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October 2, 2012

PREP FOOTBALL: Muscle Shoals takes over Class 5A’s top spot in ASWA poll

Cullman still at No. 10, Hartselle drops to No. 4

CULLMAN —

When Scott Basden took over as head coach at Muscle Shoals in 2008, the Trojans had won just 14 games in the previous four seasons.

The Trojans’ fortunes have turned around considerably since then, landing at No. 1 in this week’s Alabama Sports Writers Association prep football poll for the first time since a two-week stint in September of 1989.

Muscle Shoals, which improved to 5-0 after a 38-6 win against Dora, stepped over Hartselle for the top spot in Class 5A after the Tigers dropped a 21-14 decision to Decatur.

The top ranking might be shortlived — or the Trojans, who have the state’s stingiest defense at 1.8 points per game allowed, could prove they’re right where they belong on Friday as they host now-No. 4 Hartselle in a Class 5A, Region 8 game.

While the top spot in the six other classes remained the same with 6A Hoover, 4A Oneonta, 3A Piedmont, 2A Tanner, 1A Marion County and the AISA’s Edgewood Academy, other positions tightened up near the top.

Auburn pulled to within three points of Clay-Chalkville for the No. 2 spot in Class 6A after an easy 49-24 win over Gadsden City coupled with the Cougars 31-28 overtime win against Pinson Valley. And Central of Clay County’s 42-14 win over Munford helped it catch Dadeville for a second-place tie in Class 4A, helped by Dadeville’s 42-34 win over Tallassee.

Cullman (4-1, 2-1 in Region 8) retained its spot at No. 10 in Class 5A following its 42-21 defeat of Class 3A No. 8 Madison Academy last Friday.

Fairview was the only other team in The Times’ coverage area to receive any votes. The Aggies (4-1, 2-1 in Region 6) are back up to 15th in 4A with eight points after a 28-7 win last week versus Holly Pond.

In games involving ranked teams this week, Class 6A No. 7 Carver-Montgomery is at No. 3 Auburn, Class 5A No. 4 Spanish Fort hosts No. 6 St. Paul’s, Class 3A No. 7 is at No. 5 Lauderdale County, Class 2A No. 6 Woodland travels to No. 7 Walter Wellborn, Class 1A No. 6 Cedar Bluff hosts No. 8 Collinsville, and AISA No. 4 Clarke Prep at No. 2 Monroe Academy.

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