missouri and interim coach Matt Luke of Ole Miss need to finish strong in order to convince administrators to let them come back for at least another year.
And there is also Gus Malzahn at Auburn. His status is judged by keeping his Tigers near the top of the SEC West. He needs to win this week at A&M and victories vs. either Georgia or Alabama, or both and he will remain on the plains and not have to find work elsewhere.
Schools invest a lot of money into football and expect to get a lot out of it, for it being the king of financial survivor for an athletic program.
But when teams do not raise the level of performance to a school like the University of Alabama because of the work ethic of Nick Saban with many buying into his philosophy, they are considered second teer programs.
We will continue to monitor the Florida situation and look ahead to what we will be a furious month of football for November with the SEC championship just around the corner.
Doing what it takes to get the job done is what three local teams accomplished on the final Friday of October. Each did it in their own version.
Cullman controlled Brewer at the line of scrimmage and was effective offensively in shutting out the Patriots 24-0 at Oliver Woodard Stadium.
West Point got revived after falling behind 12-0 to Curry. The Warriors made adjustments and were able to acquire the momentum in defeating the Yellow Jackets 27-18 at Hudson/O'Rear Field.
Holly Pond established a running attack that featured nine different ball carries, 286 yards and four first half touchdown drives to power the Broncos past Vinemont 40-9 at Mark Smothers Stadium.
In the end, all locked up a berth to the 2017 Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) playoffs in their respective class. No need to be asking for assistance when you can get the job done yourself.
These three programs have their own story line for the season, which has at least two weeks remaining for them as they close out the regular schedule this week, then look ahead to a postseason game on the weekend of November 10.
Cullman has played well all season at home with it being special Friday evening in posting a shutout. The Bearcats have won four straight on the home turf after the season began with a heartbreaking 31-25 loss to arch rival Hartselle.
Then having to deal with head coach Mark Britton being diagnosed with kidney cancer in late September, the Bearcats have shown plenty of heart in winning two key games in the last two weeks of 6A, Region 7 with interim coach Mark Stephens to be a playoff qualifier for 15 of the last 17 years, all under Britton's command.
West Point has not been phased by getting on the bus five times in the fall, playing in Cullman, Marion, Walker and St. Clair counties. The Warriors accepted the challenge and have finished their road schedule undefeated.
Performing at a high rate away from home is significant for the Warriors to be a playoff team for the fourth consecutive year with Don Farley patrolling the sidelines.
And for a Holly Pond team that knew it would be young with lack of game experience, but prepped by hard work installed from their leader Mike Bates, the Broncos' youth movement, plus a change to the veer offense has produced six victories in nine games and a 3-3 record in 3A, Region 6.
The Broncos have gone from losing 29 straight to 12 wins in the last two seasons, still with an opportunity to add to the victory total.
Doing what it takes when asked to do so. Victory was so sweet for all three when time ran out in their games for the last Friday of the 10th month.
Each knows they have to raise the level if they are to remain on the gridiron after November 10.
The regular season concludes this week as Cullman travels to Chelsea, West Point hosts Lawrence County and Holly Pond visits Fairview. A chance to compile a 7-3 record is well in grasp for each. Going into the playoffs with a winning percentage of .700 has a good ring to it.
Cullman is scheduled to play Ramsay in the opening round of Class 6A, West Point will go to Brooks in 5A, while Holly Pond's playoff opponent has not been determined, due to a three-way tie for the lead in 3A, Region 8 between Lauderdale County, West Morgan and Colbert Heights.
West Point's contest will be playoff atmosphere with Lawrence County having to break a tie in 5A, Region 8 as they share a 3-4 region mark with Russellville and East Limestone. This game is crucial to Lawrence County with a victory to possibly help them in determining who will be the final qualifier in the region with Mae Jemison the champion, Brooks the runner-up and Lee-Huntsville in third place.
Lawrence County beat Russellville, but lost to East Limestone in regional play. Russellville knocked off East Limestone.
So this week, West Point will need to be ready for its rival from Moulton coming in with plenty to play for. The Warriors are trying to avoid four losses in front of the home fans after playing perfect in winning five road games.
