Here are five games to watch in the Birmingham area this week, featuring interclass play in a non-region week.
There are several interesting matchups, including ranked teams from different classes playing.
The complete schedule follows.
CLAY-CHALKVILLE (5-0) AT THOMPSON (3-2)
Time / location: Friday, 7 pm, Warriors Stadium, Alabaster
Last week: Class 6A top-ranked Clay-Chalkville beat Center Point 56-19 and Class 7A seventh-ranked Thompson beat Chelsea 48-3.
The skinny: Clay-Chalkville has won both games in the series, including 27-7 the last time they played in 1999.
Both teams have capable offenses, but this game should be decided on the defensive side.
Clay-Chalkville’s defense has allowed 39 points with 2 shutouts in five games. DJ Barber and Matthew Yafondo are the defensive leaders at LB while Jamon Smith and Devin Finley handle the front duties. DBs Ormond Wallace and Camaran Jones will be tested while offensive threats Jaylen Mbakwe (Alabama commit) and Mario Craver will help at DB. QB Kamari McClellan has dangerous targets in Mbakwe and Craver. Rodreckus Johnson runs behind an OL anchored by center Pierre White and AJ Williams.
Thompson’s defense features a front 7 led by DL Clemson commit Peter Woods and LBs Seth Hampton and Jake Ivie. The defensive backfield has Alabama commit Tony Mitchell along with Anquon Fegans. The offense is trying to limit mistakes and QB Zach Sims has options at WR with Korbyn Williams, Deuce Oliver and Kolby Hearn. AJ Green in the workhorse at RB – he’s also dangerous out of the backfield.
HOOVER (4-1) AT MOUNTAIN BROOK (5-0)
Time / location: Friday, 7 pm, Spartan Stadium, Mountain Brook
Last week: Class 7A sixth-ranked Hoover beat fifth-ranked Hewitt-Trussville 17-7 and Class 6A second-ranked Mountain Brook beat Jackson-Olin 41-0.
The skinny: Hoover leads the series 34-8 with a seven game winning streak that includes the 34-10 win in 2019, the last game between the teams.
Both teams rely heavily on defense.
Hoover allows opponents only 11 points a game with a superior defense. The front 7 is special with a DL features Jordan Norman, Andrew Parrish, Michael Nixon and Chaleb Powell along with LBs Bradley Shaw and Kaleb Jackson. Jay Avery, DJ Estes, Keith Christein and Devan Carlisle are strong at DB. QB Brewer Smith has weapons at WR in KJ Law and Freddie Dunson while Ahamari Williams (Wildcat in goal line situations) and Lamarion McCammon handle RB duties. OL includes Ethan Hubbard, AJ Franklin and Rashad Smith.
Mountain Brook surrenders 9.6 points a game with LBs Trent Wright, Vaughn Frost and Braxton Dean very active along the front. Parker Avery is strong on the defensive line and Mac Palmer holds the fort at defensive back. The offense features a potent ground game with Cole Gamble, Will Waldrop and Jack King finding holes behind a capable OL. QB John Colvin targets receivers Jackson Beatty and Clark Sanderson. Kicker Reed Harradine is a weapon.
PINSON VALLEY (2-2) AT HOMEWOOD (4-1)
Time / location: Friday, 7 pm, Waldrop Stadium, Homewood
Last week: Class 6A eighth-ranked Pinson Valley beat Oxford 44-20 while Homewood Beat Benjamin Russell 31-24.
The skinny: The series is tied at 3 wins each, but Pinson Valley has won the last two meetings, including 42-7 in the first round of 2019 playoffs.
Pinson Valley’s defense has allowed only 64 points (16 per game). The Metcalf brothers, TJ and Tevis, are hang-tight stoppers at DB and both can add offensive firepower. The front 7 is stout with Zi’Keith Springfield, J’Roc Williams and Jacobi Jackson. Sophomore QB Keywone Posey continues to improve with the top receiving threat Virginia commit Amare Thomas. OL Cam Griffin and Carson Moorer block for RB Taurus Chambers.
