The North Sand Mountain football team is coming off one of the biggest wins in school history.
Last Friday, Class 2A No. 9-ranked NSM defeated No. 8 Falkville 12-7 to win the Class 2A Region 7 championship, the first region title in school history.
“Glad we got it done,” said NSM head coach Keith Kirby.“ But we’ve got to move on to the next one. We’ve got to keep this momentum rolling and carry it into the playoffs.”
NSM (8-1), now ranked No. 6 in Class 2A, closes the regular season by hosting Sylvania Friday at 7 p.m. at Lloyd Dobbins Field in Higdon.
It’s the 31st meeting between the teams in a series Sylvania leads 21-9.
The teams have split the last eight meetings. Sylvania won last year’s meeting 43-36 in a game that started on Friday night and had to finish on Saturday because of inclement weather.
The 2020 Rams, who qualified for the Class 3A playoffs as the 3A Region 7 No. 4-seed, provide NSM with a playoff “preview,” Kirby said.
“That’s a pretty good No. 4-seed,” Kirby said. “They’re a real good football team. Real experienced team. Got a lot of them back from last year, got around 11 or 12 seniors. We’ve got a pretty good challenge coming up.”
Sylvania (5-4) is coming off a 43-40, last-second victory over East Limestone, a Class 5A No. 2-seed in the upcoming state playoffs.
Sylvania quarterback Brody Smith went 12-of-20 passing for 329 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winning 29-yarder to Braiden Thomas with 27 seconds left.
“They’re typically 50-50 (run-pass ratio),” Kirby said of the Rams. “They’ve got a really good QB, good receivers and they’re all good runners. They’ll make you think they’re going to run and they’ll pass, and they’ll make you think they’re going to pass and they’ll run.”
Should NSM prevail over the Rams, the 2020 Bison would become only the second team in program history to post nine wins during the regular season. The other to do so was the 2011 Bison.
“You want to be peaking, playing your best football at this time of year,” Kirby said. “That’s what we’re trying to do heading into the playoffs.”