PREP FOOTBALL: Local squads preparing for critical region games

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Fairview’s Jameson Goble (4), Holly Pond’s Nik Goodwin (8) and Hanceville’s Brosnan Ward (10). (Martha Needham, Howard Cole & Katie Drummond/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – With the first half of the regular season behind us, every game becomes more important each week and this week is loaded with important regional matchups for all of our local teams. Fairview, Good Hope, Addison and Vinemont will be on the road Friday night for their region contests while Cullman, Arab, West Point, Hanceville, Cold Springs and Meek are hosting region foes.

Cullman (4-2) v. Decatur (1-4)

The Bearcats are riding high after smothering 2A no. 1 Mars Hill 49-7 at home last week and they’ll be back in Oliver Woodard Stadium Friday night to take on Decatur in a regional showdown. The Red Raiders had last week off to rest up and prepare for the trip to Cullman and they collected their first win of the season over Buckhorn the week before. However, Decatur may be stronger than its record indicates. The Red Raiders have lost several tight games against good teams this season and after downing Buckhorn two weeks ago, they’ll be looking to build some momentum in their game at Cullman this week. The Bearcats have won three in a row coming into Friday night’s game and if they can continue to be explosive on offense and stingy on defense, they’ll have a great chance to make it four in a row.

Arab (5-1) v. Pell City (1-4)

The Knights are red-hot right now, having won four games in a row coming into this week’s regional matchup against Pell City. Arab has outscored its opponents 128-27 in its last four games and plans to add to that total Friday night. The Panthers have dropped back to back games against Oxford and Calera coming into this week’s game and they’ve had issues handling opposing offenses all season. Teams are scoring 30 points per game against Pell City so far this season and things won’t get any easier when the Panthers arrive at Arab Friday night. If the Knights can stay hot and play the way they’ve been playing the last four weeks, they should be able to handle Pell City and keep their win streak alive.

Fairview (4-1) at Boaz (5-1)

The Aggies had the week off last week, giving them a little more time to prepare and rest up for a massive trip to Boaz Friday night. The matchup with the Pirates will be critical in the Region 7 standings. Boaz is 3-0 in region play and Fairview sits just behind them at 2-1. The Pirates fell at Madison County early in the year but have won four in a row since that game and have dominated their opponents in that stretch. Boaz is allowing just under 14 points per game so the Aggies’ high-powered offense will be tested again Friday night. Fairview is posting nearly 43 points per game so something will have to give when these two hit the field with a massive region win up for grabs.

West Point (3-2) v. Crossville (0-5)

The West Point Warriors are returning home after defeating Hayden on the road 14-6 last week and this week they’ll be hosting the Lions of Crossville. The Lions are still looking for their first win of the season after starting 0-5 and have only been able to put 20 total points on the board in their first five games. West Point won last year’s meeting in Crossville 35-27 so the Lions will be looking for some payback Friday night but if the Warriors can play sound on both sides of the ball, they’ll have a great opportunity to pick up their first region win.

Good Hope (4-2) at Etowah (3-2)

The Raiders will be back on the road Friday night after edging Addison 13-8 at home last week and this week’s game will have some big implications in the Region 6 standings. Good Hope has won four straight coming into the game against Etowah while the Blue Devils are looking to bounce back from a 33-27 loss to Fort Payne last week. Etowah and Good Hope are both still unbeaten in region play so a win Friday night would do a lot for both teams’ chances at winning the region and building momentum for the second half of the regular season.

Hanceville (2-3) v. Oneonta (5-1)

The Bulldogs are coming off a 26-13 road win over Locust Fork last week but now they have an even bigger test coming to Ray Talley Stadium Friday night. Oneonta has won three in a row by a combined score of 107-22 so the Redskins are riding some momentum into this week’s showdown at Hanceville. The Bulldogs have had some trouble containing strong offensive teams so far this season and they’ll have their hands full with Oneonta Friday night. The Redskins are putting up just over 32 points per game this year so the ground game of Hanceville will have to be effective for the Bulldogs to keep pace with Oneonta and have a chance at a massive region win.

Vinemont (2-3) at Winfield (6-0)

After taking last week off, the Vinemont Eagles are now preparing for a big road test at Winfield this week. The Pirates are undefeated and currently sitting on top of the Region 6 standings. Winfield has shut of three of its opponents this season is allowing fewer than 6 points per game so far while scoring over 40 points per game on the offensive side of the ball. The Eagles have won back to back games over Carbon Hill and Tarrant to create some momentum coming into this week’s matchup but taking on the top team in the region won’t be easy. Vinemont will have to put together its best performance of the season but if it can, the Eagles will have an opportunity to take down

Holly Pond (2-3) v. Tarrant (0-4)

The Broncos had last week off to rest up and prepare for the second half of the regular season and they’ll get the final stretch started with a regional matchup against Tarrant. The Wildcats are still looking for their first win of the season and are still looking for their first points of the season as well. Tarrant has been shut out in all four of its games this fall. The Wildcats had to forfeit last year’s matchup with Broncos so it’s been a few years since these teams have played on the field but as long as Holly Pond can play solid on both sides of the ball Friday night, the Broncos should be lined up to get a win and get their record back up to .500.

Cold Springs (0-5) v. Addison (3-3)

Addison and Cold Springs are set to square off at Cold Springs Friday night and both teams will be trying to bounce back from road losses last week. The Eagles fell to Falkville while the Bulldogs dropped a close one at Good Hope. Addison is sitting at 1-2 in the Region 5 standings and Cold Springs is still searching for its first win this season. A win for the Bulldogs would put them in much better shape in the region standings while a win for the Eagles would create a lot of momentum going into the latter half of the regular season.

Meek (3-2) v. Marion County (5-1)

The Tigers enjoyed the week off last week after a tough road loss to Hubbertville, but they’ll be back home Friday night to take on another region foe. Marion County is coming into this week’s matchup having won back to back games over Berry and Phillips Bear Creek and is looking for another region win. The Red Raiders have been stingy on the defensive end this season, allowing just over 13 points per game but now they’ll face Meek’s offense, which is scoring over 30 points per game. The Tigers took a loss to Marion County on the road last year, so they’ll be looking for a big region win and some payback when the Red Raiders arrive Friday night.

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