Sylacauga head coach Matt Griffith believes rivalries like this one is when high school football is at its best.
“This game were it does not matter who is having a good year; it’s going to be a dog fight every time,” Griffith said. ”Both sides play hard and this is when high school football is at its best.”
The Aggies (3-1) are coming off a heart-breaking 34-28 loss to Shelby County last week. Griffith is proud of the way his team battled back last week against Shelby County.
“We had a bad second quarter,” Griffith said. “We allowed them to get two touchdowns ahead of us. We came back and fought in the second half, but we just came up short. I’m proud of the way the kids battled back almost finding a way to win the game.”
Childersburg had a tough loss to Lincoln 20-14 last Friday. Childersburg head coach Matt Brooks feels like this game is a good measuring stick for his program.
“This is a great measuring stick for us in the middle of the season,” Brooks said. “This is a game that our fans and their fans look forward. It’s a game that our players are looking forward to and I’m sure that their players are looking forward to it.
“Coach Griffith has been there for a while and built this program. They have a lot of players that have experience. I expect it to be a hard-fought close game.”
The Aggies come into tonight’s game looking to contain a well-balanced Childersburg offense.
Cordal Turner had a huge game for the Tigers last week as he rushed for a 154 yards on 16 carries.
“We’ve got to stop the run and not let them get the quick passing game going,” Griffith said. “We can’t give up the big play; if we do that we will be ok.”
The Tigers will have the tough task of slowing down the Aggies offense. Senior quarterback Kelsey Pope leads the Aggies offense. The dual threat quarterback has racked up yards through the air and on the ground. Pope has passed for 354 yards and thrown two touchdowns. He has also rushed for 421 yards and scored seven touchdowns this season.
Senior running back Josh Crowe is having a solid season running the ball. Crowe has rushed for 421 yards and scored six touchdowns on the season.
“We’ve got to deal with their versatile offense,” Brooks said. “They will line up under center and run the option or they will spread you out and throw the ball. We will have to be on our toes with what they give us.
“Pope is the focus of their offense. He gets everything started and they go as he goes. We have to make someone else beat us. You can’t forget about Crowe; he is a fullback that can hurt you running the ball. We will have to play assignment football.”
Griffith believes if his team wants to come out with a victory against Childersburg they must take care of the football and not give up the big play.
“We have to be able to move the football and not turn it over,” Griffith said. ”We can’t let them have big plays and we can’t let the rivalry overshadow things.”
Brooks believes if his team can put drives together and keep Sylacauga’s offense off the field they will be able to pick up a big win.
“We have to make sure their offense stays off the field,” Brooks said. “We have to control time of possession. Number four (Pope) can’t hurt us looking on from the side line.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Legion Stadium.