Week 3 Game Notes
No. 1 Hartselle at Athens
Series: Athens leads 29-28-2
Last meeting: Hartselle won 23-0 in 2011
Looking for a series tie: Hartselle can even its series with Athens tonight with a win, according to data from the Alabama High School Football History website. Coming into tonight, Hartselle has won the last six meetings by an average score of 33-7 with three of those games being shutouts. The last Athens win was a 23-13 victory in the third round of the 2006 playoffs.
Top 100 ranking: Hartselle is now ranked in the top 100 according to MaxPreps.com. The Tigers are ranked third overall in Alabama behind Hoover (18) and Clay-Chalkville (51). The Tigers picked up another first place vote in this week’s Alabama Sports Writers Association poll this week and are still the No. 1 team in Class 5A.
Road becomes more difficult this week: Tonight’s game with Athens begins a tough four-game stretch for the Tigers. After that they will play rival and seventh-ranked Cullman, followed by rival Decatur and a potential 1 vs. 2 matchup with Muscle Shoals in Week 6. While the fans might be pointing toward the scuffle in the Shoals three weeks from tonight, the coaches and players cannot afford to look past any of these four next opponents.
Longest winning streaks reside in Class 5A: No. 1 Hartselle and No. 3 Jackson, 2011 Class 4A champions, currently are tied with the state’s longest winning streak at 17. However, the Aggies will face their toughest test of the season so far, when they take on Greenville tonight.
Brewer at Etowah
Series: First meeting
Patriots needing better start: Brewer has fallen behind early in both of their contests this season, falling behind by 35-0 against West Point and 42-7 Boaz by halftime. The Patriots have played better in the second half in both games, but they can’t afford to let their opponent take a commanding lead in the first half.
Fourth quarter scoring spurts: Brewer has actually outscored their opponents 26-7 in the fourth quarter this season. Although neither games have been close late, being able to score in the fourth quarter could help the Patriots if they can keep a game close until the end.
Priceville at Brooks
Series: Brooks leads 2-0
Last meeting: Brooks won 40-21
Bulldogs come up short: Rogers scored on three of their first four possessions en route to a 28-12 lead last week, but the Bulldogs had opportunities to keep the game close. In the second quarter, they turned the ball over on downs at the Rogers 29. A short Pirate touchdown drive was set up by a Bulldog fumble. The Bulldogs also recovered a fumble inside the Rogers’ red zone, but again the threat ended on fourth down. If the Priceville capitalizes on those opportunities and doesn’t commit the turnover, the Bulldogs could be 2-0. Eliminating mistakes and making the most of their opportunities are keys to staying in the game with Brooks.
Brooks on a roll: The Lions have outscored their opponents 89-21, but they are now heading into a difficult stretch of their season beginning tonight. Next week they play Rogers and then take on rival Deshler. Tonight will also be a good measuring stick of how much Priceville has improved from last year to this year.
Winfield at Danville
Series: Winfield leads 6-0
Last meeting: Winfield won 35-7
Chance to break into win column against Winfield: While the Hawks have never beaten Winfield, they might have a good opportunity tonight. Winfield isn’t as dominant as they were six years ago when they went to the state semifinals. Danville is also much improved from last season. Their 16-point total last week was their second highest output in a region game under head coach Scott Curd.
Injuries hurt Hawk comeback: Danville had a couple of key injuries in their game against Vinemont last week. However, the Hawks fought on and came close to defeating Vinemont. In fact, after Vinemont took the lead with just over a minute left in the game, Danville drove into Vinemont territory and had a shot to win the game.
Falkville at Appalachian
Series: First meeting
Offensive explosion: The Blue Devils are scoring points at a clip they haven’t seen in years. Through just two games, the Blue Devils have scored 95 points. That’s more points than either of the previous two seasons and close to their total from three years ago (110). If this pattern holds, the team could have easily break its scoring record for an entire season.
Off to good start: Falkville is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since Neil Estes’ 2008 squad achieved that feat. The team finished 5-5 and barely missed the playoffs in 2008.
Better than 0-2 record: Appalachian is probably a better team than their 0-2 record indicates. They narrowly lost to Meek in Week 1 (21-10) and lost 24-10 in a tough game against Sumiton Christian last week. This week begins a tough three-game stretch for Falkville with Meek and and Sumiton Christian following this week. A win tonight could go a long way in helping Falkville make the playoffs.