PREP FOOTBALL: Eagles, Bulldogs, Tigers, Aggies traveling this week as postseason approaches

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L-R: Hanceville’s Preston McClerren (32), Fairview’s Eli Speegle (28), Vinemont’s Dallin Dinkle (24) (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

Postseason football is right around the corner and this year we’ll have a host of local teams in the state playoff field, some of which are preparing to hit the road for region matchups this week. Vinemont will travel to J.B. Pennington, Fairview will head to Randolph, Meek will play at Marion County and Hanceville will travel to take on Fultondale.

(0-8) Meek (1A Region 6) at (4-4) Marion County (1A Region 6)

2019 has not gone according to plan for the Meek Tigers. At 0-5 in the region, the Tigers will miss the playoffs this season but still have two games in front of them before the regular season concludes. This week they’ll head to Marion County to face the Red Raiders who are coming off a 50-12 loss at South Lamar.

Marion County is allowing just under 30 points per game on the season but in its last four games, all of which were losses, opponents are averaging over 43 points against the Red Raiders. Those numbers should bode well for a Meek offense that has struggled this season but would like to finish strong and put up some numbers this week on the road.

(3-4) Vinemont (3A Region 5) at (2-5) J.B. Pennington (3A Region 5)

The Eagles are coming off a massive, 42-35 win over Locust Fork that came down to the final seconds, but they’ll have to move on and refocus for this week’s road trip to J.B. Pennington. The Tigers defeated Holly Pond 34-8 last week and will return home Friday night to host Vinemont for a critical region matchup.

J.B. Pennington is scoring just 13 points per game this season but is coming off back to back wins going into this week’s game. The Eagles have been inconsistent but explosive on offense at times, so they’ll need a complete game Friday to topple a Tigers team that is riding a little momentum. Vinemont still controls its own postseason destiny and a win this week in Blountsville would only help the Eagles going forward as they try to lock up a playoff spot.

(5-2) Fairview (4A Region 7) at (2-5) Randolph (4A Region 7)

The Aggies punched their ticket to the playoffs with last week’s 42-35 win over West Morgan and now find themselves in a three-way tie at the top of the region standings. Fairview is currently tied with Danville and Priceville on top of region 7 and the Aggies will need a win at Randolph this week to keep it that way.

The Raiders are allowing over 32 points per game this season and that could be a problem with Fairview coming to town. The Aggies are putting up 34 points per game right now thanks in large part to a potent running game and they’ll likely stick with that formula on the offensive end this week. Its not quite time to look ahead to round one if you’re Fairview but any more wins you can get before the end of the regular season will only help when it comes to playoff seeding.

(3-4) Hanceville (3A Region 5) at (6-1) Fultondale (3A Region 5)

The Bulldogs got a chance to rest up last week after a tough loss to Midfield and are now preparing to head to Fultondale for another regional showdown. At 3-4, Hanceville is having its best season since 2016 when the Bulldogs finished 3-7 but they still have a lot of work to do to get themselves into the playoffs. Hanceville will have to win out to have a crack at the postseason and that path starts this week with arguably the toughest opponent on the schedule.

The Wildcats are holding their opponents to just 18 points per game but have not been as effective on the offensive side of the ball, scoring just 24 points per game. As a result, Fultondale has won some tight games this season and won’t be ratted if the Bulldogs manage to get the game into the fourth quarter. This week will be one of Hanceville’s toughest tests of the season but a win on the road could vault the Bulldogs into the playoff conversation as the regular season comes to a close.

Look for previews on Addison, Cold Springs, Cullman, West Point and Good Hope in Thursday’s edition of The Cullman Tribune.

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