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Week 5 Game Notes

Published 8:00pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hartselle (3-1) at Decatur (2-2)

Series: Decatur leads 55-20-1

Last meeting: Red Raiders won 21-14 in 2012

Thursday night game: Due to Austin playing a home game at Ogle Stadium, the Hartselle vs. Decatur game will be played Thursday at 7 p.m. at Ogle Stadium.

Mistakes cause Tigers to falter: Mistakes were the story last week for Hartselle, as the Tigers lost to archrival Cullman 14-6. Hartselle turned it over three times through the air and once on a controversial muffed punt. Hartselle can’t afford to turn it over.

“We can’t show up with anything except our best and expect to win,” said head coach Bob Godsey. “I didn’t feel like we showed up with our best. We played hard and still had a chance right up until the very end.”

Toughest schedule: Hartselle plays one of the toughest football schedules in Alabama regardless of classification. Right now, Hartselle is halfway through the toughest four-game stretch of the season. So far, they are 1-1.

A win over Decatur, who is always tough to beat, would be a big boost in the Tigers’ confidence moving forward, especially with a Muscle Shoals team that hasn’t allowed a point so far this season on the horizon.

“Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us,” Godsey said about the schedule Friday night. “We’ll find out what we’re made of. We’ve faced a lot of adversity. We’ll fight back.”

Defense still strong: Hartselle’s defense may have made a couple of mistakes against Cullman, but the Tiger defense still gave the offense a chance to tie the game late. Hartselle’s offense actually outgained Cullman last week and turned the Bearcats away on every red zone possession they had. Hartselle’s defense is good enough to keep them in every game.

Danville (0-4) at Priceville (2-2)

Series: Danville leads 5-4

Last Meeting: Priceville won 17-15 in 2012

Offensive struggles: The Bulldogs’ explosion of offense ended two weeks ago when Brooks forced seven turnovers to rout Priceville 44-7. The funk continued against Wilson when they were held to less than 200 yards in a 24-7 loss.

Of course, Danville has had troubles as well, scoring just 57 points through four games. However, 35 of them came last week against a then winless Winston County. Part of that is due to the extreme amount of youth on the Hawks team.

Expect both teams to score a lot more because both teams have given up a lot of points this year as well. Priceville has allowed more than 30 points per game while Danville has allowed nearly 40 points per game.

Road Warriors: Both teams have spent a lot of time riding school buses to football games this year. Three of the first four games have been on the road for both teams. Even though it’s a road game, I’m sure Danville is probably happy that it doesn’t have to travel outside Morgan County this week. But both teams are probably a little weary from playing on the road so much early this season.

Crazy rivalry history: Priceville and Danville have had an unusual rivalry. Even though Danville holds a one-game lead on Priceville, they have outscored Priceville by 98 points. Most of that is due to 73-6 win by the Hawks in 2009. The last three meetings have been wild games. Three years ago, the two teams set scoring records by both teams in a single game when the Hawks won 69-42. Two years ago, Danville won an overtime game 41-38. Nick Bell hit a field goal with 10 seconds remaining to give the Bulldogs a 17-15 win last year. Expect to see another wild game between these two Morgan County rivals.

Sumiton Christian (2-2, 2-1) at No. 8 Falkville (4-0, 4-0)

Series: Sumiton leads 2-1

Last meeting: Falkville won 34-13

Finally ranked: The Blue Devils are in the ASWA football poll for the first time since 1992. After spending a couple of weeks on the cusp of the rankings, Falkville finally broke through with its win on Friday. Now after getting that new ranking, how will Falkville handle success? While the fans love to talk about rankings, the players must block it out and not let it add any pressure the team.

Don’t look past Sumiton Christian: The Eagles may have a 2-2 record, but they’re likely going to challenge unbeaten Falkville. Sumiton Christian lost by one point to an unbeaten Collinsville. The Eagles also defeated the same Meek team that challenged Falkville last week. This is a crucial region game for Falkville if it wants to host in the first round of the playoffs.

Vinemont (3-1) at Brewer (1-3)

Series: Vinemont leads 2-1

Last Meeting: Vinemont won 21-0

Same old Brewer?: The last two weeks have been difficult for Brewer. They lost to usual 5A powerhouse Etowah 37-7 before falling to Arab 45-14. The latter might give Patriot head coach Dan Styles heartburn because it came against an Arab team that hadn’t won a game all season, losing three tough contests. That was a big setback for a team that played competitively the first two weeks and still showed some fight against Etowah. The Patriots have made progress, but it’s still not where Styles wants his program to be.

Chance to get back on track: The next two games are opportunities for the Patriots to get back in the win column. Vinemont is 3-1 on the season, but the wins came against three opponents who are 1-11 all in Class 3A. Columbia is also a winless team. If Brewer wins the next two weeks, they will surpass their win total from last year with more opportunities left in the season.

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