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    Austin takes momentum to Huntsville

    It’s not just the Austin Black Bears who are saying they are a different team than the squads that missed the playoffs the past three seasons. The opposition is beginning to take notice, too.

    Austin (1-0) will play Huntsville High (1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday at Milton Frank Stadium in the first Class 6A, Region 8 contest for both teams, and Crimson Panthers coach Kevin Wieseman said his staff have seen enough of the Black Bears this season to know not to overlook the Austin.

    “Austin has a good football team,” Wieseman said.

    “We’ve watched them the past couple of weeks, and they’re athletic.”

    Wieseman said Austin “looked completely different” in a 14-7 win over Hartselle than the week before in a jamboree loss to Cullman.

    The Black Bears’ come-from-behind victory in the Tigers’ J.P. Cain Stadium last week was a milestone for Austin, which beat Hartselle for the first time since 2003 and has won five of its last six games dating back to the second half of last season.

    But this week’s game in Huntsville will be even bigger. Austin finished fifth in the region last season despite a surge at the end of the year. Against Huntsville, which beat Austin 20-3 last season, the Black Bears have a chance to break into the mix of last year’s playoff teams, which included Huntsville, Bob Jones, Florence and Sparkman.

    Hartselle mascot has new spirit: Hartselle High has a new mascot to begin the new season. When Hartselle and Decatur face off at Ogle Stadium on Friday night, the Tigers will have a new Tiger on the sidelines. “Champ,” dressed in a Hartselle jersey and camouflaged shorts, is also known as Hartselle senior Hugheston Slate. Slate won multiple awards as Champ this summer at Universal Cheerleading Association camp.

    R.A. Hubbard passes to victory: R.A. Hubbard is definitely known for its ground attack. But the Chiefs proved last week that opponents don’t always know what’s coming. LeBrandon Key connected with Dontae Robinson for a 5-yard go-ahead touchdown pass for the Chiefs’ final points in a 27-21 road win at Addison.

    R.A. Hubbard was 3-of-7 passing with one interception in the win. That’s more passes than the Chiefs completed in any game last season.

    Tecumseh Garth kept the traditionally strong Chiefs’ running game alive with 157 yards rushing.

    Inaugural Alabama High School Football Magazine: After 16 years of publishing a highly successful magazine in Georgia, publisher and owner J. David Patterson’s interests have expanded to Alabama. The inaugural 2007 Alabama High School Football Magazine is a compilation of information on high school football teams throughout the state — both Alabama High School Athletic Association and AISA sanctioned teams.

    The goal of the publication is to offer exposure for athletes, coaches, schools and communities throughout the state. It is available for order at www

    Around the state

    Hoover drops two: Hoover High is on a losing streak for the first time since 1998. The Bucs’ 20-17 overtime loss to national power Colerain, Ohio, on Saturday paired with a 35-21 loss to Prattville in last season’s state championship game marks the first time the state powerhouse has lost two straight games in nearly a decade.

    Hoover is ranked No. 4 in this week’s Alabama Sports Writers Association polls — the lowest spot for coach Rush Propst’s Bucs since 2000.

    Prattvillle makes national polls: Prattville not only tops the ASWA Class 6A polls, but also is ranked No. 8 in USA Today’s prep football Super 25 and No. 10 in the Rivals.com Fab 50.

    Pike County’s winning ways: Two-time defending 3A state champion Pike County looks to keep its 14-game winning streak alive this week, hosting No. 5 Geneva, which is the last team to beat the Bulldogs. The Panthers’ took a 44-43 triple-overtime victory in last year’s regular season and went on to clinch the 3A, Region 1 championship. The Bulldogs of Brundidge went on to win its second straight 3A crown.

    Predicting the preps

    Daily Sports Writer Brooke Milam predicts how area teams will fare in this week’s games:

    Thursday’s game

    Mount Hope 14, Tharptown 7

    Friday’s games

    Austin 21, Huntsville 14

    Athens 24, Muscle Shoals 14

    Russellville 32, Brewer 14

    Hartselle 21, Decatur 17

    Ardmore 24, East Lawrence 7

    East Limestone 28,

    Priceville 14

    Lawrence County 21, Rogers 7

    Clements 21, Elkmont 10

    Danville 21, Holly Pond 13

    Colbert County 35,

    West Limestone 21

    Addison 24, Hatton 8

    Falkville 18,

    Westbrook Christian 14

    Tanner 28, West Morgan 24

    Hazlewood 24, Speake 15

    R.A. Hubbard 24, Brilliant 6

    Last week: 7-6 (.540)

    Season record: 7-6 (.540)

    Brooke Milam Brooke Milam
    DAILY Sports Writer

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