GAME OF THE WEEK: The De Facto Region 3-1A Championship

The region is on the line at Vernon Holtcamp Field Friday night as the South Pittsburg Pirates travel to Tiger Town in hopes of a 3-1A victory.

The Pirates come in as the No. 5 team in Class 1A, while the Tigers are riding a two-game win streak into this matchup.  Although, South Pittsburg is the favorite by a long shot, Whitwell seems ripe for an upset with injuries on South Pittsburg’s roster and a rivalry that has been brewing strong in the past two years.

So get ready for the game of the week in Whitwell this week!

GAMETIME INFO:

South Pittsburg at Whitwell (Vernon Holtcamp Field)

Kickoff Time:   6:30 PM CT

RIVALRY RECAP:  LAST TEN MATCHUPS

Pirates 42, Tigers 14; October 11, 2015

Pirates 29, Tigers 28; September 19, 2014

Pirates 62, Tigers 8; September 20, 2013

Pirates 49, Tigers 2; September 28, 2012

Pirates 72, Tigers 36; September 30, 2011

Pirates 64, Tigers 7; October 1, 2010

Pirates 63, Tigers 7; October 2, 2009

Pirates 82, Tigers 0, October 3, 2008

Pirates, 56, Tigers 7; October 5, 2007

Pirates 40, Tigers 13; October 27, 2006

PLACE YOUR BETS

DISCLAIMER:  These are not actual spreads or odds, and cannot be used in kind of sports betting context.

The Spread:  South Pittsburg (-19.5) at Whitwell [Vernon Holtcamp Field]

Odds to Win:  South Pittsburg 7 to 6; Whitwell 6 to 1

Over/Under (Total Points):  (67.5)

Breaking Down the Bets:  ‘The Spread’ is based on who is favored in the matchup and by how many points.  ‘Odds to Win’ are the odds for a certain team to win that game and is not related to the odds of ‘The Spread.’  The ‘Over/Under’ is how many points both teams are expected to combine for, unrelated to ‘The Spread’ or “Odds to Win.’  These betting lines are simply to display what Vegas would perceive the matchup at and cannot be used in any sports betting enterprise.

QUICK HIT STORYLINES

Whitwell will look to win their first game against the Pirates in the modern era

South Pittsburg remains at No. 5 in the Class 1A AP Polls

Winner will be in the Region 3-1A driver’s seat

Tracy Malone looks for his first big win of the 2016 season

INSIDE THE FILM ROOM

The Pirates bring their famed Wing-T to Vernon Holtcamp as they try and take down Region 1-A foe Whitwell, who has surprisingly dominated other region opponents as much as South Pittsburg has.  The Pirates have speed on the outside as always, but sources say that Cade Kennemore, Kyree Pryor, and Garrett Raulston are out for the game due to varying injuries.  Kennemore is likely to be out until at least the playoffs.  That may hurt the versatility of the offense, but Hogan Holland should be able to find other targets on a team full of pure talent.  They’ll have to be two-dimensional to get past the Tigers, so the passing game need to catch up from the injuries and fast.

On the Tiger side of things, Malone’s offense hasn’t faded away thus far and could be still be effective against the Pirates, who took a hit in the secondary with Kennemore out.  Balancing things out, the Tigers have put a clinic against other 3-1A teams, but the speed of the Pirates could be their achilles heel.  The linebacker corp for the Pirates hasn’t really stood out, but they’ve gotten the job done, so the rushing game stands a chance for Whitwell.  The Tigers will have to play a balanced ball game to pull off the win at home.

GAMEDAY GRADES

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KEY ON-THE-FIELD MATCHUPS

Dawson Holloway vs. South Pittsburg Secondary

Holway will need to air it out a bit and get some completions going to get some confidence that is absent on key player in Kennemore.  Once he get that accomplished, he’ll be able to run it himself or hand it off to the backs while keeping South Pittsburg on edge.  And that’s where they’ll have to stay all night if the Tiger hope to come out alive.

Hogan Holland vs. Whitwell Secondary

As redundant as it is, this game will require a lot of passing yards if either team is to win.  The Whitwell secondary hasn’t been their strong suit, but it has improved substantially as the season has progressed.  In fact, they’ve been tested several times by elite offenses, and with Holland’s main target, Kennemore, out, the Tigers may get lucky in the pass defense.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

South Pittsburg:   Hogan Holland (Senior Quarterback), Drew Daniels (Senior Offensive Lineman/Defensive End), Mitch Butner (Senior Linebacker/Tight End)

Whitwell:  Dawson Holloway (Senior Quarterback), Garrett Shrum (Junior Tight End/Defensive End), Trace Condra (Junior Halfback/Strong Safety), and Hudson Petty (Sophomore Halfback/Defensive End)

Contact Chandler Morrison at TheSpearSportsBlog@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter@RCS_Chandler!

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