High school football region play takes a break this week, but there are still plenty of entertaining games. We will take a look at five of those games.

*Class 7A powerhouse Thompson plays host to Clay-Chalkville, the top-ranked Class 6A team and one of the most consistent programs in Alabama. This will be the first time the two teams have met on the football field since 1999, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t be a classic.

Both teams are loaded with college prospects. Both have players worth the admission just to watch them. Both are very well-coached.

Clay-Chalkville is unbeaten with a 14-12 win over Pinson Valley being the lone close game this season for the Cougars. Clay-Chalkville also has a 20-game win streak on the line.

Thompson, which is led by Clemson commit Peter Woods at defensive tackle, lost its first two games of the season against two of the better teams in Georgia and Tennessee. Since then, the Warriors outscored three opponents, 117-31.

*Phenix City Central takes a break from the wild world of Class 7A Region 2 to take on IMG Academy, which is one of the top programs in the country, in a game that will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU. The Ascenders opened the season with a 20-14 loss to Miami Central before beating teams from Missouri and Utah by a combined score of 113-19. IMG has seven players ranked in the 247 Sports Top 100 recruits.

Phenix City Central’s lone loss was a 17-14 setback to Opelika in overtime two weeks ago. Quarterback Jaylin Epps and Auburn commitment wide receiver Karmello English lead the offense. Cornerback A.J. Harris is a Georgia commit and defensive lineman Tomarrion Parker is a four-star recruit.

*Raise your hand if you think Hoover’s trip to Mountain Brook on Friday night will be a defensive slugfest. If you don’t have your hand raised, then you probably haven’t paid attention to these two teams this season.

Mountain Brook allowed 48 points in five games with 35 of those points coming in the first two weeks. Hoover allowed 55 points in the first five games. Auburn, which beat Hoover, 17-14, in the opener scored more than any other team has against the Bucs thus far this season.

Hoover has dominated the series between the two teams. Mountain Brook’s only on-the-field win over the Bucs since 2000 came in 2011.

*Piedmont, the top-ranked team in Class 3A, is led by Jack Hayes, who has accounted for more touchdowns than anybody in the history of Alabama high school football. That’s a lofty accomplishment. Hayes threw five touchdown passes last week in a win over Ohatchee. He now has accounted for 179 touchdowns, 133 passing and 46 rushing, to move him past Lanett’s Kristan Story, who accounted for 175 touchdowns in his high school career. Story is now a safety at Alabama.

Hayes will try to build on those numbers Thursday night against visiting Anniston. The unbeaten Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 5 in Class 4A, are led by Alabama commit offensive lineman RyQueze McElderry, a former Georgia commit, who flipped to Alabama. Anniston also features quarterback Cam Sandlin and receiver Jaylon Cunningham.

*Look at Austin. The Black Bears began the season with losses to Hartselle and Decatur. At the time, the sky was falling. Upon further review, Hartselle and Decatur are pretty good. They’ve combined for a 10-0 record thus far. Austin responded with successive wins over Sparkman, Florence and Albertville.

Next up for the Black Bears is a non-region visit from Gardendale, which has one of the state’s top dual-threat quarterbacks in Tyler Nelson, who had 317 yards rushing and 465 yards overall in a win at James Clemens earlier this season. The Rockets also have one of the top defensive linemen in the state in 6-foot-5, 280-pound Florida commit Kelby Collins.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email steve.irvine@1819news.com.

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