PREP FOOTBALL: 4th-ranked Raiders preparing to face 8th-ranked Northside; Addison, Hanceville, Fairview, West Point hosting regional matchups

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Good Hope running back Ethan Anderson (3) follows Morgan Cook (68) during the Raiders’ win at Cordova earlier this season. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

With the playoff chase in full swing, several local squads are preparing to host regional matchups and all of them hold postseason implications. This week’s slate also features a pair of ranked teams clashing in Good Hope as the fourth-ranked Raiders prepare to host no. 8 Northside Friday night. Elsewhere in the area, Hanceville will face one of the top teams in its region when Midfield comes to town, Fairview will be looking for some revenge against a North Jackson team that routed them a season ago, West Point will host the top ranked Jasper Vikings Friday night and the Addison Bulldogs will play Colbert County in a game that could decide that region when it’s all said and done.

(4-2) Addison (2A Region 7) vs. (5-1) Colbert County (2A Region 7)

A heartbreaking loss at Red Bay earlier in the season currently has Addison sitting at 1-1 in region 7 but the Bulldogs could make up a lot of ground this week with a win over Colbert County. The Indians hold a 3-0 record and sits atop the region standings. The Bulldogs are coming off back to back wins over Sheffield and Vinemont but fell to Colbert County in last year’s meeting 35-8.

Addison’s defense has been stout every week up to this point. The most they’ve allowed was 28 points at Piedmont in week two in a game where the Bulldogs turned it over seven times. Addison is allowing its opponents to score just under 12 points per game, but Colbert County is coming to town with a high-powered offense. The Indians are putting up over 37 points per game while allowing just 11 points per game defensively so the Bulldogs will have their hands full Friday night.

(2-3) West Point (5A Region 7) vs. (5-0) Jasper (5A Region 7)

After taking a tough region loss at Russellville two weeks ago, the Warriors got the next week off to prepare for this week’s opponent, Jasper. The Vikings are undefeated and currently ranked no. 1 in 5A. Jasper defeated the second ranked team in 5A last week when they edged Central Clay County 35-34 in double overtime.

With a 1-2 record in region 7, the Warriors need to make up some ground in the region as soon as possible and nothing would help that cause more than a win over the Vikings. However, it’ll take one of West Point’s strongest performances of the season. Jasper is outscoring its opponents 222-53 this year and holding them just over to 10 points per game. The Warriors have had some struggles on the defensive end this season but have also been explosive in the passing game. With the Vikings recovering from a long, close, dramatic game, a great effort on defense and some big plays on the offensive side could give West Point a fighting chance at home this week.

(3-2) Fairview (4A Region 7) vs. (1-4) North Jackson (4A Region 7)

The Aggies no doubt remember last year’s trip to North Jackson. The Chiefs routed Fairview 78-12 on their way to an undefeated regular season, but North Jackson has taken a step back this fall and will have to travel to face the Aggies again this week. Fairview dropped a tough game on the road at Priceville two weeks ago but with a week of rest under their belt, the Aggies will be ready to see North Jackson at Dafford Smith Stadium Friday night.

Fairview’s offense is currently scoring just over 31 points per game and will have another chance to move the ball this week against a North Jackson team that allows just under 34 points per game. However, even in their losses the Chiefs have been able to get on the scoreboard this season so it will take a complete effort on both sides of the ball from the Aggies this week if they want to avenge last year’s loss in Stevenson and move to 3-1 in the region.

(3-3) Hanceville (3A Region 5) vs. (3-1) Midfield (3A Region 5)

The Bulldogs are riding high after crushing Curry on the road 50-22 but will have to refocus this week as they prepare to host Midfield for a regional contest. With a 1-2 record in region 5, Hanceville still has a lot to play for at this point and a win over the Patriots would create some serious momentum as the regular season winds down.

The Bulldogs are both scoring and allowing right around 25 points per game, a big improvement from 2018 but they’ll have to be even better this week against Midfield. The Patriots are putting up over 35 points per game this season and currently holds a 2-0 record in region 5. Hanceville lost last year’s meeting on the road 70-12 so this Friday will be another great opportunity for the Bulldogs to get some revenge and make waves in the region.

(5-0) Good Hope (4A Region 5) vs. (5-1) Northside (4A Region 5)

Perhaps the biggest clash of the week will be at James W. Shabel Stadium in Good Hope as the fourth-ranked Raiders prepare to host eighth-ranked Northside. Good Hope had last week off to rest up for Friday’s matchup and the Rams are coming off a 50-24 win at West Blocton. Northside won last year’s meeting 42-27, handing the Raiders their only loss of the regular season.

Good Hope is scoring over 34 points per game and holding opponents to just 20 points per game through its first five games but will face its biggest challenge of the season so far this week. Northside is putting up nearly 40 points per game offensively so the Raiders will have to play well on both sides of the ball to keep pace with the Rams Friday night and take control of the region.

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