PREP FOOTBALL: Local teams preparing for road trips in week 3

Holly Pond’s Landon Perkins (3), West Point’s Eli Folds (1) and Fairview’s Jameson Goble (4). (Howard Cole, Bill Piper & Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – High school football season is well underway at this point and teams across the state are starting to find their identity. Most of our local teams will have a big test this week as they hit the road for critical regional matchups. All but Arab and Hanceville will be away from home Friday night, looking for another region win to add to their resumes. The Knights and the Bulldogs will both be at home to take on Scottsboro and Dora respectively in another pair of region games.

Cullman (1-2) at Buckhorn (3-0)

The Bearcats are coming off a 35-14 loss to Hartselle in week two, but they’ll have to regroup and refocus to prepare for a showdown with Buckhorn. The Bucks are 3-0, having defeated Madison County, Bob Jones and Hazel Green in three tight games to start the season. Defensively, the Bucks have started the season strong, allowing just 14 points per game, Cullman’s offense will be tested once again Friday night and the ‘Cats will have to find a way to get points on the board if they want to keep pace with Buckhorn. If the black & gold defense can hold the Bucks in check, Friday’s matchup in New Market could be a physical, low-scoring affair with an important region win up for grabs.

Arab (2-1) v Scottsboro (1-2)

The Knights are returning home Friday night after picking up a huge, 20-7 region win at Fort Payne last week but now they’ll have to get ready for another important matchup when Scottsboro arrives. The Wildcats defeated North Jackson in their season opener but have fallen to Madison Academy and Oxford in back to back to weeks. Points have been hard to come by for Scottsboro early in the season and it won’t get any easier against Arab this week. The Knights are allowing just 12 points per game so far this season and will be excited to hit the field when Scottsboro comes to town Friday night.

West Point (2-0) at Boaz (2-1)

West Point is 2-0 after getting past Lawrence County 14-7 last week and the Warriors will be looking for win number three when they travel to Jacksonville State University to play Boaz Friday night. The Pirates are coming off a 53-0 drumming of Crossville last week, so they’ll have plenty of confidence when they hit the field against West Point. The Warriors defense held strong last week against Lawrence County but now they have another test and they’ll be looking for support from the West Point offense. With weapons all over the field, the Warriors will be gunning for the end zone Friday night and chasing their first 3-0 start since 2018.

Fairview (2-1) at Douglas (3-0)

The Aggies fell just short in last week’s heavy weight regional battle against Guntersville, but they have a new assignment this week and will have to prepare for a road trip to take on a hot Douglas squad. The Eagles have kicked off the season 3-0 after defeating Weaver, Woodville and Sardis by a combined score of 112-22 so Fairview will need to bring its A-game to Douglas with them Friday night. The Eagles haven’t allowed more than 8 points in a game this season but the Aggies are bringing a high-powered offense to town for this week’s game so something will have to give Friday night when Fairview and Douglas clash.

Good Hope (1-2) at Haleyville (1-2)

After hammering Ashville last week to collect their first win of the season, the Good Hope Raiders will be on the road this week for another regional matchup with the Haleyville Lions. Haleyville dropped a thrilling, season-opener at Addison, edged St. John Paul II to win in week one and fell to Northside 32-7 last week. Last season’s meeting was a tight one that the Raiders were able to take 27-24 so the Lions will be hungry for some payback when Good Hope arrives. The Raiders’ defense looked sharp against Ashville last week and if they can keep the momentum going, they’ll have a good chance to add another win to their record Friday night.

Hanceville (1-1) v. Dora (1-1)

The Bulldogs traveled to Fultondale for a shootout with the Wildcats last week and came up just short, 44-36, and now they’ll return home to Ray Talley Stadium for another critical region showdown Friday night. Dora was off last week but ran away from Holt 56-24 the week before, so the offense is capable of lighting up the scoreboard. Hanceville’s offense has been effective so far this season as well, averaging over 30 points per game in its first two matchups. This week’s battle of the Bulldogs will be a test to see which defense can step up to the challenge and if Hanceville can be the team to do it, a 2-1 record won’t be far behind.

Vinemont (0-3) at Carbon Hill (1-2)

The 2021 season hasn’t started the way the Vinemont Eagles planned but there is still plenty of time and plenty of games for the Eagles to bounce back and win this fall, starting with a road trip to Carbon Hill this week. Both the Eagles and Bulldogs are coming off losses to region foes last week so both squads are in need of a big win. Vinemont and Carbon Hill have both gotten off to rocky starts on the defensive side of the ball but if the Eagles can right the ship and overcome some injuries they’ve endured early in the season, they’ll have a great shot at their first victory this fall.

Holly Pond (2-1) at J.B. Pennington (2-0)

The Broncos took some lumps in their 45-0 loss to Oakman last week and things won’t get any easier this Friday when Holly Pond travels to take on J.B. Pennington in another regional clash. The Tigers were in town to take on Vinemont last week and left with a 49-6 win over the Eagles to improve to 2-0. J.B. Pennington handled the Broncos 56-8 last season, so it’ll take a great effort on both sides of the ball for Holly Pond to take the Tigers out on their home field Friday night.

Addison (3-0) at Midfield (2-1)

Despite being shorthanded last week, the Addison Bulldogs still managed to edge Aliceville 19-18 at A.G. Hicks Stadium to improve to 3-0 on the year and hop in the drivers’ seat of Region 5. This week, the Bulldogs will be on the road for another region matchup with the Patriots of Midfield. The Pats defeated Lamar County on the road 24-20 last week so they’re carrying some momentum into this week’s showdown as well. Addison handled last year’s meeting 33-8 so Midfield will be looking from some revenge against the Bulldogs when they arrive Friday night.

Meek (2-1) at South Lamar (1-1)

It’s been an exciting start to the season for the Meek Tigers. After winning just one game in 2020, the Tigers have already won two of their first three games this fall, and their only loss came on the road in overtime. After defeating Brilliant at home 46-26 last week, Meek will be back out on the road Friday for another region game against South Lamar. The Stallions downed Berry 36-20 last week and defeated the Tigers 30-16 in last year’s meeting, so they’ll have plenty of confidence when they hit the field Friday night. However, this appears to be a new Meek Tigers squad and if they can continue to build on their performance from the first three weeks of this season, they’ll have a great chance to collect another big win.

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