Holly Pond is sitting in good position to get a 7-3 season for the first time and try to break a 10-game losing streak to rival Fairview. The Broncos have had the shortest road tour in 2017, playing at Blountsville, Hanceville, Vinemont with Fairview next on the agenda.
The game is huge for both, with George Redding in the position to be the winningest coach in Fairview history, if the Aggies continue their success vs. the Broncos. Fairview comes into the game with four consecutive setbacks and is 0-3 at Dafford Smith Stadium this year (not counting a jamboree loss to East Limestone).
Also to take a look at:
Good Hope at Hanceville - A losing streak will be over for the victor. Either it will be Good Hope stopping a four-game slide or Hanceville breaking a span of eight consecutive defeats.
Vinemont at Falkville - Eagles have a short drive on Highway 31 to Burl Vest Stadium, facing a Falkville crew that is part of a 3-way tie for the top spot in 2A, Region 7.
Danville at Cold Springs (Thursday) - Two squads who were winless in October, can say goodbye to 2017 football with a winning performance.
It doesn't seem possible that we have gone through another year of high school football. As it has been said, time flies when you are having fun.
Cullman 24, Brewer 0
Cullman 6-3, 4-2 in 6A, R 7
West Point 27, Curry 18
WP 6-3, 4-2 in 5A, R 6
Dora 35, Good Hope 7
GH 3-6, 1-5 in 4A, R 6
Springville 24, Fairview 0
FV 2-6, 0-6 in 5A, R 6
Cleveland 33, Cold Springs 0 (Thursday)
CS 1-8, 0-6 in 2A, R 7
Meek 36, Sumiton Christian 21
Meek 7-3, 3-3 in 1A, R 7
Falkville 20, Tanner 16
Falkville 6-3, 5-1 in 2A, R 7
FLASH NOTES: Cullman and West Point got the job done Friday night to finish 3rd in their respective region. The Bearcats concluded their regular season at Oliver Woodard Stadium with their fourth straight victory, plus a shutout in beating Brewer for the 25th time in 26 decisions.
This was the Bearcats' second win with interim coach Mark Stephens in command as Mark Britton continues to be treated for kidney cancer. The Bearcats have been a playoff participant in 15 of the past 17 years.
West Point erased a 6-0 deficit early by getting out to a 14-12 advantage after the first, leading 21-12 at the half and clinching the victory with an insurance score in the final quarter. The Warriors finish 5-0 on the road in the 2017 schedule and will be going to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season under Don Farley.
A banged up Good Hope was toppled by Dora while Fairview was shut out on the road in playing at Springville for the first time.
Cold Springs closed out 2A, Region 7 play Thursday night in a home loss to Cleveland. Cleveland is tied for the regional lead with Tarrant and Falkville at 5-1.
Meek ends the regular season by a victory that gives the Tigers fourth position in 1A, Region 7. Lynn's 27-13 win at Decatur Heritage Thursday puts the Bears as the regional champion with Addison claiming second place at 5-1.
The regular season is next week with some games on Thursday and on Friday, Cullman at Chelsea, Holly Pond at Fairview, Good Hope at Hanceville, Lawrence County at West Point, Vinemont at Falkville and Winston County at Addison.
