Bradley Little

Bradley Little and the Woodville Panthers host non-region foe Decatur Heritage for Homecoming Friday night.

The Woodville football team steps out of region play this week to face one of Class 1A’s top teams.

The Panthers welcome former region rival, Class 1A No. 8-ranked Decatur Heritage, to Frazier Field in Woodville Friday at 7 p.m. It also Homecoming for Woodville High School.

It’s the ninth all-time meeting between the teams in a series that Decatur Heritage currently leads 8-0.

Woodville and Decatur Heritage were region foes during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. They continued their series last season as non-region foes, a 47-14 Decatur Heritage victory.

Decatur Heritage (3-2) opened the season with losses to 2A No. 6-ranked Falkville 34-20 and 3A Colbert Heights 29-27 before posting wins over Phillips 41-10, Vina via COVID-19 forfeit and Shoals Christian 46-0. 

The Eagles are currently tied with R.A. Hubbard atop the Class 1A Region 8 standings with 3-0 region records.

“This is probably the best team we’ve seen,” said Woodville head coach Matt Sanders. “They’ve got a lot of athletes. They’ve got a good looking quarterback, big kid, nice arm, can run. They like to get the ball on the edge and use the whole field. They throw a lot of screens, which is another form of the run game. They mix it up pretty well. They’re kind of the type of offense that we want to have here in the future at Woodville.”

The Panthers are coming off a loss to Sumiton Christian in Class 1A Region 7 play. Sanders said Woodville struggled out of the game but still trailed just 13-0 for most of the first half.

“I don’t know what it was, the long bus ride, I don’t know, but we played as bad as we could and we’re only down 13,” he said. 

“I felt like we kind of let an opportunity slip away that we hadn’t had this season. But we can’t change that. We’ve got to move forward and keep working to get better.”

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