It’s that time of year. The mornings are a little cooler, the leaves will begin to turn, the “Third Saturday in October” is here, and the fall is upon us. That also means homecoming at Jasper High School.
The Vikings will host Carver Birmingham Friday in a huge region contest in front of an expected standing room only crowd at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field. The crowd will be there for two reasons- to see who will win the game, and to see who will win Homecoming Queen. There will two taking part in the game, Carver and Jasper. The Homecoming Queen will be decided from four. In alphabetical order, they are: Jordan Brackett (Sr.) , Emily Greene (Sr.), Gracie Henson (Sr.) , and Keyonna White (Sr.). Both events will be hotly contested, and whoever walks off the field with a win will know they have earned it.
Carver enters the homecoming contest with a 5-2 record beating Sumter Central (48-6), Woodlawn (31-0), Center Point (23-0), Cherokee County (41-13), and Minor (21-14). The Rams have lost contests versus Gardendale (35-21), and Clay Chalkville (36-0). The Vikings come into Friday night with a 3-4 record posting losses to Austin (47-7), Clay-Chalkville (41-6), Pinson Valley (35-0), and Gardendale last Friday (63-34). We have beaten Hueytown (35-7) at home, Northridge (21-19) on the road, and Center Point (30-7) at home.
Carver will showcase one of the best offensive weapons in the state of Alabama in Wide Out Cameron McKinley. He is a big, physical, fast receiver, and guys like him usually find a way to play on Saturdays. Quarterback Chappell Wade has a knack for getting the ball to the right guys in space, and can make a lot happen when he breaks containment from the pocket.
The Ram defense is stingy, only allowing 30 points twice this season, both of those in games against prolific offenses- Gardendale, and Clay-Chalkville. They are vey athletic on defense and run to the football. Opportunistic is a good word for them as they like to get after the quarterback and force things to happen.
Offensively, the Vikes would love to replicate last week’s output against Gardendale. It was a good mix of controlled offense and explosive plays. Coach Brunner and the Vikings look to limit the turnovers this week to maximize our times of possession, and limit the ram touches on offense. With that being said, look for Ken Holiday and Kaden Shelton to have plenty of opportunities to make plays as they could be relied on more facing the athletic corners that Carver will run out there.
Defensively, we will try to limit the big play. Most of that will hinge on keeping Wade in the pocket, and trying to slow down McKinley in the receiving game. How we do that will be up to the defensive staff, but will be ultimately what determines the outcome of this one.
Both teams will try to limit the explosive plays in the special teams. Jasper and Carver have both shown that they can score points in the return game, so getting 11 guys to the football on punt and kickoff will be a little more important in this one.
Please make plans to get to the game early on Friday night as seats will be limited and lines at the gates could be a possibility with homecoming festivities in full force. The air should be a little crisper, so grab a pullover and come out and support your Vikes, and enjoy the beauty that is an Alabama high school homecoming night.