Happy Halloween and welcome to a special spooky edition of the Daily Double. Before I take my daughter — who’s dressed like Sesame Street character Abby Cadaby — out for candy, here are today’s top prep headlines.
Mike Cummings rewinds the weekend in preps with his Sunday Prep Playback. The Decatur Red Raiders are scary good, and they capped a 9-1 regular season with a convincing win against Athens on Friday night.
And for this week’s first-round pairings, click here. Nothing too scary about that.
OK, RCR wants to know your favorite horror movie.
Finally, this Daily Double wouldn’t be complete without a video. So, for your viewing pleasure, the official Saw 3D trailer. I want to go see this tonight, and I’m pretty sure my wife is trying to chicken out. WARNING: THIS DOES LOOK PRETTY CRAZY.
After spending the day at Point Mallard Golf Course and my night in the Decatur Daily newsroom helping design tomorrow’s sports section, there is only one thing that can temporarily keep me from a warm bed.
If you guessed “high school football playoffs,” give yourself 10 points.
Happy Halloween Eve, everybody, which I guess would be more correctly said as Happy Halloweeneen, or something like that. Anyway, last night was the final night of the 2010 prep football regular season. The playoffs start next Friday, and I really can’t wait. I’m sure you’re excited too, so while we all wait, here are some headlines from the final regular-season Friday night of the year.
Quickie recap: Landon Stephens did a little bit of everything, scoring three touchdowns and picking off a pass, to lead Class 2A, No. 6 Tanner to a 38-27 win over Limestone County rival Ardmore. The Rattlers rested some key players, including two-way star Tray Cosby.
Quickie stats: Landon Stephens (Tanner): 110 rushing yards, 168 passing yards, three total touchdowns. Fredrick Rich (Tanner): 17 carries, 129 yards, TD. John Tribble (Ardmore): 20-for-38, 212 yards, 3 TDs.
Quotable: “We aren’t going to harp on it. We’re just going to try to win the rest of them though, go all the way. So we are aren’t going to worry about that right now.”
– Tanner coach Laron White on his team’s undefeated regular season (9-0)
Quick-hit recap: Class 6A, No. 6 Decatur got three first-quarter touchdown runs from Josh Matthews, and the Red Raiders cruised to their ninth win of the season. Decatur’s only hiccup came last week against Region 8 champion Bob Jones, and head coach Jere Adcock was pleased with the way his team regrouped.
Statistical quick hits: Matthews (Decatur), 24 carries for 117 yards and TD runs of 7, 3 and 7. Stephen Rivers (Athens), 7-of-17 for 94 yards and 1 TD.
Quotable: “We have to stop No. 4.” — Athens head coach Allen Creasy, when asked at halftime what his team needed to do better. The school’s filming crew interviewed the animated Athens coach as the Golden Eagles entered their locker room, and the coach’s response was played on the stadium’s new jumbo screen.
The No. 4 to whom he was referring? Decatur’s Josh Matthews.
Here are a few storylines to remember for tonight’s interclass showdown between Decatur and Hartselle:
Both teams are looking to get back into winning form after a pair of gut-wrenching losses last week. Decatur fell to Bob Jones in overtime in a game that decided the region championship, while Athens watched county rival East Limestone boot the game-winning field goal with three seconds left.
The two teams haven’t met since 2007, but this game is one of the area’s most storied rivalries. Decatur and Athens played every year from 1937-2007, so it should be fun to watch this rivalry renewed.
The obvious marquee matchup in this one is Athens QB Stephen Rivers vs. Decatur’s dominant defense. An LSU verbal committment, Rivers is one of the best passers in the area, but the Red Raiders’ D has been making opposing quarterbacks wish they play another position.
Finally, both teams are in the postseason. Decatur will host a first-round game at Ogle Stadium next week, while Athens is on the road. This game will be a great final tune-up for both squads.
What to watch for in tonight’s interclass game between Tanner and Ardmore at Tanner’s Sunshine Field.
Don’t tread on me: Sixth-ranked Tanner has allowed 21 points through eight games (bye in Week 4), and never more than eight in a single game. The Rattlers rattled off five straight shutouts to start the season before Cold Springs scored late in the fourth quarter on Oct. 8. Those numbers are solid, but they all came against Class 2A competition. How will the Rattlers fare against a 4A team? How good are they, really? Tonight could be a good chance to get a read on this team before the playoffs.
The Cosby Show: Tanner’s Tray Cosby can do it all, and he usually does. The senior two-way star has scored touchdowns in just about every conceivable manner this year, from rushing and receiving to returning punts and fumbles. Cosby is one of the area’s most electrifying talents, and he always brings it.
County rivalry: These two teams are both from Limestone County, so it’s a rivalry game. And there are plenty of good sub-plots, too. Ardmore started the season 0-4, then won its next four games, then fell out of playoff competition with a loss to Central-Florence last week. So this is a decent 4A football team. Tanner, meanwhile, is looking to extend its 35-18-3 all-time advantage and five-game winning streak in the series while preparing for the first round of the playoffs.
Pound for pound, Hartselle’s Malcolm Fossett is the best player in the area. Hands down. The 5-foot-6, 160-pounder ran for 200 yards and two touchdowns on a yeoman-like 29 carries in a 27-16 win against Austin on Thursday night.