Homewood QB Woods Ray has thrown for 1,037 yards and 9 TDs and run for 249 yards and 3 scores. WR Jackson Parris (26 catches) and RB Calyb Colbert (15 catches) lead in receptions while Colbert has 218 rushing yards. Talton Thomas leads the defense with 35 tackles, Parker Sansing has 32 and Clay Burdeshaw has 26 stops, all from DB. OLB Adam Parker has 28 tackles and LB Rigdon Gibbons has 24 tackles.
PLEASANT GROVE (3-1) AT PARKER (3-2)
Time / location: Friday, 7 pm, Major Brown Memorial Stadium, Birmingham
Last week: Class 5A sixth-ranked Pleasant Grove beat Hayden 53-0 while Class 6A Parker lost 27-14 to Gardendale.
The skinny: Pleasant Grove leads the series 9-3 and won 42-28 last season.
It’s Pleasant Grove’s first real test since the loss to Ramsay. The offense is led by Eric Handley (Kentucky offer) with while ATH Kyron Burroughs is the classic scatback and WR Clarence Taylor is good with the ball in his hands. Jordan Foy leads the OL. The defense will be tested by Parker’s running game. Aiden Hall and BJ Jordan at LB and Deshawn Love at DL head the front 7. Cam Wormley is strong on the back end.
Parker RB and Kentucky commit Khalifa Keith returned from injury last week, but the Thundering Herd lost QB Malik Muhammad to injury. Tyson Allen will start in his place of him. Xavier Richardson leads the offensive line while Carl Pitts is threat at receiver. Jeremiah Beaman has Alabama and Auburn offers and Jourdin Crawford has LSU and Arkansas offers to head a strong DL. The defensive backfield is stout with Naeem Offord (Auburn offer), Jeremiah Struggs and Timothy Merritt.
RAMSAY (4-1) AT AUBURN (5-0)
Time / location: Friday, 7 pm, Duck Samford Stadium, Auburn
Last week: Class 5A third-ranked Ramsay beat Fairfield 48-14 and Class 7A top-ranked Auburn beat Lee-Montgomery 58-7.
The skinny: It’s the first meeting between the teams.
Ramsay features a dynamic offense (36.4 ppg) and a stingy defense (19.2 ppg). Sophomore QB Kameron Keenan leads the offense with RBs Ashton Ashford and Tremell Washington running behind an OL anchored by Anthony Miles. WRs Kristian Stinson and Jalen Jones are targets. The defense is even better with wrecking ball LB QB Reese and DL Caleb Patterson on the front. The defensive backfield is exceptional with Jmarcus Jones, James Jones, Fletcher Taylor, Zedrick Powell and O’Conner Jones.
Auburn’s prolific offense is led by QBs Clyde Pittman and Davis Harsin (son of Auburn coach Bryan Harsin) with RB DV Williams finding holes behind an experienced OL that includes Auburn commit Bradyn Joiner, Avery Ferris and Eric Patrick. Receiving targets are WRs Ean Nation and Marcellus Josephson along with TE Griffin McLean. LB Klark Cleveland is the defensive bell cow along with LB Coleman Granberry behind a strong front of Mark Toland, Rico Spinks, Jordan Reese and Deuce White. Graham Young, Andrew King, Andre Emilius and Jaylin Davis handle the back end.
BIRMINGHAM AREA SCHEDULE
(All games at 7 pm unless noted)
Hewitt-Trussville at Huffman
Briarwood Christian at Oak Mountain
Clay-Chalkville at Thompson
Corner at Fultondale
Fairfield at Center Point
Choctaw County at Woodlawn (Choctaw County forfeit)
Gardendale at Austin
Hoover at Mountain Brook
Jackson-Olin at Helena
Leeds at Sylacauga
Lynn at Tarrant
Midfield at Francis Marion
Minor at Florence
Montevallo at Jemison
Moody at Shelby County
Mortimer Jordan at Cullman
Pelham at Chelsea
Pinson Valley at Homewood
Pleasant Grove at Parker
Ramsay at Auburn
Shades Valley at Bessemer City
Sipsey Valley at Oak Grove
Vincent at Childersburg
Wenonah at Holt