Derek Bearden will try to help NSM post a 5-0 start for the second time in school history Friday against Cedar Bluff.

The only time the North Sand Mountain football program enjoyed a 5-0 start to a season was the 1998 season.

Current NSM head coach Keith Kirby was a starting junior tight end.

On Friday night, Kirby gets a chance to help the Bison accomplish that feat for the second time as a coach.

“Hopefully we’ll get there,” Kirby said.

Class 2A No. 10-ranked NSM (4-0) goes for that 5-0 start when its host Cedar Bluff Friday at 7 p.m. at Lloyd Dobbins Field in Higdon.

It’s the eighth all-time meeting between the teams. NSM has won the last three meetings and leads the series 4-3. 

It’s the fourth straight season that the teams have played, including two as region foes the past two seasons. 

Cedar Bluff (1-3), which dropped to Class 1A this season, is off to an uncharacteristic start. 

The Tigers only win thus far this season was a 14-12 victory over Sumiton Christian in Week 3, and they have lost to Spring Garden 55-0, Valley Head 20-13 and Dade County (Georgia) 44-18.

Cedar Bluff’s top players are running back/receiver/defensive back Anbre Leek, quarterback Jacob Burleson, running back/receiver/defensive back Bucky Leek and running back/linebacker James Clifton.

“No. 2 (Anbre Leek) seems like he’s played for them for forever,” Kirby said. “He’s a pretty good playmaker. They’ve got several playmakers. They’re big, too. Got a bout three 300-pounders up front.”

NSM enters the game on the heels of a 55-14 Class 2A Region 7 win over Tanner. The Bison got a first from the Rattlers in the first half, the Kirby said he’s hopeful that was “a wakeup call” for the undefeated Bison.

“I was to see consistency this week in practice, in pregame, in the game,” Kirby said. “Everything we do, we need to be more consistent.”

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