By Erik Harris
CLAY — Another season, another playoff home game for head coach Jerry Hood and Clay-Chalkville.
Under Hood’s order, the Cougars have hosted three straight postseason openers, winning the first two. No. 1 Clay-Chalkville will be a heavy favorite in the third chapter against Scottsboro (4-6) on Friday night.
The Cougars (10-0) enter the bracket as Class 6A, Region 6 champions, winning by an average margin of about 30 points through regular season play.
Their opponents barely managed a playoff resume, but the Wildcats’ 3-3 Region 7 record was good enough to earn them a spot as the last team in.
Scottsboro got off to a hot 4-1 start out of the gate, but seemed to have forgotten how to win after that. A forgettable 0-5 run currently plagues the Wildcats and only two of those losses were by a touchdown or less.
Scottsboro head coach Patrick Nix plugged his son, eighth-grader Bo Nix, into action as the starting quarterback Oct. 10 against Fort Payne, replacing senior Justin Whithead.
The young quarterback will likely hand the ball to his sophomore running back DeKarlos Billinglsley for much of the night. Billinglsley has rushed for more than 1,500 yards through 10 games.
Clay-Chalkville will be the first team currently ranked in the Alabama Sports Writers Association that Scottsboro will face this season.
According to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society, the Wildcats are 1-7 when playing ranked teams in the playoffs since 1984. Changing that trend by downing the top-ranked team in the state would be, perhaps, the biggest win in school history.
Whoever walks out of Cougar Stadium on top will face the winner of Minor at Muscle Shoals in the second round Friday, Nov. 14.