Willis

Malik Willis and Scottsboro begin Class 5A Region 8 play Friday night at Ardmore.

In 2008, head coach Don Jacobs took his Elkmont team to Ardmore’s Cooper Field and posted a 7-6 win in the rivalry series.

Eleven years later, Jacobs is taking Scottsboro to Ardmore, but with the same mentality he had when he walked the sidelines at Elkmont.

“We’re going there with the same intensity (of that rivalry),” Jacobs said. 

Scottsboro (0-1) and Ardmore (2-0) square off Friday night in the Class 5A Region 8 opener for both teams. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

It’s the fourth all-time meeting between the schools. The series resumed last year — Scottsboro won 35-7 — after an 89-year hiatus.

Jacobs’ phone rang a few times this week with Elkmont area phone numbers showing up on the caller ID.

“There’s going to a bunch of Elkmont people there,” Jacobs said with a laugh. 

While his Elkmont friends want to see their archrival fall — Ardmore defeated Elkmont 22-8 last week — Jacobs and Scottsboro want to win because of the region implications as they looks to bounce back from a season-opening 42-7 loss to Class 6A Fort Payne.

“The only goal we lost last week was a perfect season,” Jacobs said. “We can still win the region, still make the playoffs, still got a big rivalry game with North Jackson that everybody looks forward to.”

Scottsboro will be back at “full strength” with some lineup issues now resolved. 

“There were some positives that came out of the second half last week when were back full strength,” Jacobs said. 

Meanwhile, Ardmore is 2-0 for the second straight season. The Tigers defeated West Morgan 27-9 in Week 0 before edging Elkmont last week. 

Receiver/running back Conner Harbin and running back Logan Hogan have been Ardmore’s top playmakers this season. Hogan has rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns while Harbin has scored touchdowns both rushing and on a kickoff return.

“They spread you out to run,” Jacobs said. “They’ve got a passel for running backs. (Receiver) No. 88 (Michael Turner) is a big tall lanky kid that in a one-on-one, they’ll just throw it up there to.”

Ardmore’s been solid on defense and in special teams, which has produced two blocked punts — one resulted in a touchdown and the other a safety — and a kickoff return touchdown.

“They’ve kicked off about four different ways and punted three different ways. The same kid (Xzander Atkins) kicks and punts, and he’s been good at placing the ball,” Jacobs said. “He’s been good for them.”

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