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September 20, 2013

TALKIN’ PREP FOOTBALL: Fendley-less Raiders take 3-0 record into tough test vs. Hamilton

CULLMAN — Chris Moss and the Good Hope football team are definitely picking up some good vibrations as they prepare to travel to Hamilton tonight.

The Raiders are off to a 3-0 start for the first time under Moss — who took over the program reins in 2005 — and aren’t looking to slow down anytime soon.

Good Hope has sandwiched an overtime win against Hanceville in Week 2 between two runaway victories over Holly Pond and, most recently, Winston County.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, they’ll likely be without senior quarterback Sebastion Fendley for a chunk of the season. Fendley suffered an injury to his left forearm early in the first quarter of last week’s 41-27 road triumph over the Yellow Jackets.

While the initial injury may have been an early cause for panic, freshman signal-caller Riley Eisner stepped up to the plate and delivered a very senior-like performance, completing 19 of 30 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns to keep the Red and White’s perfect record intact for yet another week.

If Moss’ squad hopes to continue its trek for a playoff spot in the tough Class 3A, Region 7, it’ll need to come prepared tonight when the Raiders (3-0, 2-0) duke it out with Hamilton (2-1, 1-1).

The Aggies began the season 2-0 and were ranked No. 10 before dropping a 26-12 decision at Hanceville last week.

% No. 4 Addison (3-0, 2-0 1A, Region 6) at Shades Mountain Christian (0-2, 0-2): The Bulldogs will travel away from the friendly confines of A.G. Hicks Stadium for the second time in the past three weeks, as they look to continue to roll on both sides of the ball against the hapless Eagles.

Shades Mountain Christian has dropped its first two games of the young season by a combined score of 109-13 and appear to be just another stepping stone for Addison until Week 8, when the Bulldogs travel to Falkville for a region showdown.

% Cold Springs (2-1, 1-1 in 2A, Region 4) at Aliceville (2-1, 2-0): Rod Elliott’s group will need to rebound from a tough 19-12 defeat at the hands of Hale County last Friday, and they’ll need to do so quickly.

The Yellow Jackets are fresh off a 46-3 dismantling of Sulligent and will look to gain a leg up in the region standings.

Cold Springs is hoping to keep it a little closer than last season, when the Eagles fell to Aliceville 63-12 in the the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

% Locust Fork (1-2, 0-2 in 4A, Region 6) at Fairview (1-2, 1-1): It’s been an up-and-down year so far for George Redding’s club, specifically on the offensive side of the ball.

After scoring 33 points in their season-opening loss to Hanceville, the Aggies have only managed 19 in the two contests that have followed — 13 in a win over Douglas and just six in a 35-point loss to Guntersville last week.

With playmakers like quarterback Hayden Maples, running back Austin Harris and wide receivers Ethan Widner and Bailey Strong, Fairview has all the tools for a offensive outburst.

Standing in its way are the Hornets, which enters tonight’s battle with back-to-back losses to Sardis and Oneonta, respectively.

The game is an important one for both teams, not only to get back in the win column, but to pick up another region victory in hopes of keeping their playoff hopes alive.

% Sylvania (0-3, 0-2 in 3A, Region 6) at Holly Pond (0-3, 0-2): Mike Bates’ rebuilding project continues for the Broncos, as they prepare to welcome in the winless Rams tonight.

The Green and White are coming off a 40-0 final against New Hope, while Sylvania was denied its first victory of the year in a heartbreaking 31-30 home loss to J.B. Pennington.

This is likely both teams’ best chance at picking up a win in the early part of the season, as only tougher matchups await.

% West Point (1-2, 0-2 in 5A, Region 8) at Russellville (1-2, 1-1): The Warriors haven’t had much time to play in front its home crowd, and they won’t be able to again this week when they travel to Russellville to take on the Golden Tigers.

West Point dropped its Thursday-night matchup to Cullman 35-14, but Don Farley’s squad showed a lot of heart and fight by giving the Bearcats all they could handle for three quarters.

Russellville picked up its first victory of the season last week — a 19-15 region win over East Limestone — and are looking to defend their home field against the visiting Warriors.

If the Maroon and White want to keep their playoff hopes alive, then Friday’s game against the Golden Tigers is almost a must-win for Farley’s squad.

% No. 5 Hartselle (3-0, 2-0 in 5A, Region 8) at Cullman (3-0, 2-0): Check out www.cullmantimes.com or Tuesday’s Times for a full preview of this region matchup.

% Hanceville (2-1, 1-1 in 3A, Region 7) at Vinemont (3-0, 2-0): Check out www.cullmantimes.com or Thursday’s Times for a full preview of this region and county contest.

 

% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at jwinfrey@cullmantimes.com.

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