Cullman County Cross Country Championship Meet
At Ray Talley Stadium - Hanceville
1. Quniton Chambers - Fairview 17:36
2. Aaron Brown - Hanceville 17:49
3. Conner Lowey - Holly Pond 18:02
4. CJ Lang - Cold Springs 18:10
5. Jonathan Collett - Cold Springs - 18:17
6. Trentan Williams - Cold Springs 18:18
7. Aaron Spurger - Cold Springs 18:38
8. Seth Walker - Cold Springs 18:52
9. Keegan Hardin - Fairview 18:57
10. Zachery Reynolds - Holly Pond 18:58
TEAM TOTALS: Cold Springs 30, Fairview 51, Holly Pond 64, Hanceville 97, West Point 138
1. Alex McDonald - Fairview 20:52
2. Abigail Kusz - Holly Pond 21:10
3. Camilla Chambers - Holly Pond 21:30
4. Ava Akridge - Cold Springs 21:35
5. Alyssa Jackson - Cold Springs 22:55
6. Brooke Crider - Cold Springs 23:08
7. Sadie Terry - Cold Springs 23:19
8. Carrington Chambers - Fairview 23:27
9. Breanna Tankersley - Holly Pond 24:01
10. Angelica Antibero - Fairview 24:11
TEAM TOTALS: Cold Springs 40, Fairview 42, Holly Pond 43,
1. Will Rhodes - Vinemont 12:16
2. Hunter Calvert - Cold Springs 12:22
3. Brodie Belcher - Cold Springs 12:57
4. Boston McDuffy - Vinemont 13:08
5. Logan Self - Good Hope 13:18
6. Colton Lindsey - Good Hope 13: 22
7. Austin Riddle - Vinemont 13:40
8. Zack Campbell - Hanceville 13:42
9. Kanaan Sutter - West Point 13:43
10. Matt Self - Good Hope 13:42
TEAM TOTALS: Good Hope 25, Hanceville 50, West Point 55
1. Bijou Phillips - Good Hope 14:16
2. Kendall Harbison - Vinemont 15:28
3. Addie Stripling - Good Hope 15:32
4. Hannah Shedd - West Point 16:11
5. Grace Lee - West Point 16:14
6. Tekoa Walker - West Point 17:20
7. Emily Bryan - Fairview 17:26
8. Amber Waldrep - West Point 17:45
9. Valerie Lee - West Point 17:46
10. Leslie Boren - West Point 18:08
TEAM TOTALS: West Point 25, Good Hope 36
FLASH NOTES: Cold Springs continued to control the county in winning its 14th straight county championship with the Lady Eagles reeling in their 12th in a row.
The meet was held for the first time on the campus at Hanceville High School with sunny skies and temperature around 70.
Fairview's Quinton Chambers and Alex McDonald soared to individual crowns in the varsity, continuing the excellence the pair have enjoyed throughout the 2017 campaign.
Cold Springs used good team efforts with the Eagles having their top five runners finish fourth through eight in creating distance between them and runner-up Fairview.
The Lady Eagles experienced the same effect, in a very close race with three points separating Cold Springs, Holly Pond and Fairview.
An experienced Cold Springs squad got tested by Holly Pond's young talent of Abigail Kusz and Camilla Chambers while Fairview had runners to finish 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th, keeping it close at the finish line.
The JV ran a shorter course of 2.5 miles with Will Rhodes of Vinemont coming six seconds ahead of Cold Springs' Hunter Calvert to win the championship.
Good Hope's Bijou Phillips finished a minute and 12 seconds in front of Kendall Harbison of Vinemont in the JV girls meet.
Now the varsity teams will prepare for the postseason with sectional meets to be next Thursday. Cold Springs and Fairview will host sectionals in their class plus other classifications.
Photo 1: Cold Springs Eagles 2017 Cullman County XC champions.
Photo 2: Cold Springs Lady Eagles 2017 Cullman County XC champions
Photo 3: Good Hope Raiders 2017 Cullman County JV XC champions.
Photo 4: West Point Lady Warriors 2017 Cullman County JV XC champions.
Photo 5: Cullman County 2017 champion Quinton Chambers of Fairview.
Photo 6: Cullman County 2017 girls champion Alex McDonald of Fairview.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Three fall sports in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) have hit the stretch run of their respective season.
There will be a variety to choose from for the final weekend in October in regards of following volleyball, cross country and football.
Volleyball steps up to the spotlight with the AHSAA North Regional in Huntsville at the Von Braun Center. Sixteen teams have qualified for the playoffs in the North section with eight champions and eight runners-up from areas 9 to 16.
Good Hope, Holly Pond and Addison go into the tournament as an area champion. Cold Springs, Fairview, Meek and St. Bernard earned a second place bid.
Here is the opening round of the AHSAA Volleyball North Regional:
2A: Cold Springs vs. Tanner Thursday 10:15 a.m.
2A: St. Bernard vs. Altamont Thursday 11:30 a.m.
4A: Good Hope vs. Sardis Thursday 12:45 p.m.
