Preview of Week 11: #4 McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets vs. #7 Fairhope Pirates


#4 McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets (9-0; 7-0) vs. #7 Fairhope Pirates (8-1; 7-0)

It’s the final week of the regular season and there are still plenty of questions concerning playoff spots that need answering. None bigger than the 7A Region 1 matchup between the undefeated McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets and the Fairhope Pirates. Both teams have claimed a playoff spot, but the region championship will be determined by the outcome of this game.

A win by the Yellow Jackets would earn them their third straight region championship, but McGill-Toolen’s 1st year head coach, Earnest Hill says that they don’t look at streaks, but the other two the Yellow Jackets have going as well are even more impressive. McGill-Toolen has now won 25 regular season games in a row following last week’s 20-0 win over Theodore which also is 24 region wins in a row. Their last region lost was to Murphy in 2014 and the last regular season loss was to the 17-14 to the Blount Leopards in 2015. The Yellow Jacket offense is led by junior quarterback Sheldon Layman. Layman already has multiple offers going into this season and will look to senior running back Bryan Hill to help carry the load for the offense just as they have done most of the season. Layman scored one of the two McGill touchdowns on the ground, while Hill had the other. Over all they are averaging 31.9 points per game, and have scored 30+ points in 4 of their last six games. The stingy McGill defense continues their stingy ways led by senior defensive back Eric Garror and Bryceson Massey. Junior defensive lineman Ladarius Cox is helping plug up the middle which only allowed 60 yards rushing against Theodore. The Yellow Jackets are only giving up 8.1 points per game. The defense has given up 14 points or less in the last eight games with two of those being shutouts.

Third year head coach Tim Carter is continuing to their winning streak as well, as they have won 8 straight games since dropping their opener 24-21 to St. Paul’s. The Pirates are coming off a 42-21 victory over Alma Bryant. The offense is led by quarterback Devin Mitchell and running back Michael Colclasure. This offense is averaging 30.9 points per game and have scored 25+ points in six of their last eight games. They will have a very tough task moving the ball against one of the toughest defenses in 7A. The Fairhope defense is led by Wes Baumhower who moved from the defensive line to linebacker for the 2017 season. The Pirate defense is only giving up 18.9 points per game.

Fairhope holds the slight advantage over McGill with a 22-11 overall record, but the Yellow Jackets have won 4 of the last 7 meetings including the last two against the Pirates. The region championship is on the line, tune in to see this 7A region 1 matchup, kickoff is set for Friday at 7pm on UTV44.