Long-time rivals meet to open season
by Johnathan Bentley
Aug 30, 2013 | 2715 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Oakman’s Chris Austin rushes during a game last season. The Wildcats are looking for revenge tonight in their season opener at rival Parrish.
Oakman’s Chris Austin rushes during a game last season. The Wildcats are looking for revenge tonight in their season opener at rival Parrish.
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Eleven area high school football teams open the season tonight.

Most of the games match long-time rivals, including Oakman at Parrish, Curry at Carbon Hill, Lynn at Winston County and Cullman at Walker.

Here is a look at today’s games involving area teams.

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Cullman at Walker

Walker has revenge on its mind against Cullman entering the season opener tonight.

Since 2006, the Bearcats have owned the series, winning eight of the last nine meetings and the last three in a row.

Cullman accounted for half of Walker’s losses in 2012, knocking off Walker 42-14 in the opener and 30-0 in a second-round playoff game.

Walker will put plenty of new talent on the field surrounding sophomore quarterback Bryant Atkins, who started the final six games last season. Marlon Oliver will be at running back for the Vikings. Joe Bell, who shared carries in the jamboree game against Benjamin Russell is out with an injury suffered in the game. Keony Abrom promises to be a big target for Atkins this season. Abrom was the top offensive weapon for Walker against Benjamin Russell, catching seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.

The Vikings are also without the only player who scored a touchdown against Cullman last season. Quadrekas Key, now at Dora, scored both touchdowns in the season-opening loss to the Bearcats.

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Oakman at Parrish

Oakman is ranked No. 6 in the preseason poll and is coming off its first 10-win season in nearly a decade.

Parrish hired his head coach earlier this month.

This year’s matchup may look like an Oakman win on paper, but just last year Parrish upset the Wildcats on the road to open the season.

Mark Hastings’ Wildcats return much of their offensive firepower from last season — quarterback Jase Trotter, receivers Quinton Harris and Deontre Muse and running back Chris Austin. Parrish lost Jermichael Harris, its top playmaker from last season, but the Tornadoes return Marcus Harris, Reginald Harris, speedster Spencer Piper and linebacker Mason Secrest.

Parrish is under veteran coach Sam McCorkle, who spent the last four years at Class 5A Etowah High School, leading the Blue Devils to the postseason each of the last three years.

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Carbon Hill at Curry

In a game that matches a pair of teams that won one game between them last year, Carbon Hill travels to Curry for another county rivalry game.

Curry won last year’s meeting and closed the season by losing its last nine games. Meanwhile, Carbon Hill put together an 0-10 season.

The Bulldogs are under new head coach Rodney Dollar, who is looking to lay the foundation for a successful program in his first season. Both teams lost jamboree games last week and are looking to start the season on a high note.

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Appalachian at Meek

Meek coach Lance Archer is expecting another playoff run for his Meek Tigers in 2013.

If his team is going to get back to the postseason, the road starts in the season opener against Appalachian. Last season the Tigers edged the Eagles 21-20, a win that helped earn Meek the region’s No. 4 playoff spot.

Appalachian is coming off a 2-6 season with two open weeks.

Meek lost two of its top offensive weapons from last season — Cameron Hallmark and Jentson Hiller — but the Tigers return starting quarterback Seth Hayes.

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Lynn at Winston County

Winston County heads into today’s rivalry game looking for some revenge in coach Wes Tidwell’s second season. Lynn won last year’s game 38-23 and has won the last four in a row in the series.

The game features two of the top quarterbacks in the area. Lynn senior Brody Meeks has a chance to break the state record for all-purpose yardage this season while Winston County senior Seth Blanton led the area in passing yardage last year, topping the 2,000-yard mark.

For the first time in nearly a decade, Lynn will have a new coach on the sideline. Jon Randolph comes to Lynn after serving as a coordinator in Georgia the last six years.

The Bears’ defense shined in the jamboree game against Addison as Lynn blanked the Bulldogs 14-0.

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Shades Mountain Christian at Sumiton Christian

The Sumiton Christian Eagles open the coach Zack Holmes era against Class 1A, Region 6 opponent Shades Mountain Christian today.

Holmes served as the team’s defensive coordinator each of the last two seasons.

Both teams are coming off disappointing years. Sumiton Christian finished with three wins, but only one game out of the playoff race.

Shades Mountain Christian, who is under new head coach Dickey Wright, who coached Class 6A Homewood from 2006-10, finished 1-9 last year.

Sumiton Christian’s DeMonte Hobbs will be the key offensive weapon for the Eagles this season. Hobbs rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s 35-0 victory.

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Ider at Addison

Following a disappointing 20-point loss to the Hornets last season, Addison will look to get even with Ider when the teams meet at 7 p.m. today at A.G. Hicks Stadium.

Addison dropped its first two games last season before closing the regular season with seven straight victories. The Bulldogs finished 7-3 in 2012 while Ider went 5-5 in Class 2A.

Addison looks to build momentum going into next week’s region opener against defending region champ Ragland.

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Munford at Corner

Corner dropped a 40-point decision on the road at Munford last season.

The Yellow Jackets will put a new-look offense to the test against the Lions. Corner will be without star quarterback Blake Byrd and All-State receiver Kerry Smith.

Munford finished 8-4 last season, its highest win total since 1996. Corner finished 7-4, matching its highest win total also since 1996. Corner opens the season with three home games before hitting the road five consecutive weeks.