1A: Addison vs. Cherokee Thursday 2:00 p.m.
1A: Meek vs. Covenant Christian Thursday 3:30 p.m.
3A: Holly Pond vs. Elkmont Friday 11:30 a.m.
5A: Fairview vs. Lawrence County Friday 12:45 p.m.
The tournament will continue through Saturday with the top four teams from each classification qualifying for the AHSAA Tournament to be in Birmingham November 1-2.
Cullman County championship will be Thursday at Ray Talley Stadium in Hanceville.
11:00 a.m. - Jr girls
11:30 a.m. - Jr boys
12:00 p.m. - Varsity girls
12:30 p.m. - Varsity boys
Medals will be presented to the Top 10 finishers in each division along with team awards. Cold Springs is the defending varsity and varsity girls champions.
Regional play concludes the final Friday in October. Each game has a storyline with the stakes very high for the competitors.
Brewer @ Cullman - 6A, R 7: A victory for the Bearcats (5-3, 3-2) gives them 3rd place in the region. This is the Bearcats' final home game and the debut at Oliver Woodard Stadium for interim coach Mark Stephens. Cullman is 24-1 all time vs. Brewer with the Patriots (3-5, 0-5) only win coming in Cullman during the 1994 season.
Holly Pond @ Vinemont - 3A, R 6: Broncos face a repeat situation as they did at this time last year. A win against the Eagles and Holly Pond has a second straight playoff berth under Mike Bates. Broncos are 5-3, 2-3 with the Eagles 2-6, 1-4. Vinemont's two wins for rookie coach Stephen Robinson have been upsets at Mark Smothers Stadium vs. Hanceville (September 15) and Addison (September 29).
West Point @ Curry - 5A, R 6: Warriors on the verge of their fourth consecutive playoff berth in 5A. A win for Don Farley's squad gives them a third place finish behind Mortimer Jordan and Hayden in the region. Warriors are 5-3, 3-2 with the Yellow Jackets 4-4, 2-3. West Point is 4-0 as a road team with Curry posting a 3-1 record in home games in 2017.
Good Hope @ Dora - 4A, R 6: Raiders are out of the playoff chase, but can spoil Dora's quest for postseason if they go to Walker County and win. Dora is 3-2 heading to this week, but loses the tiebreaker to Haleyville (3-2) due to a 21-14 loss last week to the Lions. Cordova is 3-3 and done in the region. Fayette County has won the regional title as they are 5-0 and play Haleyville Friday. Good Hope is 1-4 in region play and 3-5 for the season.
Cleveland @ Cold Springs - 2A, R 7: Eagles find themselves in a playoff implication game at Cranford Stricklin Stadium. Cleveland (4-1) upset Tarrant 21-14 last week, handing Tarrant its first region loss (5-1). Tarrant is done for region play. Falkille takes a 4-1 region record to Tanner (2-3). Eagles trying to snap a 6-game losing streak. CS is 1-7, 0-5.
The game has been moved to Thursday.
Fairview @ Springville - 5A, R 6: Aggies trying to avoid a winless season in regional play. Fairview is 0-5 in the region with Springville 1-4. This is the Aggies' first ever visit to the Springville campus in St. Clair County.
Addison is idle this week, but the Bulldogs are paying close attention to Thursday's game between Lynn and Decatur Heritage at West Morgan High School.
Bulldogs have concluded 1A, Region 7 at 5-1 (7-2 overall). Lynn is 5-0 with Decatur Heritage 4-1, Lynn beat Addison earlier in the season 21-18 and has been in first place ever since. A win by Lynn would put Addison second in the region. A win by Decatur Heritage creates a three-way tie and the tiebreaking procedure would be applied.
All games will kick off at 7:00 p.m.
2A, Area 10:
Cold Springs defeats Tarrant 3-0 in semis
Altamont defeats Cold Springs 3-0 in championship
1A, Area 12:
Addison defeats Meek 3-1 in championship
2A, Area 13:
St. Bernard defeats Falkville 3-0 in semis.
