Prep Football: Defense the key to early Carbon Hill success

Dora looks to snap 2-game skid

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 9/14/18

CARBON HILL — Strong defensive performances and recording a shutout of the opposition has not been a trademark of the Carbon Hill football program in recent years.

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Prep Football: Defense the key to early Carbon Hill success

Dora looks to snap 2-game skid


CARBON HILL — Strong defensive performances and recording a shutout of the opposition has not been a trademark of the Carbon Hill football program in recent years.

Quite the opposite — from 2007 to 2017, the Bulldogs gave up 400 or more points in six out of 10 years.

The low point came during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, when most of the current Bulldogs’ roster were in middle school. Carbon Hill gave up a combined 1,039 points over a 20-game period, with the 2013 season’s defensive point total of 521, setting a new school record.

Times have radically changed for the Bulldogs in not only the way defense is played, but the pride the team has in making big plays and accomplishing goals.

Just three weeks into the 2018 season, Carbon Hill has given up just 20 points and recorded the first back-to-back shutouts since 1989 when the Bulldogs held Curry and Mortimer Jordan scoreless.

“It’s a point of pride for us to make big plays and make an offense have to leave the field with little or nothing,” defensive lineman Jev Windham said. “Every one of us on the field share the goal of contributing to a win. As a defense, if we can hold an offense to a three-and-out, we know our own offense has much better chance of succeeding wit better field position.”

“We came into the season with the mindset that we’re going to work hard on every play — it started in the offseason and it’s continued for us,” linebacker Alex Atkins said. “It’s not lost on us when we make a play that changes the momentum of the game or post a shutout — we’re just eager to keep it going.”

Last week in Carbon Hill’s second-consecutive shutout of the season, the Bulldogs recorded their first region victory since 2014, 6-0, over Greene County.

Returning to the friendly confines of G.W. Keith Stadium, the Bulldogs will look to continue their successful defensive streak and record the third-straight victory over the Hale County Wildcats tonight in a Class 3A, Region 4 battle.

Following a 1-9 finish in 2017, which included six forfeit wins, Hale County opened the season with a 22-8 win over Class 4A Sipsey. Last week, Hale County began region play with a 48-16 loss to Lamar County — evening the Wildcats’ record at 1-1 on the year.

It will be the first meeting between the two programs.

The game will be broadcast live on and WJBE Country Legends 88.5 F.M. at 7 p.m.


Dora at Hamilton

Dora heads to Hamilton in need of a region win tonight.

The Bulldogs, mired in a two-game losing streak, look to avoid an 0-2 start in region play after falling to Jasper 26-13 at home last week.

Hamilton (2-0, 1-0) is within one victory of matching last year’s win total. The Aggies opened with a 31-0 shutout of Cordova and won a 48-42 shootout over West Point last week in their Class 5A, Region 7 opener. Hamilton is led by its ground attack. The Aggies rushed for 488 yards and five touchdowns against West Point and had nearly 600 yards of offense.

Dora (1-2, 0-1) was held to 246 yards against Jasper. Quarterback Averiun Berry had success throwing the ball, finishing 11 of 16 for 124 yards and an interception. John Collins led Dora on the ground, rushing for 93 yards and a score on 19 carries.

Hamilton upset Dora 49-33 at Horace Roberts Field last year.


Fayette County at Cordova

Cordova looks to avoid its first 0-4 start since 2013 with a home game against Fayette County.

The Blue Devils scored three touchdowns last week after losing their first two games in shutouts.

Fayette County, which has finished as the Class 4A state runner up two of the last three seasons, won its Class 4A, Region 5 opener last week, beating Northside 27-12.

Fayette County (2-1, 1-0) got a balanced offensive attack against the Rams, throwing for 164 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 115 yards and two scores.

Against Good Hope, Cordova (0-3, 0-1) fell behind 43-8 in the third quarter before scoring the final two touchdowns. Justin Wallace went 68 yards for the Blue Devils’ first score of the season in the second quarter.


Gordo at Oakman

Oakman makes its home debut in a key region matchup against perennial power Gordo.

The Wildcats (1-1, 1-0) bounced back from a season-opening loss to Curry with a 27-0 road win over Holt in a Class 3A, Region 4 game.

Christian Hubbard put up huge numbers against the Ironmen, rushing for 203 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. He had the last three touchdowns for the Wildcats.

Gordo (1-2, 0-1) saw its 29-game region winning streak snapped last week with an 18-14 home loss to Winfield. The Greenwave outgained Winfield in total yardage 415 to 219. Gordo was done in by three turnovers, including an 89-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

Gordo is 7-1 all time against Oakman, including wins over the Wildcats each of the last two years.


Curry at Oak Grove

After an off week, Curry goes after its first region win with a game at Oak Grove.

Curry fell to Addison in the opener, 20-12, and rallied past Oakman for a 17-14 win two weeks ago.

Oak Grove is off to an 0-3 start and has been outscored 159-26 on the season. Haleyville handed the Tigers a 48-0 loss last week in the Class 4A, Region 5 opener.

The Yellow Jackets have dropped the last three meetings to Oak Grove.


Sumiton Christian at Cold Springs

The Eagles are still looking for the first win of the coach Bart Black era. Sumiton Christian (0-3) makes the short trip to Cold Springs for a 2A, Region 5 matchup.

Sumiton Christian has been outscored 114-27 in its three losses, including a 35-6 setback to Sulligent last week.

Cold Springs (3-0) is off to its best start since 2014. Cold Springs opened region play with a 28-18 win over Southeastern last week.


Red Bay at Addison

Red Bay heads to Addison for a key Class 2A, Region 7 showdown tonight.

Red Bay brings a perfect 3-0 mark into the game. The Tigers opened region play with a 32-6 win over Hatton last week while Addison (2-1, 0-0) knocked off Winston County 51-18 in a non-region game.

The teams last met in 2015 with Red Bay picking up a 56-15 win. The Tigers lead the all time series 6-4 over the Bulldogs.


Today's other games

Hubbertville at Meek

Lynn at Pickens County

Winston County at Tarrant