Top 10 teams, full-house backfields, a four-overtime game. That’s what I’ve seen through three weeks of the high school football season in Limestone County this season. It’s been a thrilling opening few weeks capped by Friday night’s game at Golden Eagle Stadium.
Athens gave the No. 1 team in Class 5A its all for four quarters and almost pulled the upset. And even though AHS didn’t win, the Golden Eagles proved they can play with the best behind a boisterous home crowd.
The atmosphere at East Limestone was equally impressive when the Indians entertained another Class 5A Region 8 ranked team in week two.
Torren Haley ignited the crowd with several big runs in a game that East led 21-10 in the third quarter. And who can forget the four-overtime, four-hour game between county rivals Clements and West Limestone to open the season?
Through three weeks of the season, I have now seen all seven teams in Athens and Limestone County. While only a handful of these teams have played one another, we ranked these teams based on how they have performed so far, regardless of classification. We’ll update this list at the midway point and after the regular season.
1. Tanner — The soon-to-be No. 1 team in Class 2A is the obvious choice here. The Rattlers will likely remain at the top through the regular season having already played the two toughest teams on their schedule. Through three games, Tanner is giving up less than a touchdown per game.
2. Athens — The Golden Eagles showed how good they can be Friday night against Class 5A’s No. 1 team, Hartselle. Athens has the defense to play with anyone not named Hoover in Alabama high school football.
3. East Limestone — Although it’s hard to justify putting a team searching for its first win here, the Indians have played perhaps the toughest schedule in the state. Two top 10 teams along with perennial power Russellville on the road has taken its total on the Indians, but
they’ve remained competitive.
4. Ardmore — The Tigers dropped their first game of the season at North Jackson Friday. With a solid running game and a defensive line that has demonstrated the ability to stop the run, Ardmore could be headed for a playoff berth in Class 4A Region 7.
5. West Limestone — The Wildcats have yet to recover from the season-opening thriller at Clements. West Limestone should be able to get its offense back on track against an East Lawrence team giving up 28 points per game.
6. Elkmont — It appears to be a rebuilding year in Elkmont as the Red Devils returned just a handful of players with experience from last season. Elkmont’s offense found its legs in the second half against Westminster and will look to carry that momentum into Friday’s game against West Morgan.
7. Clements — The Colts gave it their all in week one against West Limestone. Since then, injuries have piled up and left Clements with a pair of lopsided losses. The road gets no easier against another top 10 team Friday.