- Cullman, Alabama

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October 30, 2012

PREP FOOTBALL: Cullman County shut out of ASWA poll for 2nd straight week

BIRMINGHAM — With 80 meetings on tap since 1916, it’s fair to say that Jackson and Thomasville is one of the state’s stoutest rivalries.

Both teams are successful, both are usually ranked and both have had their share of postseason success with 53 playoff appearances and four state titles between them in the 35 seasons since 1976 -- the last year they failed to meet.

In the last three seasons, however, the meeting has taken on a little more importance as the winner has gone onto play for a state championship. With Jackson ranked No. 2 in Class 5A in this week’s Alabama Sports Writers Association poll and Thomasville ranked No. 6 in Class 4A, there’s a good chance it could happen again.

The three previous winners have happened with both teams in Class 4A, Region 1; Jackson beat Thomasville, 39-20, then advanced to the 2009 championship game before losing to Cherokee County. Thomasville won a 35-7 battle with the Aggies, then beat Deshler in the title game 59-34. Last year, a 28-9 win over Thomasville was part of a 15-0 season that ended with a 42-28 win over Oneonta.

Oneonta is still the team to beat in Class 4A, at least as far as this week’s ASWA poll is concerned, holding down the top spot and 19 of this week’s 28 first-place votes among the state’s prep writers. The rest of the top teams also remained the same with Class 5A Muscle Shoals, 3A Piedmont, 2A Tanner, 1A Marion County and AISA’s Edgewood Academy. As it has for the previous six polls, Class 6A Hoover remains the only unanimous No. 1.

In other games involving ranked teams in the final week of the regular season, Class 5A No. 4 Homewood hosts No. 6 Benjamin Russell, Class 5A No. 8 St. Paul’s hosts Class 4A No. 3 UMS-Wright, Class 4A No. 2 Central of Clay County is at Class 3A No. 6 Madison Academy and Class 3A No. 7 T.R. Miller hosts Class 2A No. 3 Sweet Water. In the first round of the AISA playoffs, No. 9 Patrician is at No. 5 Autauga Academy in a Class AA playoff game.

The Times’ coverage area was shut out of the state’s top-10 rankings for the second straight week.

Cullman continued its recent descent in Class 5A, dropping to 13th with 10 points, one spot and four points ahead of arch-rival Hartselle.

Hanceville received two points, and Vinemont managed to break the surface with one in 3A.

Amidst a six-game winning streak, Addison has creeped back into the mix in 1A with five points.

% The Times’ sports editor Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.

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