Red Devils host familiar foe in key region game

Published 2:17 pm Friday, September 19, 2014

Maplesville has played three games this season, but coach Brent Hubbert isn’t sure what to make of the Red Devils.

Sure, they’ve been as dominant as fans have come to expect, dispatching Billingsley (54-0), Sunshine (55-0) and Keith (55-0) by almost identical scores.

But Hubbert isn’t sure those results tell a whole lot.

“We’ll find out Friday night,” Hubbert said.

That is when region foe Linden visits George Walker Jr. Stadium for the latest edition of what has become one of the state’s top rivalries in Class 1A.

The last three times the squads met, it was in the third round of the state playoffs, with Linden winning in 2010 and 2011 and MHS snapping a four-game losing streak to the Patriots with last year’s 41-0 victory.

Hubbert said fans should expect to see a typical Linden team.

“Strong, physical, fast,” Hubbert said. “They’re just like every other Linden team.”

The Patriots bring a 1-1 record into the game, with the loss coming against Washington County, the team that has been the state runner-up to Tanner in Class 2A the past two seasons.

Maplesville’s success so far has been thanks in no small part to an offensive line that is breaking in four new starters.

The lone returning starter, senior center Larry Leggett, is playing a different position than last season.

Tyrone Davis and Mason Crocker have split time at left tackle because Davis is a freshman and Crocker is coming off an injury.

Likewise, junior Will Harrison and senior Tyler Armstrong split time at left guard because of their crucial roles on Maplesville’s defense. The two combine to account for an average of 18 tackles per game.

Flanking Leggett on the right side are senior Nathan Bush at guard and junior Deven Wallace at tackle.

“They’ve played well above what we thought coming in—early on anyway,” Hubbert said. “They’ll have a big test Friday night.”

As will the rest of the Red Devils.

Another position to watch will be junior quarterback Cole Spencer, who is starting against a Linden defense for the first time.

Through three games, Spencer ranks second among Chilton County area passers with an average of 131.7 yards per game, to go along with five touchdowns.

“He’s gotten better each week,” Hubbert said. “They’re going to throw some stunts, blitzes, some different coverages at him, and he has to pick it up.”

If the Red Devils can earn another win over Linden, they’ll own an early advantage in the Class 1A, Region 4 standings.

“We’re going to have to play four quarters to have a shot,” Hubbert said.

Who will win the Linden-Maplesville game?

  • Maplesville (86%, 19 Votes)
  • Linden (14%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 22

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Also this week

•Verbena at Billingsley (homecoming)

•Jemison at Calera

•Chilton Co. at Chelsea

•Clay Co. at Chilton Christian (homecoming)(5 p.m.)

•Thorsby at Holy Spirit

•Isabella at Loachapoka

–All games begin at 7 p.m. Friday unless noted otherwise.