Tanner defeats St. Bernard 3-0 in championship
6A, Area 13:
Brewer defeats Cullman 3-0 in semis
2A, Area 14:
Winston County defeats Lamar County 3-0 in championship.
6A, Area 11:
Jasper defeats Jackson-Olin 3-0 in championship.
FLASH NOTES: Cold Springs and St. Bernard join Good Hope in qualifying for the AHSAA North Regionals after finishing second in their respective area.
Two old foes from Winston County fought it off with Addison taking the 1A, Area 12 title over Meek. Addison is out to defend its 1A state title from 2016.
Cullman's season ended for first year coach Meagan Cagle in the 6A, Area 13 semis to the Brewer Lady Patriots.
Pairings for the North Regional in Huntsville at the Von Braun Center to be announced later.
Without any question, plenty is at stake for the final week of regional games in 2017 Alabama High School Athletic Association football.
Of six regionals involving teams covered by Sportspage, two have been decided in regards to regional champions. Fayette County has locked up the top spot in 4A, R 6 with Oxford doing the same in 6A, R 7.
But positioning is well up for grabs from the top spot all the way to the fourth team in each region we follow through the fall.
This is what we have in breaking down the final Friday of regional play for 2017.
2A, R 7:
Tarrant 5-1, Cleveland 4-1, Falkville 4-1, Tanner 2-3, Winston Co 2-3, West End 2-3, Cold Springs 0-5.
Friday: Cleveland @ Cold Springs, West End @ Winston Co, Falkville @ Tanner.
Cleveland upset Tarrant last week and will try to avoid an upset at Cranford Stricklin Stadium with Cold Springs. Falkville has a challenging visit to Tanner with Winston County seeking a win at home vs. West End. Tarrant has completed region play.
3A, R 6:
Fultondale 5-0, Pennington 4-1, Locust Fork 4-1, Holly Pond 2-3, Susan Moore 2-3, Vinemont 1-4, Hanceville 0-6.
Friday: Holly Pond @ Vinemont, Locust Fork @ Fultondale, Pennington @ Susan Moore.
Broncos control their own destiny with win at Vinemont. Eagles trying to be spoiler in final home game. Locust Fork visits undefeated Fultondale and a battle of Blount County rivals clash at Larry Patterson Field in Susan Moore. Hanceville is done with the region.
4A, R 6:
Fayette Co 5-0, Dora 3-2, Haleyville 3-2, Cordova 3-3, Winfield 2-3, Good Hope 1-4, Hamilton 1-4.
Friday: Good Hope @ Dora, Haleyville @ Fayette Co, Winfield @ Hamilton.
Good Hope can be an issue if Raiders put together a game plan that can take down Dora. Bulldogs lost to Haleyville last week that has bunched up the regional standings. Fayette County has clinched the top seed with four others playing for three berths. Cordova is done with its region schedule.
5A, R 6:
Mortimer Jordan 5-0, Hayden 4-1, West Point 3-2, Corner 3-3, Curry 2-3, Springville 1-4, Fairview 0-5.
Friday: West Point @ Curry, Mortimer Jordan @ Hayden, Fairview @ Springville.
A West Point win locks up 3rd place in the region. Mortimer Jordan and Hayden play for the regional title in Blount County. Corner is idle from the region this week.
6A, R 7:
Oxford 6-0, Pell City 4-1, Cullman 3-2, Albertville 2-3, Fort Payne 2-3, Southside 1-4, Brewer 0-5.
Friday: Brewer @ Cullman, Fort Payne @ Pell City, Southside @ Albertville.
Oxford is idle this week, having claimed the regional title, Pell City has clinched 2nd place with a 4-1 record. Cullman is looking to win and go to the playoffs 3rd in the region with Albertville owning the tiebreaker against Fort Payne. Fort Payne needs an upset and Albertville to lose to Southside.
Tiebreakers would apply if Cullman, Fort Payne and Albertville end at 3-3. Bearcats have wins over those two.
1A, R 7:
Lynn 5-0, Addison 5-1, Decatur Heritage 4-1, Meek 2-3, Sumiton Christian 2-3, RA Hubbard 0-5, Southeastern 0-5.
Thursday: Lynn vs. Decatur Heritage @ West Morgan HS.
