PREP FOOTBALL: Weather moving most week 1 matchups to Thursday

Vinemont, Cold Springs and Cullman will take on Fairview, Holly Pond and Jasper this week, respectively. (Martha Needham and Joe McElroy for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – With some rainy weather on its way to hit us toward the end of the week, most of our local matchups will be played Thursday night. Several local teams collected wins in their first contests during week zero but now they’ll have a short turnaround to prepare for this week’s opponents. Meek, Cullman, Fairview, Addison, Good Hope, Arab and Holly Pond are all getting ready for their home-openers while West Point, Vinemont and Cold Springs prepare to hit the road. Rivalry games within the county and against out of county foes make up this week’s slate and local teams are looking to either bounce back with a win or keep their early momentum going.

Thursday, Aug. 27

Holly Pond (1-0) vs. Cold Springs (1-0)

Holly Pond will be kicking off its season against the Cold Springs Eagles Thursday night after the Broncos’ season-opener was forfeited by Brindlee Mountain. The Eagles are coming off a 43-40 win over Meek last week in which running back Ayden Alexander eclipsed the 300-yard mark and found the end zone four times. The keys for slowing down Cold Springs on offense should be somewhat obvious after last week’s games but the Broncos will a new look to them in their first game under new Head Coach Chris Moss. The quarterback option has been the bread and butter for Holly Pond for years, but the Eagles will have to prepare for something a little different Thursday night. Turnovers almost cost Cold Springs dearly late in last week’s game against the Tigers, so they’ll have to patch some of those things up on the road this week when they face the new-look Broncos.

Good Hope (1-0) vs. West Point

West Point is coming off a 35-35 tie in a jamboree game at Priceville last week and the Raiders are returning home after pounding West Morgan on the road 47-19. Colton Bagwell collected a pair of touchdowns for Good Hope on the ground last week and for the Warriors, Jacob Dye hauled in three touchdown passes from Will Cochran. Both offenses put together solid performances in week zero, so it’ll likely come down to who’s defense shows up when the two teams meet Thursday night. Priceville was able to come up with some explosive plays in last week’s jamboree and the Warriors will have to try and keep the Raiders in check this week. Good Hope did most of its damage on the ground last week but with an experienced quarterback under center in Tanner Malin and some speed out on the perimeter, don’t be surprised to see the Raiders threaten all parts of the field this season.

Fairview vs. Vinemont (1-0)

Both the Aggies and Eagles are coming off big wins to open the 2020 season but one of them will have to drop to .500 this week. Vinemont edged the Hanceville Bulldogs 31-30 at home last week and Fairview dropped Falkville in a jamboree game 20-0. Tyler Simmons racked up over 100 yards on the ground for the Aggies in last week’s game and Colby Miller found the end zone three times in the Eagles’ thrilling win over the Bulldogs. Vinemont did have some trouble containing Hanceville on the defensive end and that’ll be a challenge against the potent running game of Fairview. The Aggies won their last meeting with the Eagles in 2015 and lead the all-time series 22-19.

Arab (1-0) vs. Guntersville (1-0)

Last week’s road win at Albertville was a great start to the 2020 season for the Arab Knights. A late defensive stand sealed the season-opening 13-6 win for the Knights along with a stellar rushing performance from running back Mathew Turnage. This will be the first game of the season for Guntersville. The Wildcats’ season-opener was forfeited by East Limestone. Guntersville is coming off an 8-3 season and narrowly defeated Arab 45-42 in last year’s meeting. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 59-30-2 and have won seven in a row over the Knights so a win Thursday night would provide some major momentum for Arab going forward.

Meek (0-1) vs. Winston County

The Tigers fell just three points short on the road against Cold Springs last week but will have to rally and prepare for another matchup Thursday night. Meek will return home this week to host the Winston County Yellow Jackets and try to bounce back and find the win column. Matthew Clark led the way for the Tigers on the ground last week with 139 yards and a pair of scores and interceptions in the defensive secondary gave Meek a chance to climb back and beat Cold Springs late in the game. The Yellow Jackets lead the all-time series 49-13-5 but the two teams have split their last two meetings and a win Thursday night would be a great boost for the Tigers this fall.

Addison (0-1) vs. Lynn

Last week’s trip to Haleyville was a tough way to kick off the 2020 season for the Bulldogs. Addison dropped its season opener to the 4A Lions 28-6 but now they’re returning home to familiar territory to face the Lynn Bears. This will be Lynn’s first game of the season so the Bulldogs will be getting the first look of this year’s edition of the Bears. Lynn was 5-5 in 2019 and finished just outside of the playoffs so there will be plenty for Addison to prepare for. The Bulldogs’ passing game found a little bit of success in the second half at Haleyville last week and if they can find more success on the ground, Addison will have a good chance to get back in the win column Thursday night.

Friday, Aug. 28

Cullman (1-0) vs. Jasper (1-0) The Bearcats are coming home to play Jasper at Oliver Woodard Stadium Friday night and they’ll be aiming for a repeat of last week’s impressive performance. The ‘Cats shut out Grissom in a 23-0 win on the road last Thursday, capturing their first ever win against a 7A program. This week they’ll have their hands full with the Jasper Vikings. This game seems to come down to the final moments every season and I don’t expect this year’s showdown to be any different. The Vikings are coming off a stellar season in which they started 11-0 before falling in the second round of the state playoffs and won their first game of the season 30-20 over Mars Hill last week. Cullman and Jasper have split their last two meetings and the games have been decided by a combined three points so expect another classic battle when these two renew their rivalry Friday night.

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