Jasper-Central Clay County to battle in Lineville

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 9/26/19

It’s a matchup normally reserved for the postseason or a state championship game.

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Jasper-Central Clay County to battle in Lineville

Posted

It’s a matchup normally reserved for the postseason or a state championship game.

Tonight, the top-ranked Jasper Vikings will travel to Lineville to face the second-ranked and defending state champion Central Clay County Volunteers at Volunteer Stadium.

Since opening the season with a close 21-19 victory over the Cullman Bearcats, the Vikings have been playing football symbolic of their No. 1 ranking, outscoring opponents 166-0. The three consecutive shutouts for the Viking defense was the first to occur since 1999 and Jasper’s 530 yards of offense was the highest of the season, drawing rave reviews from the coaching staff in the complete victory.

The Vikings will have the biggest test of the season against the Volunteers, which have outscored their opponents 148-33 this year, including last week’s 34-0 shutout of Moody.

“Defensively, we’re going to be able to tell a lot about ourselves with the amount of experience and athleticism we’ll face. We’ve got guys who are experienced too — I think they’ll be OK,” Jasper head coach Bryan Moore said.

“The fact that we beat them last year gives us a lot of confidence, and that we only gave up seven points. The only touchdown was on a short field. Playing them last year, and for me, playing them in the two years prior at Eufaula as well, gives us additional confidence. There’s not a lot of unknowns, which is strange when it comes to a game like this. They haven’t changed a lot — what they do they do extremely well.”

Running back Kaden Shelton and offensive lineman Drake Roberts said that good execution on offense will be a key to victory.

“We’ve got to be able to run the ball and throw it,” Shelton said. “We have to execute well on every play.”

“We’ve got to play with effort and move their defensive line — their line has good size,” Roberts said. “They don’t have the good nose tackle that they did last year, but the guy that moved into his position is tough. We have to get movement off the ball.”

Defensive linemen Aundra Reese said he and his teammates on the defense are looking forward to the challenge the potent Volunteer offense brings.

“Our front seven has to focus-in and be key in stopping the run, and our backs have to play very disciplined as they will throw the ball on us,” Reese said.

Last year among soggy conditions at Ki-Ro Gambrell Stadium, the Vikings clinched a tight 10-7 win over the Volunteers in the only meeting between the teams.

Central Clay County is led by coach Danny Horn, who guided the school to its first football championship last season. He previously won six state tieles at Clay County High School.

Tonight’s game will be broadcast on WJLX 101.5 F.M. with a 7 p.m. kickoff.