Devils ready for next test

Published 5:38 pm Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Maplesville defense has stuffed each of its opponents this season, including Holy Spirit last week.

Believe it or not, Maplesville’s football team has played many meaningful regular season games the past few years.

Anyone that has kept up might think the Red Devils always breeze through the first 10 games as a warm-up for the postseason. The numbers back up that perception: MHS has a 36-2 record in regular season games since the beginning of the 2009 season, and the last region game the Devils lost was in 2009 to Linden.

But there has been competition. Maplesville fought off quality Pickens County teams the past two seasons, and in 2010, Autaugaville entered a Week 8 showdown with the Devils unbeaten.

So, Friday’s game against undefeated region foe Keith won’t be the kind of test Maplesville has prepared for. Instead, it will be just the latest challenge for an MHS squad that has seen more than its fair share—even if it usually comes out on top.

“We’re excited about it, and hopefully the kids will respond,” Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert said.

Just this season, Class 1A Maplesville came from behind against Class 3A Leeds to win a preseason exhibition game. Then, in a Week 5 non-region contest at Class 2A powerhouse Sweet Water, the Red Devils fought back from a 14-0 deficit and had a chance to win the game late.

“They know the level it’s going to take to play to get the win,” Hubbert said about Friday’s match-up, which will be Senior Night at George Walker Jr. Stadium in Maplesville.

The coach also said the key for his team will be to display the continued improvement that has been made on the offensive and defensive fronts.

“We’ve continued to get better up front on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Both offenses score about 40 points per game, and both defenses only allow about 8 points per game, so statistically, it’s pretty evenly matched.

“It’s usually going to be determined up front on both sides of the ball.”

Also, look for the game to hinge on plays made on special teams. Hubbert said Maplesville’s play in the kicking game has been good at times—including a 30-yard field goal kicked by Brandon Morrow in last week’s rout of Holy Spirit that was the program’s longest three-pointer in recent memory—but the Devils need to show more consistency.