The North Sand Mountain football team put together its most complete performance last week in a 55-22 win over previously undefeated Cedar Bluff.
It was performance that head coach Keith Kirby has been looking for and one that was well-timed in a pivotal Class 2A Region 8 contest.
Now the coach is wanting the Bison to build on last week’s performance.
“We’ve got to maintain it,” he said. “We came out and played with a lot of passion and enthusiasm last week. We practiced that way. We’ve got to continue to do what we did well and fix what we didn’t. We need to create some momentum and carry this forward into the rest of the season.”
NSM (4-2, 3-1) looks for a similar performance Friday night at 7 p.m. when it hosts rival Ider at Lloyd Dobbins Field in Higdon.
It’s the 47th all-time meeting in a series. Ider leads the series 28-18, but NSM has won the last three meetings and six of the last eight. The schools, which are separated by less than 10 miles and the Jackson-DeKalb County line, have played every year since 1975.
NSM faces an Ider team that is under the direction of a new head coach for the first time since 2003. Brent Tinker stepped down following the 2018 campaign after 16 seasons as the Hornets’ coach. Tinker, who went 69-98 with five playoff appearances at his alma mater, is now an assistant coach at Fort Payne. Miles Keith is Ider’s new head coach. Keith, who as North Jackson’s defensive coordinator in 2013 and also served assistant coaching stints at Crossville and Tallassee, was hired in June and debuted with a 13-2 win over Holly Pond on Aug. 30.
Ider (2-4, 1-3) snapped a four-game losing streak last week with a 49-6 win over Asbury. Seth Hawkins ran for three touchdowns for the Hornets in the victory.
“They’ve done quite a few different things on offense,” said Kirby, saying the Hornets work primarily from the spread and I formations. “It’s tough. You basically have to prepare for two different offenses, which takes extra time and extra reps (at practice during the week). It’s a rivalry games, so I feel like we’re going to get the best from them.”