Week 5 of the Alabama high school football season is a time for many teams to rest and get set for the back half of the schedule.
For others, Week 5 is a time to play a non-region contest like our JoxPreps Game of the Week between Mortimer Jordan and Briarwood. These two are matching up for the third time since the start of the 2016 season with the Lions having taken both contests last year.
The Lions had a dilemma after 2016 in having to replace All-State quarterback William Grey but have found a more than competent replacement in Michael Hiers. Hiers has used both his arm and legs in taking Briarwood to a 4-0 start with convincing wins over Chelsea, Moody, Wenonah, and Fairfield. At first, Hiers wasn’t the most comfortable in the pocket relying on his feet to make plays. However in the last few weeks he’s shown his talent throwing the football including three touchdown passes against Wenonah. JR Tran-Reno has also been a great balance for Grey and now Hiers over the last two seasons. Carson Eddy has become Hiers’ favorite target in the passing game. And the Briarwood defense might be even better than last year, averaging just 6.8 points allowed a game with just Moody getting to double digits.
Mortimer Jordan lost a special player to graduation in Spencer Brown after 2016. While Brown’s now become a focal point for UAB’s offense in his collegiate freshman season, the Blue Devils have turned to a running back by committee philosophy for 2017, utilizing as many as six different players out of the backfield including receivers in motion. Some of the names so far include Daniel Franklin, Garret Helm, Hunter Bartlett, and Justin Anderson. Jordan has also had to turn to a new quarterback in the form of 5’9″ sophomore Kourtlan Marsh. Marsh directs an offense that likes to run heavy and throw screens to set up passes over the top.
Briarwood is likely to bring pressure at Marsh and the running game, so he’ll likely have to direct the offense with his arm. It won’t be easy with the likes of Carson Donnelly in the defensive backfield for the Lions. On the other side, Jordan’s defense will have to pick their poison when it comes to stopping Tran-Reno or Hiers to make the Lions one-dimensional. Regardless, the winner of this game will cement themselves as the running favorite out of the northern half of Class 5A.