Scottsboro head football coach Don Jacobs said his team unfortunately learned a hard lesson last week.
Jacobs was frustrated with the teams’ preparation prior to a 20-7 Class 5A Region 8 loss at Madison County.
The setback did not end Scottsboro’s goals of winning a region title or securing a first-round home playoff game, but now reaching those removes some room for error and requires some help with three region games remaining.
“It came down to not being mentally prepared to go line down and play and do the things to win a region ballgame,” Jacobs said. “It was a tough lesson to learn. I told them last Thursday I didn’t like the approach. It’s tough when Scottsboro beats Scottsboro. That’s tough to swallow. We’ve kind of shot ourselves in the foot, could’ve solidified some things. Now we’re fighting for our goals.”
That fight continues when Scottsboro (4-2, 3-1) hosts a surging Arab team for Homecoming at Trammell Stadium Friday night.
It’s the 59th meeting between the teams in a series Scottsboro leads 39-18-1. Scottsboro has won four straight in the series, including a 44-27 victory a year ago.
Like Scottsboro, the Knights are coached by a former Alabama football player. Lee Ozmint, a defensive back for the Crimson Tide from 1986-89, is in his first season with the Knights. He was Glencoe’s head coach from 2006-15 before serving as an assistant coach at Oxford from 2016-18.
Ozmint has the Knights back in the spread offense like former former head coach and current Scottsboro offensive coordinator Adam Gilbert ran with the Knights from 2014-17. Arab ran the Wing-T under Oscar Glasscock last season.
The Knights are off to their best start since 2016 and are coming off a 36-14 win over East Limestone. They are averaging 29.3 points per game.
“They’ve got a lot of seniors and a lot of athletes,” Jacobs said. “No. 1 (Will Hudson) and No. 24 (Colby King) are really good receivers, the quarterback (Ross Reynolds) and the running back (Matthew Turnage) are really good. They all can hurt you.”
Reynolds threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns last week and King caught five passes for 137 yards and three scores (47, 19 and 40 yards) while Turnage ran for 163 yards and one touchdown.
Arab’s defense is giving up 26.3 points per game, but its attacking style has created turnovers and big plays that have impacted the outcome of games.
“They’re very aggressive on defense,” Jacobs said. “Defensively, they’re so much better. They’re a 3-3 (front) team, attacking, a lot of blitzing. They’ve got a nose guard that’s 323 pounds (Hudsen Moore) that just clogs up the middle.”
Jacobs expects another hard fought Scottsboro-Arab matchup.
“It’s always been a tough rivalry,” he said. “More times than not it’s a darn good football game. We know we’re going to get their best.”