It hasn’t been an easy season for Clarkdale, as the Bulldogs dropped their latest game to Heidelberg 38-14 last week.
Hunter Vick scored both Bulldog touchdowns last week and added a two-point conversion to his night. Now, Clarkdale turns its attention to non-regional foe St. Patrick out of Biloxi, which shares a similar record as the Bulldogs at 2-6 overall, 0-3 in regional play. (Clarkdale, by contrast, is 2-7 overall but also 0-3 in its region.)
While a playoff berth appears unlikely for Clarkdale, head coach Wes Roy has a simple message for his team this week during practice.
“Keep working and finish strong,” Roy said via text message.
The Warriors remained unbeaten on the season at 8-0 with a 46-0 win against Gunn Christian Academy out of Birmingham, Ala.
The game actually ended at halftime after Gunn Christian decided to leave during the break. Despite the shortened game, quarterback Drew Taylor was able to put up big numbers, going 5 of 6 in passing for 146 yards and four touchdowns, while also tallying 11 tackles on defense at his middle linebacker position. Brayden Price and Taylor Wood each scored a touchdown for RCA, and Caleb Taylor had two touchdowns.
RCA has one more regular-season game at New Life Christian out of Millbrook, Ala., Friday before it hosts a playoff game Oct. 27. If it wins that game, it would play for the Alabama Christian Education Association eight-man football championship Nov. 3 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“We’re telling them we can’t look ahead,” Warriors head coach Chad Eaves said. “We have to take care of business Friday night, and then we’ll get to host a playoff game here.”
After a 48-21 win against Copiah Academy last week, Lamar (7-3, 2-0) has district wins against the Colonels and East Rankin Academy, meaning Lamar will make the playoffs no matter what.
Now, the quest to secure a first-round bye comes into play. If Lamar defeats Simpson Academy (6-3, 2-0), the Raiders will win the South and get a first-round bye. If not, Lamar’s playoff seeding would then be determined by power points.
“My gut feeling is, we’re going to see Simpson again (in the postseason),” Raiders head coach Mac Barnes explained. “The way it is, I don’t think (the bye) is as critical as I’ve looked at it the past couple of years. It just gives you extra rest. The best teams are from the South from a power point standpoint, so the North team will get the No. 2 seed, but it won’t be the No. 2 team. … It’s a unique situation. The bottom line is, if we win Friday, we take care of it.”
The main focus right now for the coaches is eliminating mistakes and trying to stay healthy. Simpson Academy runs the split back veer offense, which is different than anything the Raiders have seen in the last few seasons, Barnes said.
“We don’t want to beat ourselves,” Barnes said. “When we play well, we have a pretty good football team. We didn’t play great at Copiah, but since the second half of the game against Heritage, we’ve won six in a row. We’ve gotten to where we’re playing pretty good football and are finally healthy, but with four or five weeks left in the season, anything can happen from that standpoint.”