UMS-Wright head coach Terry Curtis could tie the Alabama High School Athletic Association record for career wins on Friday night in his team’s Class 5A Region 1 game against visiting Williamson.
Curtis has a 345-92 record in 34 seasons of coaching high school football in Alabama. One more win and Curtis will pull even with the legendary Buddy Anderson, who was 346-160 in 43 seasons as the head coach at Vestavia Hills. Curtis has coached at Shaw and Murphy before coming to UMS-Wright in 1999. He is 268-56 at UMS-Wright and is 8-0 in state championship games at the school.
UMS-Wright is the state’s top-ranked Class 5A team and is trying to close out an unbeaten regular season. Williamson (6-3 overall, 4-3 region) still has a shot at securing the fourth playoff spot from the region.
*Two of the best teams from their respective divisions get together when Class 3A top-ranked Mars Hill plays host to Class 1A second-ranked Linden in the regular season finale.
It’s a considerable step up for a Linden team that has outscored eight opponents, 316-55. In the past five games, the Patriots have shut out two opponents and given up a total of 19 points. Mars Hill is 8-1 with a combined score of 411-100.
The only time the teams met came in 2018 when Mars Hill beat Linden, 53-26, in the Class 1A state championship game.
*The simple version of Prattville’s quest tonight is that the Lions are in the Class 7A playoffs with a win on Friday night. It stops being simple when that win needs to come against second-ranked Central-Phenix City.
Entering the final week of the season, Prattville, Enterprise and Dothan are tied for the final two playoff slots from Region 2 with 4-3 records. Prattville, the 9th-ranked Class 7A team, probably won’t have a shot unless the Lions can upset Central-Phenix City. The Red Devils own a nine-game winning streak over Prattville.
Dothan plays host to Jeff Davis (2-5 in the region) and Enterprise travels to Lee-Montgomery (1-6).
*Both quarterbacks are worth the price of admission when Hueytown travels to Gardendale for a non-region game on Thursday. Hueytown’s Earl Woods, the Class 6A Back of the Year in 2021, isn’t putting up the same gaudy numbers he did while leading the Golden Gophers to the state championship game. But the Jacksonville State commit is dynamic. Gardendale’s Tyler Nelson is a dual-threat quarterback, who does most of his damage with his legs.
The difference could be that Nelson doesn’t have to face Gardendale defensive lineman Kelby Collins, a dominating Florida commitment.
Gardendale, the sixth-ranked Class 6A team, is coming off a region championship victory over Mountain Brook. Hueytown finished second in Region 4.
*A highly anticipated game between a pair of high-scoring teams lost a bit of its luster when Fairview lost standout running back/defensive back Eli Frost to an injury. Frost, a junior, was hurt early in last week’s Class 5A Region 8 championship game loss to Russellville. Frost was the state’s leading rusher entering that game.
It’s unclear how long Frost will be out, but he definitely is out for Friday night’s regular-season finale against quarterback Andrew Hunter and an explosive Randolph team. Randolph, which lost its region championship game to unbeaten Priceville, will play host to the Aggies.
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