Friday: Sumiton @ Meek, Southeastern @ RA Hubbard.
Addison will be pulling for a win from its rival out of Winston County, the Lynn Bears, in their game with Decatur Heritage. Addison is hoping to be 2nd, Bulldogs have a win over Decatur Heritage. Addison is idle from the region this week. Meek is looking to nail down the 4th seed in the region by defeating Sumiton Christian in Arley.
A Heritage win and the tiebreaker would apply with Heritage, Addison and Lynn all 5-1, beating up on one another.
The opening round of the AHSAA playoffs will be the weekend of November 10. The matchups will have Region 5 vs. Region 7 and Region 6 vs. Region 8 in Class 1A through 6A with the No. 1 seed playing No. 4 and No. 2 seed meeting No. 3. Higher seeds will have home field for first round.
It's plain and simple for the Cullman Bearcats, Holly Pond Broncos and West Point Warriors next week.
A victory will extend their season into the second weekend in November.
All control their own destiny with the final Friday of October ending the regional format in the 2017 AHSAA football season.
Cullman was the one that needed to win in Week 9 or face the wrath of a 15th playoff appearance in 17 seasons with Mark Britton in command would become questionable.
The Bearcats showed plenty of heart to go with effort in overcoming a 34-21 halftime deficit to defeat Southside-Gadsden 42-40 Friday night on the road.
Mark Stephens was inserted into the role as interim coach with Britton undergoing surgery for kidney cancer that was diagnosed in late September.
Cullman was coming off a heartbreaking 19-16 loss at Pell City on October 6 in double OT that dropped them from a potential second place finish in 6A, Region 7.
By taking down Southside, the Bearcats are 3-2 and have the third seed locked up as long as they prevail next Friday at Oliver Woodard Stadium vs. the Brewer Patriots.
Holly Pond was controlled at home by the superior team from 3A, Region 6 in Fultondale 55-14. Now the Broncos must regroup with a playoff berth hanging in the balance this week when Mike Bates and his squad invade Mark Smothers Stadium to meet the Vinemont Eagles.
Vinemont was hoping to remain alive for a playoff berth, but could not slow down Susan Moore and lost 55-21. Now the Eagles can create plenty of adventure for the final week of the region standings if they outperform Holly Pond. A Bronco loss and a Susan Moore upset of J.B. Pennington would sent Susan Moore in as the fourth seed from Region 6.
The Broncos last season won a tight game from the Eagles 27-22 that enabled them to punch a playoff berth for the first time since 2011. This time they travel in trying to clinch and also seeking a second consecutive six-win season under Bates after they had lost 29 consecutive games from 2013 to Week 9 of the 2015 season.
West Point returned to the winning side on Friday by a 37-0 shutout of Good Hope. The Warriors' success in 2017 has been demonstrated by winning away from West Point Stadium.
Don Farley's squad is 4-0 in road assignments, closing out 5A, Region 6 play this week with a journey into Walker County to play Curry. The Warriors are 3-2 in the region with Curry 2-3. Corner has completed its region format, finishing 3-3 with West Point getting them in the tiebreaker by a 49-42 win on September 22.
Corner defeated Curry a couple of weeks ago with the simple task of win and a game for November 10 will be added to the schedule.
Winning all road games in one season is a great accomplishment, especially when a ball club had to put new running backs into the lineup after Cameron Moore and Alex Hernandez graduated following the 2016 season.
Hunter Persall has been nothing short of quality, rushing for 876 yards in four games covered by Sportspage so far this fall.
Word was Persall got banged up by a physical Mortimer Jordan unit the week before and ran only one time in the second half in a game the Warriors fell 41-7 to drop them into third place.
Persall went to work against Good Hope, saving his best with an 87-yard dash down the left sidelines, leaving Raider tacklers behind as he had 131 yards in the second quarter, 182 by the break and helped his team get control of the game, turning a 7-0 advantage to 24-0 at halftime.
