Thompson, Pelham remain in latest football poll

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

For the second consecutive week the Thompson Warriors and Pelham Panthers were both ranked in the state’s ASWA high school football poll.

While Thompson has been the top-ranked team in Class 7A the entire season, last week marked the first time in the top 10 for the Panthers this season.

Now, the county has two teams ranked for consecutive weeks for the first time all season with the Warriors still at No. 1 going into their matchup with No. 2 Hoover and the Panthers No. 9 in the 6A classification ahead of a matchup with Chilton County where they’re hoping to finish region play undefeated.

When the rankings were released on Tuesday, Oct. 20, Thompson was unbeaten at 9-0 so far this season coming off another dominant performance against an Oak Mountain team that has flirted with the top 10 all season as well.

Thompson beat the Eagles 49-21 thanks in large part to the defense scoring on two scoop-and-score fumble recoveries in the final three minutes of the first half.

That kept the Eagles from scoring, while also padding the Warriors’ lead, taking the game from what could have been a one or two score contest at the break to being too much to overcome.

That is what has made the Warriors so dangerous this season. The offense has so many weapons and is averaging more than 40 points per game, but the defense is also getting better each week and is the best it’s been in years giving up 14 points per game.

Pelham has also had similar success offensively this season behind Dylan Peterson, Gabe Gamble, Darius Copeland, Will Lankford and others.

They’re scoring 35.8 points per game and have scored 34 or more in five straight games heading into the matchup with the Tigers.

The Panthers also won their first region title since 2006 and third in school history two weeks ago when they took down Benjamin Russell 37-12.

And to pair with the offense, the defense has given up 18 or less in its last two and has given up 28 or less in all but one game this season, a 49-41 game they won against Calera.

Pelham will take the one seed out of their region into the postseason and will take on the four seed from Region 2.

In addition to those two teams, the Briarwood Lions also continue to receive recognition, and while they aren’t in the top 10, they did receive votes and are considered the 13th best team from a voting standpoint.

At 6-2, the Lions are heading into a matchup with Homewood on Friday night that will determine the two seed from the region.

The rest of the 7A top 10 behind Thompson and Hoover included Auburn, Hewitt-Trussville, Theodore, Daphne, Central-Phenix City, Austin, Fairhope and James Clemens.

In 6A, the other top 10 teams aside from Pelham included Oxford, Mountain Brook, Pinson Valley, Opelika, Saraland, Clay-Chalkville, Spanish Fort, McGill-Toolen and Athens.

Other No. 1 teams outside of Thompson included Oxford (6A), Pleasant Grove (5A), American Christian (4A), Fyffe (3A), Mars Hill Bible (2A), Brantley (1A) and Glenwood (AISA).

See the entire rankings in the story below:

CLASS 7A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Thompson (23);9-0;276
  2. Hoover;9-0;204
  3. Auburn;8-0;187
  4. Hewitt-Trussville;7-2;154
  5. Theodore;7-1;133
  6. Daphne;7-1;104
  7. Central-Phenix City;6-3;98
  8. Austin;7-1;79
  9. Fairhope;5-2;41
  10. James Clemens;7-2;29

Others receiving votes: Prattville (5-3) 6

CLASS 6A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Oxford (23);7-1;276
  2. Mountain Brook;6-1;201
  3. Pinson Valley;6-2;187
  4. Opelika;6-2;148
  5. Saraland;7-2;117
  6. Clay-Chalkville;7-1;113
  7. Spanish Fort;6-2;100
  8. McGill-Toolen;6-1;81
  9. Pelham;7-1;52
  10. Athens;6-2;18

Others receiving votes: Eufaula (7-2) 7, Fort Payne (6-2) 4, Briarwood (6-2) 3, Muscle Shoals (6-2) 2, Blount (5-4) 1, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (7-1) 1.

CLASS 5A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Pleasant Grove (15);7-1;247
  2. St. Paul’s (5);7-0;214
  3. Ramsay (3);8-0;199
  4. Central-Clay Co.;7-1;156
  5. Guntersville;7-0;135
  6. Alexandria;8-0;123
  7. Pike Road;8-0;89
  8. Faith-Mobile;7-1;69
  9. Demopolis;8-0;44
  10. Fairview;7-1;19

Others receiving votes: Sylacauga (7-1) 7, Leeds (8-1) 4, Russellville (7-1) 2, UMS-Wright (5-3) 2, East Limestone (6-2) 1

CLASS 4A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. American Chr. (22);8-0;273
  2. Madison Aca. (1);7-0;200
  3. Mobile Chr.;7-0;182
  4. Gordo;7-1;161
  5. Handley;6-0;118
  6. Etowah;5-2;109
  7. Jacksonville;5-3;84
  8. Madison Co.;7-2;57
  9. Bibb Co.;7-2;48
  10. Good Hope;8-1;40

Others receiving votes: West Limestone (7-1) 17, Alabama Chr. (7-1) 13, Northside (7-1) 4, Oneonta (6-1) 4, Deshler (5-3) 1

CLASS 3A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Fyffe (23);8-0;276
  2. Walter Wellborn;8-0;203
  3. Ohatchee;7-1;173
  4. Flomaton;7-1;153
  5. Piedmont;7-1;145
  6. Montgomery Aca.;8-0;125
  7. T.R. Miller;6-2;84
  8. Thomasville;7-1;61
  9. Catholic-Montgomery;7-2;58
  10. East Lawrence;7-1;11

Others receiving votes: Winfield (8-1) 10, Slocomb (7-1) 6, Trinity (6-2) 3, Lauderdale Co. (8-1) 2, Opp (7-2) 1

CLASS 2A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Mars Hill Bible (21);7-1;270
  2. Lanett (2);7-2;203
  3. Leroy;7-1;189
  4. G.W. Long;7-0;142
  5. Randolph Co.;7-1;120
  6. Spring Garden;7-1;106
  7. Red Bay;6-1;98
  8. Falkville;8-0;94
  9. North Sand Mountain;7-1;46
  10. Clarke Co.;6-2;22

Others receiving votes: B.B. Comer (7-1) 13, Abbeville (7-1) 5, Colbert Co. (7-1) 2, Westbrook Chr. (7-1) 1.

CLASS 1A

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Brantley (22);8-0;273
  2. Linden (1);7-0;210
  3. Maplesville;7-1;183
  4. Sweet Water;5-2;157
  5. Notasulga;6-1;134
  6. Decatur Heritage;7-2;113
  7. Valley Head;7-1;84
  8. Pickens Co.;6-2;61
  9. Berry;7-1;51
  10. McKenzie;7-1;20

Others receiving votes: Florala (7-1) 15, Winterboro (7-1) 10.

AISA

Team (first-place); W-L; Pts

  1. Glenwood (23);7-0;276
  2. Bessemer Aca.;6-1;206
  3. Escambia Aca.;6-1;184
  4. Jackson Aca.;9-0;152
  5. Patrician;7-1;128
  6. Chambers Aca.;7-1;117
  7. Pike Liberal Arts;6-1;98
  8. Edgewood;6-2;78
  9. Crenshaw Chr.;6-2;26
  10. Morgan Aca.;6-2;25

Others receiving votes: Abbeville Chr. (6-2) 9, Macon-East (6-3) 6, Sparta (5-2) 4, Monroe Aca. (5-3) 2.