Week 2 Football GamesPublished 12:43pm Friday, September 6, 2013
No. 4 Hartselle at Lawrence County
Series: Hartselle leads 34-14-4
Last meeting: Tigers won 57-0 in 2012
First week drama: Hartselle had to rally from a 8-5 deficit with a late field goal and then won in overtime 14-11 over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa that made the playoffs last year. Sophomore quarterback Jake Tiffin led the game-tying drive by converting two fourth down plays and then rushed for a 10-yard touchdown on the Tiger’s first play from scrimmage in OT to win it. The Tigers had to refocus this after the emotional win and get ready for the region opener.
Dominant defense: Hartselle’s defense limited Hillcrest to less than 100 yards of offense last week and didn’t allow a touchdown. Coming into the season, everyone knew that Hartselle was more experienced on defense. They relied on that strong defense to get the win last week while the offense, which only returned two starters from a year ago, is figuring out its identity. The key to the defense may be senior leadership of Waid Miller and others. The defense will have to carry the team again for the next few weeks as the offense starts to gel.
Special teams: Hartselle’s special teams, for the most part were good against Lawrence County. Jack Waterman was 2-for-3, but the one kick was blocked. The punting game was decent, but Hillcrest also blocked a punt for its only points of the game. Those two blocked kicks gave the Tiger coaches a chance to get these mistakes corrected as they head into region play.
Red Devils use big plays: Lawrence County used several big plays to defeat East Lawrence 40-26 last week. The Hartselle defense will have to limit those big plays to be successful tonight.
Brewer at Boaz
Series: Boaz leads 1-0
Last meeting: Boaz won 56-19 in 2012
Heartbreaker: Brewer will have to rally after the Patriots lost a heartbreaker 25-18 last week to West Point. The Patriots trailed 19-18 most of the second half and had two opportunities to take the lead in the second half, but both of them ended just short of the goal line. Brewer has to keep its head up after this tough loss. If they keep that type of effort and intensity, good things will come out of Brewer this season.
Off-the-field issues: Brewer’s quarterback was injured in a wreck over the Labor Day holiday. It’s unclear whether he will play this week or not. The Patriots will have to overcome that adversity when it travels to Boaz.
Pirates walked the plank: Boaz failed to score last week losing to a Guntersville team, which could be good this year. It was the first game for new Boaz coach Eric Whaley. The Pirates struggled, only gaining 102 total yards. Expect Boaz to be better this week, but the Patriots should have an opportunity to win this one on the road.
Priceville at Rogers
Series: Rogers leads 1-0
Last meeting: Rogers won 28-12 in 2012
Patterson gets AHSAA recognition: Ben Patterson made the honorable mention for the AHSAA Spotlight last week. He returned a kickoff and a punt return for a touchdown. Look for Patterson to make another big impact on special teams and defense. (Correction: Patterson did not wear Nick Bell’s old number. Patterson has worn the No. 15 the last couple of years. I apologize for my mistake.)
Rogers blanked by Muscle Shoals: Rogers had the unenviable task of playing its opener against Muscle Shoals of Class 5A, Region 8. They lost 56-0, but we’ll find out more about the Pirates this week against Priceville. This is a big game for both teams to get an important region win right off the bat.
Running game improves for Priceville: Last year, Priceville set all kinds of scoring and offensive records thanks to its passing game. This year, the Kaleb Barker and Zack Smith both rushed for more than 130 yards against West Morgan. Barker only threw five passes, but one was a passing TD to Ryley Mason. The Bulldogs will need more of that running attack to help them compete for a playoff berth in this tough region.
Danville at Vinemont
Series: Vinemont leads 20-7
Last meeting: Vinemont won 21-16 in 2012
Disappointing opener: Danville had trouble stopping Randolph last week in the opener. The defense will have to improve if the Hawks can pull off the big win tonight on the road.
Road warriors: Danville plays six of its first seven games on the road this year. The Hawks will have to overcome that adversity. However, the last three games are at home.
Falkville at Shades Mountain Christian
Series: Falkville leads 1-0
Last meeting: Falkville won 34-14 last year
Taking care of business: The Blue Devils were workmanlike in their 49-0 win over Southeastern, which is still in its infancy as a program. Falkville posted 36 points in the first quarter, as the Blue Devils took advantage of Southeastern’s offensive and special teams miscues. Expect to see more of the same this week, as Falkville should roll to an easy win.
Keeping the right focus: One challenge for Falkville is not looking ahead to next week’s game with Appalachian, who defeated Meek 38-22 in the first game of the season. It could be easy to look past this week because the Devils’ first two opponents are the weakest opponents on their schedule. The meat of the schedule begins next week.