PREP FOOTBALL: Local teams hitting midseason stretch in week 4

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Hanceville’s Zac Campbell (8), Cullman’s Jake Dueland (9) and Cold Springs’s Dylan Smith (25). (Katie Drummond, Joe McElroy & Howard Cole/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – With nearly half of the high school football season behind us, local teams are hitting the midseason stretch and preparing for some big-time regional contests this week. This week’s slate includes a pair of local rivalry games as well. Hanceville will make the trip over to Good Hope to take on the Raiders and West Point will travel to Fairview to face the Aggies in this year’s Brandin’ Iron Bowl at Dafford Smith Stadium. Cullman, Arab and Meek will be on the road for region games at Hazel Green, Southside-Gadsden and Hubbertville respectively while Vinemont, Holly Pond, Addison and Cold Springs prepare to host region foes Tarrant, Carbon Hill, Winston County and Aliceville.

Cullman (2-2) at Hazel Green (2-2)

The Cullman Bearcats got back to .500 last week after drumming Buckhorn 35-0 on the road and they’ll try to stay in the win column this week when they travel once again for a regional matchup at Hazel Green. After dominating their first two games of the season to get off to a 2-0 start, the Trojans lost a tight game with Buckhorn 21-14 and got hammered at Athens 56-7 last week to drop to 2-2. The ‘Cats will return home next week but first they’d like to cap off these back to back road trips with another region win. Cullman took last year’s matchup against Hazel Green 48-6 so most will be picking the black & gold in this one, but the Trojans will be looking for some revenge when they hit the field Friday night.

Arab (3-1) at Southside-Gadsden (3-1)

The last two weeks have gone according to plan for Arab. The Knights picked up a big, 20-7 win at Fort Payne two weeks ago and returned home last week to thump Scottsboro 35-0 in another regional contest. Now, the Knights will be back on the road this week to face another region opponent in Southside-Gadsden. The Panthers dropped their season opener against Lincoln 14-6 but have won three straight coming into Friday night’s game, including a 35-17 win at Oxford last week. Defensively, Southside is allowing just over 11 points per game and Arab is only giving up 9 per game so far this season so points will be at a premium when these two meet. The Knights edged the Panthers 28-27 last season, so this year’s matchup is sure to be another tight one.

Fairview (3-1) v. West Point (2-1)

The annual meeting between the West Point Warriors and Fairview Aggies is set to kick off at Dafford Smith Stadium Friday night and both teams are looking for a massive region win and bragging rights. The Aggies handed Douglas its first loss of the season 42-19 last week to improve to 3-1 on the year and West Point will be looking to bounce back against its rival after falling to Boaz 49-7. Last year’s matchup went down to the wire and a touchdown run followed by a 2-point conversion by Fairview’s Tyler Simmons was the difference in a 28-27 instant classic. This year, the Warriors will try to reclaim the Brandin’ Iron Bowl trophy while the Aggies fight to hold on to it in what is setting up to be another fun game.

Good Hope (2-2) v. Hanceville (1-2)

Good Hope is preparing to host Hanceville Friday night to renew its annual rivalry with the Bulldogs and like last year, there will be a region win on the line as well. After dropping their season opener to West Morgan and having to forfeit their second game with West Point to start the year 0-2, the Raiders have put 88 points on the board in their last two games to improve to 2-2. At the same time, Hanceville is coming off back to back region losses to Fultondale and Dora and is in major need of a win this week to stay in the postseason hunt. Good Hope’s offense seems to have found its rhythm in the last two games so the Bulldogs will have to bring some offense of their own to James W. Shabel Stadium if they want to knock off their county rivals Friday night.

Vinemont (1-3) v. Tarrant (0-2)

The Vinemont Eagles picked up their first win of the season at Carbon Hill last week and they have another opportunity to collect a big region victory this week when they host Tarrant. The Wildcats have dropped both their games this season to Winfield and Susan Moore by a combined score of 110-0 so they’re still trying to find their footing as we approach the halfway point of the regular season. Despite suffering a number of injuries early this season, the Eagles were able to put 30 points on the board in their win at Carbon Hill last week so if they can continue to build momentum and pick up another win Friday night, it could push them to another big run in the second half of the season.

Holly Pond (2-2) v. Carbon Hill (1-3)

After a tough road trip to J.B. Pennington last week, the Holly Pond Broncos are returning home Friday night for another region matchup against Carbon Hill. The Bulldogs fell to Vinemont 30-28 last week to drop to 1-3 on the season. The Broncos are sitting at .500 after dominating their first two games of the season and dropping their last two but they have a great opportunity to get back in the win column against a region foe this week. Carbon Hill took last year’s meeting 32-8 so Holly Pond will be ready to hit its home field and get some revenge Friday night.

Cold Springs (0-3) v. Aliceville (2-2)

The Eagles of Cold Springs got an opportunity to rest and regroup during their off week last week, but they have one of their toughest tests of the season coming to town Friday night. Aliceville is coming off a 44-28 win over Sulligent last week and wants to move up above .500 with a win against the Eagles this week. The Yellow Jackets took last year’s matchup 40-7 so if Cold Springs can turn the tables and earn the win Friday night, the Eagles can build some real momentum going into the second half of the season.

Addison (3-1) v. Winston County (1-2)

After kicking off the season 3-0, the Addison Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season in a tight, 30-28 contest at Midfield last week. Injuries made things even more difficult for Addison during last week’s game, but the Dogs will have to find a way to regroup and bounce back for Friday night’s clash with Winston County. The Yellow Jackets have dropped their last two games to Hatton and Lamar County after defeating Meek in their season opener. Addison took last year’s contest 22-6 so Winston County will be looking for some payback when they arrive at A.G. Hicks Stadium this week.

Meek (3-1) at Hubbertville (1-2)

The Tigers have won back to back region games coming into Friday night’s matchup at Hubbertville but this week’s assignment will be one of the toughest of the season for Meek so far. The Lions fell at Berry 8-6 last week, so they’ll be ready to bounce back Friday night. The Tigers have collected wins over South Lamar and Brilliant coming into this week’s game and a win over Hubbertville will put them in a great position near the top of the Region 6 standings.

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