Prep Football: New class, region for Jasper in 2020

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 5/22/20

Jasper’s football team heads back to Class 6A for the 2020 season, and the Vikings didn’t get any favors from the AHSAA.

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Prep Football: New class, region for Jasper in 2020

Posted

Jasper’s football team heads back to Class 6A for the 2020 season, and the Vikings didn’t get any favors from the AHSAA.

Jasper joins Region 6, which includes five teams that advanced to the playoffs last year, two of those — Clay-Chalkville and Pinson Valley — made the state quarterfinals while Mortimer Jordan advanced to the 5A semifinals. Overall, nine of Jasper’s 10 opponents made the postseason in 2019.

Another change will be at head coach where Philip Bailey makes the move to the helm after serving as the offensive coordinator for two years. Jasper was a state contender each of the last two years in Class 5A, going 22-3.

Here is a quick look at this year’s schedule

Aug. 21 — Mars Hill at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field
2019 record: 14-1
This will be the first meeting between the teams. Mars Hill played for the Class 1A state title each of the last two years, winning a title in 2018 and finishing runner up last year. The Panthers, who are moving to 2A this season, averaged 50.1 points per game last year.

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Aug. 28 — at Cullman
2019 Record: 6-6
Jasper snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bearcats last year, winning 21-19 at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field. The last three games in the series have been decided by a total of six points. With last year’s win, the Vikings now lead the series 35-34-2.

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Sept. 4 — Clay-Chalkville at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field
2019 Record: 10-3
Jasper hosts Clay-Chalkville in the region opener. The Cougars lost to eventual state champion Oxford in the state quarterfinals last year. Jasper is 1-3 all-time against Clay. The teams last played in 2017.

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Sept. 18 — at Gardendale
2019 Record: 8-4
While Jasper leads the series 8-7, the Rockets have controlled the series since the early 2000s, winning six of the last seven meetings. The Rockets have made the playoffs each of the last six years. The teams last played in 2017 with Gardendale winning 63-34.

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Sept. 25 — at Demopolis
2019 Record: 7-4
Jasper makes the two-hour trip to Demopolis for a non-region game before facing four consecutive region opponents. The Tigers, who have made the playoffs every year since 1996, will be in Class 6A for the first time. This will be the first meeting between the teams.

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Oct. 2 — at Minor
2019 Record: 6-5
The Vikings face Minor for the first time since the 2017 season. The teams split four games starting in 2014. Minor won the last two, including a 28-7 victory in 2017. Jasper leads the all-time series 13-12.

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Oct. 9 — Jackson-Olin at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field
2019 Record: 3-7
After three successful years, the Mustangs took a step backward last year. Jasper has never lost to Jackson-Olin, winning all five meetings. The Vikings won the last game 24-0 in 2015. Jackson-Olin hasn’t won a playoff game since 1997.

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Oct. 16 — at Mortimer Jordan
2019 Record: 11-3
Currently enjoying its most successful run in school history, Mortimer Jordan moves to 6A for the first time. The Blue Devils have won four straight region titles while going 42-11. Jasper leads the all-time series 8-3, but dropped the last game 41-21 in the 2018 state quarterfinals.

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Oct. 23 — Pinson Valley at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field
2019 Record: 10-3
After going 38-4 over the past three years under coach Patrick Nix, Pinson Valley will be under new head coach Sam Shade, a former Alabama and NFL star, in 2020. The Indians have made the postseason each of the last 10 years. Jasper is 2-2 in the series, losing the last two games in 2016 and 2017.

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Bessemer City — at Ki-Ro Gambrell Field
2019 Record: 8-3
Bessemer City is back on the Vikings’ schedule for the first time since 1997. The Purple Tigers are under their fifth head coach in the last five years as Rudy Griffin replaces Andrew Zow. Bessemer City, formerly Jess Lanier, leads the all-time series 16-4.