The high school football season heated up this week with the start of region play. We take a look at some of this week’s highlights.

*This football thing is a funny game. Austin entered Friday’s Class 7A Region 4 opener with Sparkman without a win. Sparkman, on the other hand, rolled in after averaging 57 points in the first two games. Yet, it was Austin getting off to a good start in region play with a 24-21 win in overtime.

Ruben Guevara provided the winning points on a 34-yard field goal in overtime. The Senators missed a potential game-winning 37-yard field in the final seconds of regulation.

*Look out, I’m getting ready to throw out a cliché. Hewitt-Trussville quarterback Peyton Floyd did everything but cook the popcorn on Friday night for the Huskies in a 48-14 Class 7A Region 3 victory over a good Oak Mountain team.

Truth is, I’m not sure if Floyd actually cooked the popcorn or not. I was not at Hewitt-Trussville for the game. What I do know is Floyd did it all for the Hewitt-Trussville offense. He was 21-of-27 passing for 256 yards with touchdown tosses of 19 and 71 yards. He ran the ball 15 times for 107 yards with touchdown runs of 38, 12, 3 and 52 yards.

Hewitt-Trussville lost its opener to Phenix City Central. They responded by beating the next two opponents, 112-31.

*Pike Road and Wetumpka combined for more than 700 yards in offense and 68 points. Anybody surprised that the final points came on a big play?

Pike Road sophomore Anthony Rogers turned a short pass into a 72-yard catch-and-run to provide the final points with 58 seconds left in the 35-33 Class 6A Region 2 win.

Wetumpka, which is coached by former Troy and Canadian Football League linebacker Bear Woods, was led by quarterback Nathan Rogers. Rogers had 14 carries for 240 yards with three touchdowns.

*Not a fan of blowouts? Then go to a Fairhope game. The Pirates improved to 3-0 on Friday night. All three wins have been by one score, including the season-opening win over Spanish Fort on a final play pick-6. The combined margin of the three is 17 points. The latest down-to-the-wire win was a 43-39 victory over Choctawhatchee (Fla.).

Quarterback Caden Creel threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 114 yards and a score.

Fairhope, by the way, made five consecutive playoff appearances but has not won a postseason game since 2014.

*Hartselle is good at tackle football this year. The Tigers beat Cullman, 34-3, in the 101st renewal of the rivalry. To show how close the rivalry has been, the 31-point difference appears to be the biggest winning margin between the two teams since Hartselle beat Cullman, 33-0, on Nov. 16, 1945.

The Tigers beat their first three opponents by a combined, 118-26. Next up for Hartselle is Columbia, which extended their losing streak to 63 games with a 68-0 loss to Muscle Shoals.

*Briarwood Christian has won twice in three games this season. Both wins came down to the final seconds. The latest pull-the-game-out-at-the-end came on Friday night when Clemson commitment quarterback Christopher Vizzina led his team on a 68-yard drive that began after previously unbeaten Chilton County took a one-point lead with 1:21 remaining. Vizzina scored on a 1-yard run with eight seconds left to give Briarwood Christian the 36-29 Class 6A Region 3 win.

*We’ll close with a Mary G. Montgomery team that could very well have the toughest luck of any team in the state. The Vikings also could very well be the best 0-3 team in the state. Two of the losses have been by one point in overtime. The other was a four-point setback. The latest was Friday night’s 43-42 overtime loss to Foley in a Class 7A Region 1 game.

Foley used a late touchdown to send the game into overtime and Harrison Knight caught a two-point conversion pass from Reece Tynes in overtime to win the game.

Mary G. Montgomery was 0-10 last season and 2-8 in 2020 with one of those wins by forfeit. The last time the Vikings won a game on the field was a 14-13 victory over Baldwin County in the 2020 season opener. The Vikings are poised to break through soon but face Class 7A No. 3 ranked Fairhope next week.

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