GAME OF THE WEEK
East Limestone (2-3, 1-2) at Athens (1-4, 1-2)
7 p.m., Golden Eagle Stadium
Why it’s important: Throw out the records in this one, this is Limestone County’s biggest rivalry. Both teams haven’t started the way they would have liked, but still can make a push for that final playoff spot in Class 5A Region 8.
Preview: East Limestone carries the momentum of winning its last two football games after starting the year 0-3. It’s been a collaborative effort from the Indians’ running game, which had 17 players carry the ball in a 41-14 win over James Clemens last week. Led by Torren Haley, East Limestone will run early and often against a stout Athens run defense. If there is anything positive from Athens last three games, it’s been the competition they faced. The Golden Eagles saw Class 5A top five teams Hartselle and Muscle Shoals in back-to-back weeks before last week’s 34-0 loss to 6A No. 5 Austin. East Limestone has played a pair of top 10 teams in Madison County (4A No. 8) and Cullman (5A No. 10). East has won the past two meetings by a field goal.
Series record: 3-3
Last year: East Limestone won 17-14
News Courier prediction: East Limestone 14, Athens 10
West Limestone (2-3, 1-2) at Wilson (3-2, 2-1)
7 p.m., Warrior Stadium
Preview: West Limestone bounced back from a pair of lopsided losses to Central and Brooks to win back-to-back games over East Lawrence and Elkmont the past two weeks. The Wildcats are still battling injuries to several key players, but running backs Tucker McCormick and Dillon Miller have picked up the slack combining for more than 200 yards the past two weeks. Wilson enters the game with plenty of momentum with three straight victories. The loser of this game could be eliminated from playoff contention while the winner will take a big step toward securing that No. 4 spot in the region.
Series record: Wilson leads 6-5
Last year: West Limestone won 44-20
News Courier prediction: Wilson 34, West Limestone 28