Hungry for the region
Decatur focuses on being
No. 1 seed in playoffs
By Mark Edwards
firstname.lastname@example.org · 340-2461
The opponent isn't ranked second in the state.
Or riding a 46-game win streak in the region.
But if recent history is an indication, Decatur High's football team won't take Friday night's home game lightly, even if the foe is Muscle Shoals and not tradition-rich Russellville, which fell to the Red Raiders 24-23 seven days ago.
After falling in the season opener to Huntsville, Decatur has rolled through six straight opponents, and even though the list has included ranked teams such as then-No. 1 J.O. Johnson and rivals such as Hartselle and Athens, the Red Raiders haven't let up the following week.
It's enough to give hope to Decatur coach Jere Adcock that his team will have no trouble focusing on Muscle Shoals, which is 3-4, including 2-3 in Class 5A, Region 8.
"I'd like to think so," Adcock said. "I can't tell for sure until Friday night, but I'd like to think we'll be focused."
Decatur (6-1, 5-0 in the region) has plenty on the line.
If the Red Raiders win, they'll clinch at least a tie for the region championship, and since they hold the edge in the tiebreaker over all other contenders, a win will earn Decatur the region's No. 1 seed for the state playoffs.
Also, a win would give the Red Raiders seven for the season, and that's a magic number in Decatur football history.
Teams that earn seven wins get their photograph up in the Red Raiders' home, Earl Webb Fieldhouse.
Adcock said his players have talked about that this week.
"That's one thing they know about when they come to Decatur High," Adcock said.
"It's a tradition, and it's something important that they want to accomplish."
Decatur enters Friday night with a defense that has allowed only 10.8 points a game in the past four contests, but Muscle Shoals has scored plenty lately.
The Trojans beat West Point 34-7 in their last game, and in the two games before that, they scored four touchdowns each in a 42-28 loss to J.O. Johnson and 54-28 loss to Hazlewood.
That's an average of 30 points in the past three contests.
"The more we've watched them on film, the better they get," Adcock said.
"With some teams, you're in awe of them, but the more you watch them, the more ordinary they look.
"With Muscle Shoals, the more we've watched them, the more impressed I am with them."
Ogle Stadium game
Who: Muscle Shoals (3-4, 2-3 in Class 5A, Region 8) at Decatur (6-1, 5-0)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Stakes: Decatur can clinch first place in Region 8 with a victory. A win also will give the Red Raiders seven for the year, which is the number a team must reach to get its picture hung in the Earl Webb Fieldhouse.
Friday’s other games
Class 6A: Austin (3-4) vs. Grissom (1-6) at Milton Frank Stadium.
Class 5A: Hartselle at Johnson, 4 p.m., at Huntsville’s Goldsmith-Shipman Field, Brewer (3-4) at Athens (2-5).
Class 4A: Ardmore (1-6) at Priceville (3-4), East Lawrence (1-6) at North Jackson (7-0), Madison County (7-0) at East Limestone (6-1), Central-Florence (0-7) at Lawrence County (2-5).
Class 3A: Lexington (1-6) at Clements (2-5), Danville (0-7) at Good Hope (5-2), Sheffield (3-4) at Elkmont (3-4), Lauderdale County (2-5) at West Limestone (4-3).
Class 2A: Addison (6-1) at Red Bay (7-0), Vincent (2-5) at Falkville (4-3), Hatton (0-7) at Phil Campbell (0-7), Winston County (2-5) at Tanner (4-3), Cherokee (3-4) at West Morgan (4-3).
Class 1A: Hackleburg at Hazlewood, Lyman Ward at Mount Hope, Vina at R.A. Hubbard, Phillips at Speake.
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