Friday night’s loss could very well be a blessing in disguise for Cullman High’s football team.

Sometimes an early- or mid-season loss can help more than hurt. That was the case with Fort Payne, which suffered a Week 2 loss to Etowah.

Observers noted that the Wildcats were a totally different team Friday than they were against the Blue Devils — and that was only three weeks ago.

What Cullman needs to do is the same thing Fort Payne did — use the loss as a building block for better things to come.

One of the biggest problems for Cullman this week was special teams play.

The Bearcats’ special teams never seemed in sync and that was probably just one of those things that could be attributed to having a bad night, but it definitely gives the coaching staff something to focus on this week.

If you discount the 16 points directly attributable to the special teams, the score doesn’t look nearly as bad as the 44-21 final would indicate.

The truth of the matter is that for the first 2 1/2 quarters, it was a case of Murphy’s Law for the Bearcats. If it could go wrong, it did.

Those kind of games happen for every team. Luckily for Cullman, it happened on a non-region week.

This loss doesn’t hurt nearly as badly as one against West Point or Hayden or Mortimer Jordan would.

That’s the one difference in Cullman and Fort Payne at this point of the season. The Wildcats’ loss came to a region opponent, so it’s possible they lost the region championship with it.

So far, the Bearcats are still undefeated in region play, so learning from Friday’s loss is a must with Hartselle coming up in October.

Champs honored: Prior to Friday’s Cullman-Fort Payne game, the 2011 Class 5A girls state championship tennis team from Cullman was recognized.

Defensive Dogs: Known for its offensive prowess, Hanceville gave up 20 points to West Point in the first game of the season, but the Bulldogs have allowed only 20 points in four games since.

Friday, Hanceville pitched a shutout against Crossville.

To be fair to the offense, it has definitely done its share, scoring 212 points through five games — an average of 42.4 points per game. And the defense has allowed an average of eight points per contest.

Stan Veitch can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at stanv@cullmantimes.com.

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