“They have a lot of pop to them and they are doing good,” Griffith said. “Our kids have a lot of respect for Childersburg. They know Childersburg kids always play hard and get up for us. To me it is one of the better rivalries out there right now, because the schools are close still in size. They may be 4A and we are 5A, but I bet you there is 50-60 difference between the two schools.”
Childersburg head coach Adam Fossett has a lot of respect for the program that Griffith has built at Sylacauga over the last nine seasons.
“It is a rival for these two teams,” Fossett said on Thursday. “I know they were going to be well coached, they have some great athletes over there. Coach Griff does a great job over there with them and his assistant coaches do a great job of coaching them up. I know that they are going to be prepared. We have to do everything that we can to make sure that we are prepared and ready to go. I think when the lights hit and we get rocking and rolling our kids will be mentally and physically ready. It took a little bit longer to put last week behind us than normal, but after a good day yesterday (Wednesday) and the kids are bouncing around today I think we are going to be OK. They are well-coached, they are very athletic, and their offensive and defensive lines are going to come off the ball low and hard. The quarterback is an extremely discipline player, he doesn’t make many wrong reads on the option and on the veer. We have to play very sound defense, we have to get back to playing good like we did the first three weeks of the season. Hopefully, last week was a hiccup. I told some one earlier in the week we basically bottled up everything that you can do bad in a game and poured it all out at Dadeville. Hopefully, we got that out of our system and we can move on.”
Childersburg (3-1) fell to Dadeville, 38-8 last week in Class 4A region 3 play. Fossett said the loss took a while his team to recover from. Turnovers and allowing the big play on defense hurt the Tigers chance to pull off the upset.
“Turnovers, a lot of mistakes that were made,” Fossett said. “The whole concept was that we couldn’t give up the big play and that one thing we did, we gave up a lot of big plays. It hurt us early and often last week. We got behind very early in the game and we tried to play catch up from there. That changed the game plan and the complexity of the game.”
The Aggies (3-1) defeated John Carroll 35-14 last week to improve to 2-1 in Class 5A region 4 play. Ian Floyd earned The Daily Home Player of the Week honors for 154 yards on 15 carries performance last week. Griffith wasn’t pleased with the way his team executed at times in the red zone against the Cavaliers.
“John Carroll has always been a tough ball club especially going to John Carroll,” Griffith said. “Beating them the way that we did-we jumped out 21-0 and we just kind of let up. We had the ball inside the 20 four times and we didn’t get any points. I am a little disappointed in that, but I thought we played well in the fourth quarter to finally put the thing away. We got to learn how to put folks away early.”
The last time Childersburg defeated Sylacauga was in 2006 when the Tigers shut out the Aggies 17-0. Fossett said defeating their arch-rivals would not only be big for his seniors, but it would be huge for the community.
“A win against Sylacauga will be huge for the seniors,” Fossett said. “It is something that they have never been able to do. It would be huge for the program and the community. We are going to line up and do everything that we can to make that happen. I think we will have a great crowd there on our side line. The student body is excited about it and they are all talking about coming to the game. Having a hug student section and the community there will definitely help us out. The kids feed off of that, it will be a great thing for us. We have a lot of positives and a win against Sylacauga will help that out.”
Griffith believes this is one of the best Childersburg teams he has seen in a while. He believes if they can prevent the big play and control the clock with their offense their homecoming crowd will have something to cheer about when the final buzzer sounds.
“The biggest thing: we can’t allow them to have a bunch of big plays,” Griffith said. “They have a lot of speed on offense and they can break it at any time. We got to be able to contain their big play offense and our offense has to be able to stay on the field –that’s the biggest thing and you have to come away with points when you are inside the 20.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Legion Stadium in Sylacauga.