FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bears eager to show they can compete

Published 12:51 pm Thursday, September 5, 2013

Friday night will see the resumption of one of the Chilton County area’s most competitive and history-laden rivalries.

When Billingsley visits Maplesville, BHS coach Tyson McLean’s team has one clear goal in mind: give fans a closer game than last season’s 34-0 loss.

McLean and the Bears want to take the next step in their progress and be able to stay on the same field–and defeat–elite opponents like Maplesville.

“I think these guys have a commitment,” McLean said about this year’s squad. “They want to win. They’re willing to do the things we need to do to win.”

Billingsley is off to a good start to the 2013 season after a 20-14 win over Prattville Christian, a team that defeated the Bears 42-14 last season.

“It’s always better to get the season started with a win,” McLean said. “I hope it carries on and gives us a little more momentum.”

But as would be expected, McLean sees plenty the Bears still need to work on, specifically some missed scoring opportunities.

“We have got to score when we get chances,” he said about a few trips inside Prattville Christian’s 20-yard line that resulted in no points. “We can’t leave those points out there on the field.”

The Maplesville game will be another indicator of the Billingsley program’s progress.

The Red Devils are coming off a 59-7 win over Winterboro. Like his counterpart, MHS coach Brent Hubbert looks at his team’s performance and doesn’t see perfection, including two lost fumbles while the game was still scoreless, although he said the Devils executed well.

“If we were perfect now, then we wouldn’t have to play the rest of the season,” Hubbert said.

Hubbert also mentioned blocking by the skill position players on offense as an area that needs to improve. He knows this year’s Billingsley team won’t be the same one the Devils pushed over last season.

“We can tell Billingsley is bigger and stronger than they have been, and more athletic,” Hubbert said.

Maplesville’s coach said it will be important for the Devils defense to tackle Billingsley backs Rashaud Caver and Terrance Nolen.

McLean, meanwhile, said Billingsley will have to match Maplesville’s intensity.

“We have to play hard every play, because they are,” McLean said. “The good thing is that with this game, it’s one of those where you don’t have to get the kids fired up to play because they know the tradition and the rivalry there.”

Who will win the Billingsley-Maplesville game?

  • Maplesville (74%, 35 Votes)
  • Billingsley (26%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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Also this week

Marion Academy at Chilton Christian (0-2)

After two losses to start the season, Chilton Christian will try to get back on track against a foe that will likely make it difficult for the Patriots to earn their first win of the season. Marion was the opponent two years ago when CCA won the state championship in its first year of competition.

Homewood (0-1) at Chilton Co. (0-1)

Homewood comes into the game with an 0-1 record, but don’t let that fool you. The Patriots’ loss came to Class 6A power Vestavia Hills, and Homewood should be the cream of the crop in Class 5A, Region 4 once again. Chilton County, meanwhile, tries to avoid an 0-2 start.

Randolph Co. (0-1) at Isabella (1-0)

Randolph County handed the Mustangs one of its worst losses of the year, 48-12, in 2012. But look for Isabella to produce a different result in 2013, hanging around until at least late in the game. A 1-0 start in region play would have IHS well on its way to topping last year’s win total of four.