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CCHS out to prove it’s a better team this year

Before each game, Chilton County High football coach Brian Carter stresses three things that could decide the contest: the first five minutes, special teams and turnovers.

“Those are three things that we lost in a hurry last year,” Carter said about the 2008 meeting with Demopolis, which CCHS lost 50-0.

Demopolis scored quickly, recovered an onside kick and scored again. It was 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and 30-0 at halftime.

Friday night, the Tigers (1-0) will have a chance to prove they have improved.

“They know who we’re playing,” Carter said about his team. “They know what kind of team this is, as far as being big and strong and physical.

“Our kids feel like we have to redeem ourselves.”

To do so, CCHS will have to play big, strong and physical. Demopolis chewed up 414 rushing yards last season. The Tigers will try to limit that total and establish a ground game of their own.

The 19-12, Week 1 win over Jemison is cause for hope. The Tigers rushed for more than 200 yards against their rivals, with junior J.J. Agee’s 120 yards leading the way.

“A team like Demopolis, you can’t fall behind them,” Carter said. “Instead of feeling like you can work your way into a game, you have to start out playing your best.”

Pick: Demopolis

Also Friday:

Thorsby (0-1) at American Christian (0-1)

– Much-improved Thorsby lost a heartbreaker in Week 1 to Verbena, and its next three opponents were all playoff teams one year ago. Ouch. Pick: American Christian.

Sunshine (0-1, 0-1 region) at Billingsley (0-1, 0-1)

– Billingsley can’t lick the wounds from its 35-0 thrashing at the hands of Maplesville for too long. Another loss and the Bears will be in an 0-2 hole in region play. Pick: Billingsley.

Isabella (1-0) at Fultondale (1-0)

– Last year’s 20-10 win was Isabella’s coming out party. The Mustangs hope to get off to another solid start in region play, this time by winning on the road. Pick: Isabella.

Southside-Selma (0-1) at Jemison (1-0)

– The Panthers (the visiting ones) went winless in the region in 2008, so the other Panthers should be able to move to 1-0 in the region. Pick: Jemison.

No. 3 R.A. Hubbard (1-0) at No. 6 Maplesville (1-0)

– If you put much stock into rankings, this will definitely be the game of the season so far. Pick: Maplesville.

Verbena (1-0) at Wadley (0-1)

– Expect the game to be closer than last year’s 44-6 result in favor of Wadley, but Verbena has to find more offense than it showed in a season-opening win over Thorsby. Pick: Wadley.