The Rebels are coming off a resounding 50-14 road win against archrival Cornerstone Christian. The Rebels’ offensive line bullied the Chargers, as the team finished with a staggering 586 rushing yards and a total of 798 total offensive yards, which doesn’t even include special teams yardage.
Coming off a lopsided victory may be cause for concern for some coaches, but CVA head coach Arlton Hudson said he fortunately did not have to deal with such
“I really didn’t have that problem,” Hudson said. “This is a good group. They came out Monday and that game was forgotten and we started getting ready for Autauga. They really surprised me because we probably had the best practice we’ve had on Monday after the game. When you have a win like that, especially against a big rival, you feel like you may come out a little cocky and all this kind of stuff, but our guys were levelheaded.”
Having soundly defeated a class A team, the Rebels must now turn their attention to one of the better teams in class AA. Both CVA and Autauga received votes in the ASWA preseason poll, effectively making them No. 18 and No. 17 respectively. Hudson is painfully aware of the challenge his team faces against Autauga.
“They’re a real big football team,” Hudson said. “They’ve got four times as many players as we do. They’ve got a lot of skilled athletes. It’s going to take our very best game just to stay on the field with them. Hopefully, we’ll play somewhere close to as well as we did last week. If we do that, then we’ll be able to play with them. It’s just going to take our best effort.”
While the Rebels beat Cornerstone last season, the same cannot be said for Autauga. The Generals walked away with a 34-17 home victory last season.
“We went to their place last year,” Hudson said. “We played fairly good, but they beat us. We’re looking this year to come out and try to establish something early and try to establish our presence in the region race early. If we could pull out a big win Friday night, it’ll go a long way toward that.”
Autauga figures to be a much different team this season, just as CVA is a much different team this season with a number of new faces. Autauga lost blue-chip tight end O.J. Howard, who is now suiting up for the defending champions in Tuscaloosa.
Hudson knows this year’s squad will still be loaded with talent given the program’s track record.
The Generals finished last season with an overall 10-2 record and were 12-2 in 2011. They lost the AISA-A state championship in 2011 to Jackson Academy, a team they beat in the regular season.
The last time the Rebels defeated the Generals came before a home crowd in the 2010 playoffs. CVA, having won Region 2 during the regular season, faced the Generals in the semifinals and won 15-10. The team went on to win the class A state championship that season.
“They know we’ve got a tremendous game in front of us already this year,” Hudson said. “It’s a game that has playoff ramifications already and that’s unheard of the first week; it is a region game. It’s a big game for us.”