“They’ve got a new coach, coach John Allen,” CVA head coach Arlton Hudson said of Chambers. “He used to be the coach at Chambers. He left there and went to Glenwood and is now back at Chambers. He brought some players with him and it’s a totally different-looking Chambers team than last year. They are a playoff team. They’ve won some games this year against some good opponents. It’s not going to be a cakewalk. We’ve got to be ready to play football.”
Both teams lost to Restoration and defeated Cornerstone Christian. CVA (5-5) lost on the road to Restoration 42-14, while Chambers (5-4) lost to Restoration also on the road, 39-0. CVA beat Cornerstone on the road in week one 50-14, while Chambers also won on the road, 33-6.
CVA has had a prolific offense this season, scoring 332 points through 10 games for the highest scoring average in school history, 33.2 points per game. They are third for total points. The last team with such a high-scoring offense was the 2010 state championship team that scored 347 total points over 13 games.
“We’ve got a quarterback that has thrown for over 1000 yards, 16 touchdowns,” Hudson said. “I’ve got one running back that is already over 1000 yards rushing, Niko Teofilo. Bradley Carroll, if he can have a pretty good game Friday night, we’ll have two rushers with over 1000 yards. I don’t know if we’ve ever done that. The one thing we’ve done is we’ve scored points. If you do that, you’re going to have a good year.”
While CVA has faced opponents with a 52-42 record overall, Chambers has faced opponents with a 33-51 record.
“The schedule—we didn’t have any weak ones—when you play the schedule we’ve played and you’re averaging those kinds of points, you would think your production would be better. But we’ve played some good football teams. If you look at the record of the people that have beaten us, all those teams all together have only lost six football games. So, it’s been some good competition.”
CVA and Chambers have played one another off and on since 1972. Chambers has the all-time advantage at 21-7, but CVA had dominated in recent years having won four of the last five meetings.
Last season, CVA won at home, 31-0.
Hudson said now that the season is winding down, practices have gotten shorter in the interest of getting the same squad healthy that began the season.
“When they come on the football field, they’re ready to practice football,” Hudson said. “We’ve cut practice times back. I’ve done that no matter where I’m at when it gets to be this time of year and you’re beat up and banged up. If you don’t know what you’re doing now, you’re in trouble anyway. We’re not going to change anything. We’re going to keep on doing what we’ve been doing. We just shorten practice to let them get their legs under them. We’ll take them out on Monday and we’ll run them, run them, run them just to make sure we stay in shape. We work out in the weight room every day. Tuesday we start cutting practice a little bit. Wednesday we cut it a little more and Thursday we just have a walkthrough and then we go home. So, we’ll have our legs. We’re about to get healthy for the first time all year.”
CVA lost last week to No. 5 Bessemer Academy (9-1), 33-14. The game was tied 14-14 at halftime. Turnovers cost CVA in the second half, giving Bessemer enough to be the difference in the game. Hudson believes if his team can play turnover-free football, they are as good as any other team in AISA.
“I really, truly think if we play football without turning the ball over, and I’ve told our kids, I really feel like we can win the AA state championship if we don’t beat ourselves,” Hudson said. “I feel like we’re the best team in the state. If we play that way and we eliminate turnovers and we eliminate the mistakes, I really feel great about our opportunity to be the state champion. I just want us to play good, solid football Friday night, have nobody get hurt, get out of that thing 100 percent, and get ready for the playoffs.”
CVA plays at Chambers Academy at 7 p.m.