Rivals set to square off tonight in Danville
Miller's concern is heat; Burch says Hawks prepared
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
DANVILLE – Two of the smallest teams in Morgan County may play the biggest game of the season tonight.
Falkville and Danville square off in a clash of small school rivals. Last season, Falkville won 18-16 behind more than 200 yards rushing by Ian Thompson.
This season may be much different.
"We have a lot more strength and depth this season," second year coach Joey Burch said. "I know we are a whole lot better team right now than we were this time last year."
Falkville head coach Jeff Miller is convinced of what will determine the outcome.
"We are using our standard approach to any game," he said. "But, I think being in shape will be the biggest factor of this particular game. The sun is still going to be out at kickoff, and it's going to be hot. Whoever is in the best condition will be better in the fourth quarter and that could determine the outcome."
Miller said he prided himself in having his team ready for its first game of the season. In four previous years, Miller's Blue Devils have won three and lost just one.
Burch said he agreed about the heat, but his team will combat it with depth.
"Being in shape is depth," Burch said. "If you don't have a lot of depth, you will be gone by the fourth quarter. We're going to play a lot of kids and try to keep them fresh."
Falkville will rely heavily on Thompson, a senior who had several health problems last season. Danville will counter will a much stiffer defense than it fielded last season.
"It's the first game so we really have no idea of what they are going to try to do," Burch said. "We just have to prepare several different ways, and I feel like we are prepared as we can be, not knowing what we are going to face."
"We just have to go out and do a good job tackling," Miller said. "We can't have turnovers or stupid penalties. Now, we've had good workouts, nothing extraordinary as far as preparing goes, and hopefully we have gained some confidence for this game."
Kickoff is set for tonight at 7 p.m.