SCHEDULE SERIES: Blue Devils step up to 2A, focus on playoffs return
Tyler Mitchell inherited a program coming off an 11-win season when he took over as Falkville head coach this past season. Despite having an inexperienced team, the Blue Devils returned to the second round of the playoffs – and were just a couple of plays away from making it to the third round.
The Blue Devils return eight starters on offense and 10 starters on defense as they take a step up to 2A, Region 7. The region has a different look this season than it did the past season when it was dominated by Fyffe and Collinsville, both of which moved up to 3A. North Sand Mountain is the only team from the past season that went to the playoffs, finishing with a 9-4 record and a trip to the third round. Pisgah drops down from 3A after making the playoffs last season.
Here’s a look at the Falkville 2020 football schedule:
Aug. 21, vs. Decatur Heritage
The Blue Devils and Eagles were in the same region last year, and their matchup had championship implications for the second year in a row. DHCA held a 14-point lead early in the fourth before Falkville cut the lead to 21-14 when Christian Angulo scored his second touchdown. The Eagles defense held tight with two stops in the final five minutes of the game to preserve the 21-14 win.
The Eagles scored 36.8 points per game while allowing 13 points per game last season.
Aug. 28, vs. Danville
Falkville and Danville battled to a 21-21 tie in the first 45 minutes of the game this past season. The Blue Devils’ defense made two stops inside the final three minutes that led to two scoring runs by quarterback Peyton Sallee to cap off a 34-21 win for Mitchell’s first win as a high school coach. Sallee finished with 145 yards rushing on 25 carries. Danville went on to finish 5-5 and advanced to the first round of the 4A playoffs.
The Hawks averaged 23.5 points and gave up 33.7 points per game last season.
Sept. 4, vs. Whitesburg Christian
The Blue Devils open region play against the Whitesburg Christian Warriors. The Warriors are entering their first season of varsity football, having played a junior varsity schedule in the previous two seasons.
Sept. 11, at Pisgah
Falkville travels to Pisgah for a matchup between two playoff teams from last season. The game will be the first-ever meeting between the two.
The Eagles advanced to the playoffs in 3A after finishing fourth in their region.
The two teams had one common opponent, Woodville, on their schedule last season. Both teams defeated Woodville by 26 points.
The Eagles scored 27.5 points per game while allowing 33.1 points last season. Pisgah head coach is Luke Pruitt, the brother of the University of Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
Sept. 25, at Cold Springs
Falkville comes off a bye week to travel to Cold Springs for a non-region matchup. The Eagles finished 5-6 last season, advancing to the first round of the Class 2A playoffs. Falkville holds a 25-5 record against the Eagles.
The last time the two teams played, in 2017, the Blue Devils defeated Cold Springs 63-7. The Eagles scored 22.4 points per game and gave up 25.3 points last season.
Oct. 2, at Section
The Blue Devils play their third consecutive road game against the Section Lions. The Lions finished 3-7 last season under first-year head coach Chris Hammon. One of their wins came against Woodville, which Falkville also defeated, to close the season.
This game will be the first meeting between these two teams.
The Lions averaged 10.3 points per game while giving up 29.6 points last season.
Oct. 9, vs. Tanner
Falkville comes home for a matchup against Tanner, which holds a 20-8-2 all-time record versus the Blue Devils. The game will be these teams’ first meeting since 2017 when Falkville won 20-16.
The Rattlers are coming off a 1-9 season – Coach Oscar Bonds’ second season. The Rattlers averaged 17.9 points per game while giving up 38.2.
Oct. 16, vs. Ider
The Blue Devils host the Ider Hornets in Falkville’s final home game of the season. The game will be the first meeting between the two teams.
The Hornets finished with two wins in 2019. The two teams each lost to Valley Head last season, the teams’ only common opponent.
The Hornets averaged 13.3 points per game while giving up 31.9 points.
Oct. 23, at North Sand Mountain
In what could be the game to decide the 2A, Region 7 title, the Blue Devils travel to North Sand Mountain in the final region game of the season. The Bison are coming off a third-place finish in the region this past season, advancing to the third round of the playoffs. North Sand Mountain averaged 34.3 points per game while giving up 23.2 points. The Bison finished undefeated at home.
The game will be the second meeting all-time between the two teams, with Falkville winning the first game 51-14 in 1968.
Oct. 30, at Winston County
The Blue Devils close out the regular season when they travel to Winston County. The Yellow Jackets lead the all-time series 10-3, with Falkville having won the two most recent matchups in 2016 and 2017.
Winston County finished the past season with a 3-7 record, averaging 20.4 points per game while allowing 23.1 points.