Ace Weaver

Ace Weaver and Woodville close out Class 1A Region 7 play on the road against Appalachian on Friday.

For the first time as a head football coach, Woodville’s Matt Sanders will coach a game in his native Blount County.

Sanders’ Panthers square off with Appalachian Friday night at AHS’ James E. Carr Stadium in Class 1A Region 7 finale for both teams.

“Going to have a lot of family members there,” said Sanders, a Susan Moore alum. “That’s going to be fun.”

It’s the fifth all-time meeting between the teams in a series Woodville leads 3-2. The teams have played every seasons since 2016. The Panthers have won the last three meetings, including a 54-20 victory a year ago.

Either Woodville (0-8, 0-5) and Appalachian (0-7, 0-5) will post their first win of the season on Friday.

Sanders said the team that wins more of the battles within the battle will be the teams that like records the win.

“The chance is there if we want it,” he said. “We’ve got to do the little things right more than they do. If we do that we can come out on top.”

Woodville is coming off of a 52-28 region loss to Gaylesville. Despite scoring a season-high 28 points, Sanders said the all-around performance wasn’t as good as some of the Panthers previous outings.

“I just didn’t feel like we had the effort and passion that we needed to. Defensively, (we had) a lot of not reading our keys and some over reading instead readying for what our job is so we can see a little to see a lot. We didn’t come off the ball firing off. Offensively, really Gaylesville whipped us up front. Hopefully our guys take that personal this week.”

Appalachian suffered a 30-7 loss at Cedar Bluff a week ago. The Eagles are averaging 14.7 points per game while allowing 31.3. Offensively, Appalachian employees a run-heavy system led by Chase Payne, Bryson Seawright and Sean Curtis.

“It comes down to stopping the run and running for more they than do,” Sanders said. “It’s about what we do.”

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