MHS ready for rematch with Sweet Water

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Maplesville is the last county team remaining in the 2017 football playoffs, after Isabella and Thorsby’s ride came to an end in the second round.

The quarterfinals on Nov. 24 may present the toughest matchup that the Red Devils (11-0) have faced this season, as it goes on the road against another Class 1A power in Sweet Water High school.

Maplesville and Sweet Water (10-1) are two of the top teams in 1A and finished among the top three among the final regular season rankings. The Red Devils were ranked No. 1, while Sweet Water came in at No. 3.

With Georgiana’s lose in the second round to Marengo, it eliminated a title contender and opened the door for the winner of Friday’s to be feeling pretty good about themselves.

Maplesville has had some uncharacteristically slow starts in recent weeks, dating back to the regular season finale on the road against American Christian.

In all three games the Red Devils eventually found its groove and wound up winning by multiple touchdowns on each occasion.

However, sluggish starts are not ideal for any team and something that head coach Brent Hubbert will look to improve against a high-powered Sweet Water offense.

When Maplesville’s offense is clicking on all cylinders it can be quite hard to stop, but it comes down to consistency and capitalizing on the opportunity when the play is there to be made.

Points were easy to come by when the two teams met in the third round last year and that could be the case once again.

No matter which way you slice it, both teams are fairly even with Maplesville averaging 51.8 points per game and allowing 9.4 points and Sweet Water averaging 44.2 points per game and giving up just 9.5 points per game.

Something has to give and for Sweet Water a year ago, it had success running the ball right at Maplesville and you can count on them trying to test the front seven yet again.

Timothy Bradley and Tristen Thetford are tackling machines and they will need to play like that along with the rest of the Maplesville linebacker corps against the Sweet Water rushing attack. That will be a key matchup to watch in the game.

In many ways it will be a battle of wills, especially in the trenches.

The pressure of the moment should not affect much of these teams once the game gets under way, but the physicality of the game and who handles it more effectively could play a vital role in which team outlasts the other.