PREP FOOTBALL: 8 local teams wrapping up region play Thursday night; Bearcats, Tigers hosting Friday night

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L-R: Cold Springs’ Roberto Ayala (11), Good Hope’s Drew Maddox (7) (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune) West Point’s Kelton Washington (23) (Bill Piper for The Cullman Tribune)

Editor’s note: The Wednesday, October 23rd print edition of The Cullman Tribune says that five teams are playing Thursday night but since press time on Tuesday, Holly Pond and Vinemont and Hanceville have moved their games to Thursday night to avoid incoming weather. Cullman and Meek are still scheduled to play Friday night.

With wet weather moving in this weekend, several local squads have opted to play their games Thursday night and for a couple of them it’ll be the final game of the regular season. Meek and Addison will host Lynn and travel to Hatton respectively to finish up their regular seasons while Cold Springs, West Point, Fairview, Hanceville and Good Hope will be wrapping up region play and locking up their potential playoff positions. There’s also a local rivalry going down in Vinemont between the Eagles and the Broncos with bragging rights and a potential playoff spot on the line.

(0-9) Meek (1A Region 6) vs. (3-5) Lynn (1A Region 6)

The 2019 season will come to and end for the Meek Tigers Friday night when they host the Lynn Bears and they’d love nothing more than to end things with a big win in front of a home crowd. Meek has had its struggles on both sides of the ball this season and the Bears will present a new set of challenges this week.

Lynn is coming off a 38-19 loss to South Lamar but is still in the playoff hunt so the Bears will be playing with a purpose Thursday night needing a win to stay alive. The Tigers will need to put together a complete performance on both sides of the ball to knock off Lynn and finish the season on a high note.

(7-2) Addison (2A Region 7) at (4-4) Hatton (2A Region 7)

The Bulldogs got off to a bit of a slow start at home against Tharptown last week but managed to pull away and win it 37-7, setting them up to finish second in the region with a win this week. However, Hatton has won three straight and outscored its opponents 113-32 in that stretch, so the Hornets aren’t going to make it easy for Addison to lock up the second seed.

Despite having a .500 record, Hatton is allowing just under 16 points per game this season defensively and have been clicking on the offensive end in recent weeks. The Bulldogs are bringing a stout defense of their own, one that allows just 12 points per game and has helped Addison win five straight since falling to Red Bay. Home field advantage is on the line in this one for the Bulldogs and its shaping up to be a physical game between two strong defensive units.

(4-4) Cold Springs (2A Region 5) at (7-1) Sulligent (2A Region 5)

The Eagles dropped a tough one last week against Tarrant in which they turned the ball over seven times and fell 24-20, but they’ll have to bounce back this week to face one of the best teams on their schedule on the road. Cold Springs will travel to face Sulligent this week and can lock up the third spot in region 5 with an upset. An Eagles loss and a Southeastern win over Tarrant could create a 3-way tie.

Sulligent is holding its opponents to just 19 points per game this season and has won four straight since falling to Aliceville in September. Cold Springs has been held to 20 the last two weeks and has been affected by the turnover bug in recent games, so it’ll take a solid showing on both sides of the ball to knock off Sulligent Thursday night.

(6-2) Fairview (4A Region 7) vs. (5-4) Danville (4A Region 7)

After cruising past Randolph 42-20 on the road last week, the Aggies will return home Thursday night to take on Danville with a region title on the line. Home field advantage is already secure for the Aggies in round one, but a region championship would be a great accomplishment for this Fairview team.

The Aggies are putting up 35 points per game this season and have scored at least that many in their last three wins over North Jackson, West Morgan and Randolph. Danville has been able to put points on the board this season as well but are allowing over 30 points per game defensively. The Hawks are coming off a 63-34 loss at St. John Paul II last week. With a region crown on the line, Fairview will be anxious to hit the field Thursday night and add to the momentum it has built going into the postseason.

