TIME FOR THANKS

Addison’s Dayson Parker (23) looks to the sideline for a defensive call during the Class 1A, No. 8 Bulldogs’ first-round game vs. Hubbertville.

Jake Winfrey

Addison's football team has much to be thankful for this holiday season.

The eighth-ranked Bulldogs are 10-2 — they've won six straight outings by an average margin of 26 points — and are back in the Class 1A state quarterfinals for a second consecutive campaign.

If some is good, then more is certainly better.

And coach David Smothers and Co. are definitely striving for more.

Addison will go up against South Lamar Friday night at J.C. McAdams Field for an opportunity to notch its second semifinal appearance in as many years with a road victory. The Stallions (9-3) bested Cedar Bluff 21-14 last week to claim hosting rights for the third-round tilt.

The Bulldogs, who eliminated Hackleburg 41-16 in the second round, know what lies ahead ... and it's not Black Friday shopping.

"I wouldn't be doing that even if we weren't in the playoffs," Smothers said with a laugh. "But we know we're going to have to play really, really solid football on Friday. South Lamar is a fantastic team. Big. Strong. Fast. But that's how it's supposed to be. I feel like we've got an extremely good shot if we come to play."

Count Zayne Guthrie in on the excitement as well.

The junior signal-caller has spearheaded an Addison offense that's averaged 39 points per game through 12 contests this season.

Guthrie, along with excellent running backs Tyler Borden and Ben Robinson, figure to be called upon early and often against a defense that surrenders a respectable 19.2 points per outing.

"Defensively, we just need to get the ball back to our offense," Guthrie said. "We can hold it with our running game. With Ben being back from his injury, we've got him and me and Tyler back there. We have a lot of guys who can score. We just need to stop them running the ball and make them throw it."

The Stallions offer a wealth of issues for the visiting team, including two or three kids who are "faster than anyone we've seen this year," according to Smothers.

Throw in an offense that's outclassed 1A competition — South Lamar has averaged 38.75 points per outing in those eight matchups — and it's no wonder the sixth-year head man started studying the film as soon as possible.

"They're the fastest team we've played this year," Smothers said. "How long it takes us to adjust to that is going to be huge. And it's not just their offense. They've scored on defense and special teams as well. They are very dangerous in open space."

Smothers added he'd like to see his squad tackle and pursue better this week, and Guthrie echoed those same sentiments.

"We've got to be ready," he said. "It's an honor to make the playoffs, and hopefully we can keep it going. It'll just be a great atmosphere out there. We're all pumped up and ready to get after it."

When all is said and done, though, the better team on Friday night is the one who will advance to the semifinals.

And if Smothers is reading things correctly, that team could be Addison.

"I think we're as healthy as we've been," he said. "I feel good about where we are. I think we're very focused. We've certainly had some good practices this week. We're all fired up and ready for the challenge."

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

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I'm an Auburn University graduate with a passion for sports, reading and diet Mountain Dew.