PREP FOOTBALL: 4 local squads gearing up to host week 3 matchups

Left – Cold Springs quarterback Brodi Williams (7) (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune). Right – Cullman quarterback Max Dueland (2) (Joe McElroy for The Cullman Tribune).

There are just four local teams playing at home this week and they are spread far and wide. Meek is returning home to play South Lamar, Addison is hosting Winston County, Southeastern is travelling to Cold Springs and Cullman will play its home opener against Decatur. All of them except for Addison will be facing region opponents.

(1-1) Addison (2A Region 7) vs. (2-0) Winston County (2A Region 5)

The Bulldogs did not play their best game at Piedmont last week, turning the ball over seven times in a 28-16 loss. Addison lost a little more than just the game at Piedmont last week as well. Junior Logan Wilkins will be unavailable due to an injury and senior Luke Waldrep will miss time with an injury as well.

Winston County is coming off big wins over Meek and Hackleburg in which the Yellow Jackets won by a combined 48 points. Junior running back Austin Owens finished as an all-state player in 2018 and racked up 195 yards and three touchdowns in their win over Meek last week. Owens now has seven touchdowns in just two games this season so containing him will be the key for Addison on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, the Bulldogs will have to focus on taking care of the football if they want a chance to start region play with a win.

(1-1) Cold Springs (2A Region 5) vs. (1-1) Southeastern (2A Region 5)

After shutting out Meek on the road to start the season with a win, Cold Springs hit the road again last week but couldn’t return home with another victory. The Berry Wildcats handled Cold Springs 43-15 to give the Eagles their first loss of the season.

The Cold Springs defense kicked the year off with a dominant performance in Arley but couldn’t maintain that level of play in week two. Southeastern fell in its season opener against Appalachian 34-32 but responded in week two by thrashing Brindlee Mountain 49-0. Even in a loss, the Mustangs were able to put points on the board, so it’ll be critical for both the Eagles offense and defense to bounce back this week and start to hit their stride now that region play is here.

(0-2) Meek (1A Region 6) vs. (1-0) South Lamar (1A Region 6)

The Tigers have gotten off to a bit of slow start in 2018, opening the season with a 25-0 loss to Cold Springs and a 38-18 loss at Winston County last week. The Yellow Jackets racked up over 400 yards on the ground against Meek in week two and that’s something that the Tigers will have to correct defensively now that region play has begun.

Quarterback Stuart Waldrep tossed a pair of touchdowns in the loss, but it wasn’t enough to chip away at the Winston County lead. The ground game will have to become more effective for the Tigers this week if they want start region play by taking down the Stallions at home.

(0-2) Cullman (6A Region 7) vs. (0-2) Decatur (6A Region 7)

The Bearcats have started the season 0-2 but have fallen by a combined five points to a pair of strong playoff teams from a season ago. With region play starting this week, there is still a lot for Cullman to play for this season. The Red Raiders are 0-2 as well but have lost to Huntsville 45-14 and Austin 56-14 in their first two contests. Both teams are anxious to collect their first wins after slow starts and get region play going on the right foot.

Jaylen Hughey has been the biggest factor for the Bearcats on the ground so far, collecting 209 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries in the first two weeks and Isaiah Jones has been the favorite target on the outside. Both quarterbacks Max Dueland and JT Blackwood have connected with Jones for touchdowns this season and Jake Dueland and Jayden Sullins have been targeted frequently as well. Cullman’s defense has played well up to this point and if the offense can continue to settle in and find a rhythm, the Bearcats will have a great chance to start region play 1-0 on Friday.

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