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Week 9 closes out region season

By Staff
Glen Jackson
Franklin County Times
Week 9 is the final week of region games, and Russellville and Red Bay have each clinched playoff spots.
The Tigers are hosting the first round of the Class 2A, Region 8 playoffs and the Golden Tigers are the No. 2 seed in Class 5A, Region 8 and will likely host the No. 3 seed in the opening round.
Tharptown, Vina and Phil Campbell are all hosting games tonight. The Wildcats will look for their seventh win of the season with a victory over the Alabama School for the Deaf. The Red Devils are coming off a narrow loss to R.A. Hubbard and will battle for their second win this season against Hackleburg, while the Bobcats will be playing for their first Class 2A, Region 8 win against Winston County tonight.
Below is a look back at last Friday's games and a look ahead at tonight's matchups.
Red Bay Tigers
The Red Bay Tigers, currently ranked No. 5, secured the Class 2A, Region 8 championship and home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs Nov. 2 with a convincing 44-14 win over seventh-ranked Addison last Friday night. The Tigers (8-0, 6-0) opened up a 30-7 halftime lead over the Bulldogs.
The explosive Tigers offense was led by senior Josh Senkbeil, who rushed for 188 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries to put him over 1,000 yards this season. Senior quarterback Anthony Horton finished 7-of-9 passing for 89 yards, with one touchdown passing and one rushing TD.
The Red Bay defense set the tone by holding the Bulldogs to only 176 yards of offense. Cody Armstrong had a team-high five tackles, and Curtis Morrell finished with four.
The Tigers will travel tonight to Hatton, which earned its first win in 2007 with a 52-28 victory at Phil Campbell.
Phil Campbell Bobcats
The Phil Campbell Bobcats got off to a quick start, but couldn't hold on for their first win of the season last Friday against Hatton.
The Bobcats (0-8, 0-6) led 20-7 midway through the second quarter only to see the Hornets buzz back to take a 21-20 halftime lead. Hatton scored four rushing touchdowns and 30-yard field goal in the second half to defeat the Bobcats 53-28.
The Phil Campbell offense rushed for only 83 yards, but racked up 255 yards through the air as Jonathon Dill finished 19-of-43 passing with three touchdowns.
The Bobcats will host Winston County tonight.
Tharptown Wildcats
The Tharptown Wildcats improved to 6-2 last Friday as they defeated Parkway Christian 32-8. The Wildcats led 26-0 af the half and cruised the rest of the way to pick up their second win over Parkway Christian this season after winning 60-18 in Week 4.
The Tharptown offense produced 370 yards, and junior running and kick returner Daniel Scott led the way with 198 all-purpose yards. Junior Tyler Cagle led the defense with 10 tackles and one sack.
The Wildcats will host the Alabama School for the Deaf tonight.
Vina Red Devils
The Vina Red Devils were on track to pull an upset at R.A. Hubbard last Friday by trailing 14-13 at halftime, but a strong second-half performance gave the Chiefs a 35-21 win.
Vina was led on offense by senior running back Nash Creekmore, who had 20 carries for 113 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Brent Townsend shook off a mid-season rib injury to lead the offense and found fellow sopohomore Morgan McCarley (two receptions, 46 yards) for two touchdowns.
The Red Devils (2-6, 0-6) will be looking for their first region victory tonight as they host the Hackleburg Panthers, who are led by quarterback Jon McKinney and receiver Garrett McHenry. The Panters lost last Friday to No. 4 Hazelwood.
Russellville Golden Tigers
Just one week after suffering their first Class 5A, Region 8 loss in 46 games, the Russellville Golden Tigers rebounded last Friday with a dominating win over West Point 35-0. The Golden Tigers (7-1, 5-1) were emotionally down after losing a heartbreaking 24-23 overtime game to Decatur in Week 7.
Senior tailback Mike Abernathy paved the way for the offense with 170 yards on 15 carries and two scores. Quarterback Cory Trapp had two touchdown passes, including a 65-yarder to fellow senior Caleb Mitchell.
The Russellville defense held tough as it has throughout this season, and were led by playmakers Jacob Daniel, Patrick Akers and Mitchell.
The Golden Tigers will close out region play tonight as the spread passing attack of the Muscle Shoals Trojans comes to town with hopes of spoiling homecoming for Russellville, which will close its regular season at home against the high-flying Florence Falcons, which is in contention for the 6A state championship this season under new coach Alvin Briggs.
Glen Jackson is a guest columnist for The Franklin County Times. Jackson is president and CEO of Southeastern Athletics, Inc. He can be reached at (256) 332-5513.