(3-5) West Point (5A Region 7) vs. (3-6) Hayden (5A Region 7)

As of last week, the Warriors no longer control their own destiny in the playoff hunt, but they are not officially eliminated yet. Regardless of what happens elsewhere in the region, West Point has to get past Hayden Thursday night.

The Warriors have been held to just seven points in two of their last three games, so they’ve had some recent struggles offensively but this week they’ll face a Wildcats defense that is allowing just under 30 points per game. West Point is giving up 30 points per game as well so we could be looking at a high-scoring affair. With a potential playoff berth still out there for the Warriors, Thursday night’s showdown will be one of the most important of the season for West Point.

(7-1) Good Hope (4A Region 5) vs. (6-2) Fayette County (4A Region 5)

After routing Curry 42-6 last week, the Raiders are in position to secure the second seed in region 5 at home against Fayette County Thursday night. Good Hope won last year’s matchup with the Tigers in dramatic fashion so they’ll be looking for some pay back at James W. Shabel Stadium this time around.

The Raiders are scoring 30 points per game right now and holding their opponents to fewer than 20. Fayette County is putting up 29 points per game so both offenses have had some success this season and this matchup will likely come down to which defense can make big stops and get off the field at critical times. Good Hope has allowed just 17 points combined in its last two games, so things are clicking for the Raiders defensively right now and with home field advantage on the line, they’ll be aiming for another great performance Thursday night.

(4-5) Cullman (6A Region 7) vs. (7-1) Fort Payne (6A Region 8)

The Bearcats are still scheduled to host the Fort Payne Wildcats Friday night to wrap up the regular season and it’ll be another tough test for Cullman. The Wildcats have already won their region title this season and are coming off a 45-28 win over Hazel Green while the Bearcats are coming off a dramatic, 15-10 victory over the hated Hartselle Tigers.

Fort Payne has had a stellar 2019 campaign, with its only loss coming on the road against Etowah in September. The Wildcats are scoring 33 points per game and holding their opponents to just 19. Meanwhile, Cullman is holding its opponents to 20 points per game and scoring just under 23 offensively. The Bearcats have already wrapped up the third seed in the region with last week’s win but an upset over Fort Payne would send them into the postseason with some real momentum.

(3-5) Hanceville (3A Region 5) vs. (5-4) Locust Fork (3A Region 5)

The Bulldogs were put out of the playoff hunt last week when the Fultondale Wildcats pulled away in a game that was very close at the half but now, they’ll have to regroup and prepare for Locust Fork coming to town Thursday night. The Hornets are coming off a massive win over Midfield a week ago and will be looking to shore up their playoff position this week.

Locust Fork is clicking on offense right now, putting up over 31 points per game and hasn’t been held to fewer than 28 since September 6th against Fultondale. Hanceville’s defense will certainly have its hands full Thursday and will need a solid performance offensively after being held to just 20 combined points in its last two matchups with Midfield and Fultondale.

(3-5) Vinemont (3A Region 5) vs. (1-7) Holly Pond (3A Region 5)

Holly Pond and Vinemont are set to renew their county rivalry Thursday night and the Eagles will be playing for a potential playoff spot. A win over the Broncos and a Midfield win over J.B. Pennington would send Vinemont to the postseason but other scenarios will send the region into a tiebreaker for the final playoff spot. Holly Pond is coming off a bye week and the Eagles are returning home after falling to J.B. Pennington last week.

The Broncos have struggled on the defensive end this season, allowing over 35 points per game but Vinemont has had consistency issues of its own on the offensive side of the ball. The Eagles are putting up 22 points per game, but a lot of those points have come in bursts during first or second halves. They used a four-quarter performance to knock off Locust Fork two weeks ago and will be looking to duplicate that showing Thursday. Holly Pond has found some success running the ball this season, scoring 21 points per game, and it’ll take a great performance on the ground to get by Vinemont this week.

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