Patriots to collide with McAdory in playoff battle


Henry Sklar

Homewood lettermen lead the Patriots out onto the field before their matchup with Briarwood on Oct. 21.

Henry Sklar, Sports Editor

The extensive journey of the 2022 season has led the Homewood Patriots to an 8-2 overall record, the No. 1 seed out of group 6 region 3, and a home playoff game against the McAdory Yellow-Jackets. 

Since their bye-week, the Patriots have been on a tear. Averaging 32 points per game, Homewood has a 4-0 record, knocking off Chilton-County, Pelham, Briarwood and Jasper while only allowing 10 points per game. Quarterback Woods Ray picked up two offers throughout the season from Dartmouth and Davidson College. 

“It means the world to Woods and our program,” said Head Coach Ben Berguson. “He’s been working hard for this.”

Ray’s number one target Jackson Parris has picked up an offer from Gannon University after 1277 all-purpose yards and a nine-touchdown season. The offense is healthy and ready for their hopeful playoff run. 

Defensively, a veteran secondary led by Parker Sansing has stepped up throughout the closing stretch. Sophomore Talton Thomas has been the young player in the linebacker group to break out, leading Homewood in tackles and sacks. The defense has been stout this season, but can they contain the highest-powered offense they’ve played thus far? 

McAdory is led by their stable of running backs, including Roderick “moo-moo” Thomas, who has an offer from Mercer along with power-5 interest and sophomore Peyton Ryans. Wide receiver/tight end Jacorey Whited stands at six-foot-seven and has picked up multiple SEC and Power 5 offers. 

“Whenever they throw a 50-50 ball to him, we have to go get the football,” reassured Berguson. “We got an interception off him last season, so we have the experience.”

On the flip side, the McAdory secondary towers over opposing offenses; this includes Brent Barnes, the strong safety who stands at 6-ft-3. The Yellow-Jacket offense is high-powered, averaging 32 points per game, with a stingy defense on the other side. 

The Patriots enter tonight’s playoff bout as 5-point favorites. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Waldrop Stadium. Expect a high-scoring contest, as both offenses average over 28 points per game.