The Warriors accomplished their first shutout since a 49-0 blanking of Hanceville in the middle of the 2015 season. West Point's defense has been good in 2017, surrendering just 34 points in four games on the road. Hamilton scored 13 against the Warriors in the opener, then West Point allowed Springville one touchdown and Fairview accounted only 14 points during their homecoming with the Warriors two weeks ago.
West Point is on the verge of its fourth consecutive winning season for Farley and being a playoff qualifier in the same process. The Warriors have been averaging at least four wins in regional play per season since 2014 and have conquered at least six opponents per schedule. The Warriors were without a winning campaign between 2009 to 2013 and have rededicated themselves by having a stout running attack and hard hitting defense in the last four years.
Holly Pond and West Point can celebrate clinching a playoff berth in 2017 by winning this week as road teams. Holly Pond is at Vinemont to end 3A, Region 6 with West Point going down to Curry for a 5A, Region 6 encounter.
Cullman has Brewer coming to campus for the finale in 6A, Region 7. The Bearcats have won three straight on the home turf after opening the season in a 31-25 setback to arch rival Hartselle.
Brewer is undefeated outside the region, but winless in five games in Region 7, now having to come from down in Florette and try and take down the emotionally driven Bearcats.
Elsewhere for Week 10;
Fairview plays at Springville, trying to avoid a winless slate in 5A, Region 6. The Aggies are 0-5 and 2-5 for the season. This will be their final road game in 2017.
Good Hope heads to Dora. The game looms large for Dora after the Bulldogs lost to Haleyville 20-14 Friday. Dora is 3-2 along with Haleyville, while Cordova has closed out region play at 3-3. Winfield is 2-3, waiting to play at Hamilton next week with Dora going from possible finishing second in the region to being knocked out of the playoff picture if the Raiders put together a solid effort and win in Walker County.
A concern for the Raiders is starting QB Bailey Quick had an apparent shoulder injury in the West Point game and RB/LB Matt Dixon left in the fourth quarter with a twisted ankle.
Cleveland comes to Cold Springs, knowing they could be the No. 1 seed in 2A, Region 7 with a win after the Panthers upset Tarrant 21-14, knocking them from the ranks of unbeaten in the region.
Cleveland is 4-1, Tarrant has finished region play at 5-1 and Falkville is 4-1 with a trip to Tanner this week. Cold Springs played hard with Tanner, but fell 28-14 when the Rattlers produced two touchdowns in the final quarter to snap an even score.
Hanceville has the week off. Bulldogs have gone through eight consecutive losses. They will conclude the season November 3 meeting Good Hope at Ray Talley Stadium.
Photo of Cullman shaking hands with Southside-Gadsden after 42-40 win Friday night.
Photo by Cullman High School.
Week 9 local football:
Cullman 42, Southside-Gadsden 40
Cullman 5-3, 3-2 in 6A, R 7
Bearcats rally from 34-21 halftime deficit in getting a victory for interim coach Mark Stephens. Cullman can clinch 3rd place in Region 6 next Friday with a victory at Woodard Stadium against Brewer.
Hayden 34, Fairview 21
Fairview 2-5, 0-5 in 5A, R 6
Aggies unable to upset Hayden at Dafford Smith Stadium, allowing the Wildcats to clinch at least second in the regional standings. Aggies are 0-5 in the region and 0-3 at home in 2017.
Susan Moore 55, Vinemont 21
Vinemont 2-6, 1-4 in 3A, R 6
Eagles eliminated from the playoff chase. Vinemont can be a spoiler to Holly Pond next week when the Broncos visit Mark Smothers Stadium.
Fultondale 55, Holly Pond 14
Holly Pond 5-3, 2-3 in 3A, R 6
Broncos fall to the undefeated Wildcats in their last game at Thomas-Michelfelder Field for the season. Broncos 4-2 in home games. They play at Vinemont next week, end the regular season visiting Fairview November 3.
Tanner 28, Cold Springs 14
Cold Springs 1-7, 0-5 in 2A, R 7
Eagles tied the game at 14-14 in the 4th quarter before Tanner scored twice to head home with a hard fought victory.
Locust Fork 48, Hanceville 24
Hanceville 1-8, 0-6 in 3A, R 6
Bulldogs unable to slow down the Hornets in the second half. Locust Fork outscores Hanceville 34-12 in final two quarters after it was a 14-12 game at halftime. Bulldogs finish Region 6 winless.
