Lowndes plays rival Friday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

One might think nerves would be getting to the Lowndes Academy football team.

The four remaining games for the Rebels (6-0, 5-0 Class AA Region 2) are against an archrival (Hooper), two teams trailing them in the region (Kingwood and Springwood) and a AAA powerhouse (Fort Dale).

Email newsletter signup

Lowndes was one of the team’s people this summer talked about being in the championship game, and they have the chance to run the table in the regular season.

But you wouldn’t know that judging by the attitudes of the players.

“The guys are playing really relaxed,” said assistant coach/defensive coordinator Matt Marshall. “They’ve really bought into the concept of one week at a time. We as coaches don’t have to do too much motivating for this game. We haven’t seen too much nervousness from them.

“They’re confident, but they’re not cocky.”

The Rebels are also playing in their homecoming, something that would make beating Hooper (2-4, 2-3 AAA Region 1) that much sweeter.

Lowndes isn’t necessarily preparing harder for this game.

It’s just preparing smarter.

“Coach (John) Niblett has done a real good job working with them and getting them ready to play,” Marshall said of Hooper. “He’s been around for a long time, and we know we could see a lot of different things from them. We’ve spent more time on special teams this week. Big games like this usually come down to special teams and who makes mistakes or doesn’t make mistakes.”

Marshall said the Colts look like a solid defensive team on film, something that could be a factor against one of the top running teams in the AISA.

When it comes down to a game like this, it won’t matter that the teams play in different classes or that one has had more success than the other.

Friday night means a lot to both teams.

“It should be a packed house,” Marshall said. “These kids know each other, and they played against one another when they were kids. If we do all the things we need to, we should come out on top.”