“It is one of those things if a kid from Sylacauga can’t get up for that ball game, he is probably going to the wrong school,” Sylacauga head coach Matt Griffith said. “It is an old fashion rivalry game. The two communities are 10 minutes apart and everybody knows everybody. It is one of those things that our kids know their kids - their kids know our kids and it is just going to be a great ball game.”
Childersburg head coach Adam Fossett is new to the rivalry, but he knows beating Sylacauga is something that he is going to have to get done.
“He put me on a time line as far as you got to beat them,” Fossett said. “It is always good to beat a rival. Childersburg has not won since 2006,so it makes tough to be a true rivalry. Most of the time when you think about a rivalry it is a game that goes back and forth. One school wins in one or two years and the other school wins it a couple of years. We got to instill the rivalry part back in it.”
The Aggies (4-0) defeated John Carroll 31-30 last Friday on homecoming. TJ Green scored the game-winning touchdown with less than a minute to go.
“It was a big region win,” Griffith said. “You have concerns about coming in flat, but it is one of those things where it maybe good that it is a rivalry game. Our kids know that it is bragging rights; for the rest of their lives they will be living with these kids from Childersburg and they will always remember their senior year.”
Last season, Sylacauga defeated Childersburg, 45-0. Griffith said he has been impressed with the 2012 version of the Childersburg Tigers.
“They are a much improved football team, there is no doubt,” Griffith said. “They probably have as much skill as they have had in a long time and obviously they are playing a lot better football. They seem to be playing for four quarters and they are going to get after us. We know that. Coach Fossett has gone in there and done a great job.”
Fossett has been impressed with Sylacauga this season. He said that the Aggies are undefeated for a reason-they’re good.
“The proof is in their record, they are 4-0,” Fossett said. “They are playing good football right now. They are very, very disciplined. Their offensive line is very aggressive; they fire off the ball low and fast. Their quarterback is very good running the option. Defensively, they move around and get after you. I think they are going to come in fired up; our kids have been fired up all week about it. Hopefully, when we get on the field both teams will play well and it will be a good ball game.”
The Tigers (2-2) lost to Dadeville, 42-6 last week. Second quarter turnovers hurt Childersburg last week.
“We have to do what we have to do to take care of what we need to take care of,” Fossett said. “The past couple of weeks have been mistakes that we have made that put us in a bad position. We gave up 21 points in a about three minutes to Dadeville and you can’t do that against good teams.”
The Alabama High School Athletic Association recognized Hunter Johns and Ian Floyd for their efforts against John Carroll last Friday. Johns went 7-of-13 passing for 126 yards, rushed for 106 yards and completed a game-winning 68-yard touchdown pass to TJ Green with only 47 seconds remaining to give the Aggies a 31-30 win over John Carroll. Ian Floyd added 157 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 20 carries.
“Hunter is really doing a good job of running this offense,” Griffith said. “ Knock on wood, we don’t have a lot of missed calls from the sideline to him. He gets everybody lined up and that is what we have really needed. He does a really good job of running this style offense. Ian has been a really pleasant surprise. He is really running hard right now. He is doing everything his coaches ask him to do. He seems to get stronger as the games goes on. He has really done a good job right now for us.”
Griffith said the Aggies can’t turn the ball over if they are going to beat Childersburg.
“One thing, we can’t do what we did last week, which is we can’t have three turnovers,” Griffith said. “We can’t turn the ball over and expect to beat Childersburg. We have to play sound offensively and defensively. We cannot turn the ball over and be really good in our kicking game. We can’t have the mistakes in the kicking game that we have had in the past.
Fossett said his team has to hold on to the football and use their offense to control the game.
“We have to do all the right things,” Fossett said. “We have to take care of what we can control. If we take care of what we can control, then we can dictate the game a little bit and have success throughout the night.”