Cullman County Volleyball Tournament - Tuesday
At Felton Easterwood Gymnasium - Holly Pond
#4 West Point defeats #5 Holly Pond 26-24, 25-22
#1 Fairview defeats #3 Good Hope 25-23, 17-25, 15-10
#3 Good Hope defeats #4 West Point 23-25, 25-18, 15-9
#1 Fairview defeats #3 Good Hope 25-17, 25-20
TIME OF CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: 0:37
FLASH NOTES: Repeating as Cullman County volleyball tournament champion was not going to be easy for Fairview.
No. 3 seed Good Hope forced them into a tiebreaking set during the winner's bracket final. Fairview was able to put together efficient plays down in crunch time to win the third set 15-9 and send Good Hope into the elimination bracket.
Good Hope got involved in a hotly-contested battle with No. 4 West Point. It would be the third time this season these two would settle the outcome in a tiebreaking set.
West Point clinged to victory in game one then Good Hope got in a roll and forced game three that went down to the wire.
The Lady Raiders pulled it out 15-9 and moved in to the title bout with Fairview, playing on pure emotion.
After a brief rest, the Lady Raiders were back on the floor at Easterwood Gym and would cap off the day playing eight games.
Facing fatigue, Good Hope did what it could to battle through it, knowing a victory in this segment would force the if necessary match.
But playing with pride and poise, Fairview was able to pull out two hard fought assignments in a span of 37 minutes.
McKinna Yearwood rolled off a couple of service points in game one that raised the Fairview lead to 15-6. Three consecutive service points by Marrissa Donohoo pushed the margin to 21-12 as Good Hope got a service break and narrowed the deficit to 23-17 behind a kill and a service point from Kate Kent.
But the momentum went back to Fairview's side thanks to a kill by Tess Bailey and a kill by Yearwood to end the first set on a serve from Micah Means.
Yearwood again raised her level of play, sending Fairview to a 12-7 lead, breaking a tie with five consecutive points on serve.
Good Hope was down but not out. A kill from Leyton Seal off an assist from Abby Knight had the Lady Raiders in striking distance at 21-18. Fairview answered on a point by a volley from Ally Hogeland and it was 23-19.
A service point was scored for Good Hope from Skylar Tucker and the Lady Raiders were back within three at 23-20.
Then Good Hope got called for being in the net, giving Fairview a point and the chance to serve and close out the match.
Alivia Boyll executed a good serve and good help from a block at the net by Katie Ball to complete the sweep and win the championship, being the first to compile back-to-back county titles since Holly Pond did it in 2010 and 2011.
TOURNAMENT MVP: McKinna Yearwood - Fairview
SAMANTHA PERDUE AWARD WINNER: Emma Chambers - Cold Springs
COACHES ALL-COUNTY TEAM:
COLD SPRINGS: Anna Kate Voce, Emma Chambers
FAIRVIEW: McKinna Yearwood, Alivia Boyll, Abbi Taylor, Ally Hogeland
GOOD HOPE: Kate Kent, Chrissi Smith
HOLLY POND: Presley Marks, Antonia Smith
VINEMONT: Rachel Hall
WEST POINT: Molly Pendley, Lexi Shadix, Mackenzie Carter
SPORTSPAGE ALL-PERFORMANCE TEAM (From the tournament)
MVP: McKinna Yearwood of Fairview
Abby Taylor, Ally Hogeland, Alivia Boyll of Fairview
Kate Kent, Chrissi Smith, Abby Knight of Good Hope
Mackenzie Carter, Molly Pendley, Lexi Shadix of West Point
Antonia Smith of Holly Pond
Photo 1: Coaches All-County team
Photo 2: Tournament MVP McKinna Yearwood of Fairview
Photo 3: Samantha Perdue winner Emma Chambers of Cold Springs with
Superintendent Shane Barnette
Photo 4: Good Hope Lady Raiders, 2017 County runner-up
Photo 5: Fairview Lady Aggies, 2017 County volleyball champions.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton