Jacob Manning and Scottsboro try to hold on to possession of the TopCat Trophy when they face rival Fort Payne. 

Possession of the TopCat Trophy for the next year is at stake.

Scottsboro travels to Fort Payne of the annual battle for the TopCat Trophy Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Fort Payne Stadium.

It’s the 85th meeting between the schools. The teams play each season for the TopCat Trophy, which is sponsored by The Jackson County Sentinel and The Times-Journal.

Fort Payne leads the series 50-31-3, but Scottsboro has won three of the last five meetings, including last year’s 26-13 win at Trammell Stadium. The home team has won the last three meetings.

Scottsboro is coming off a 35-28 jamboree win at Sylvania last Friday.

Scottsboro head coach Don Jacobs said the Wildcats enjoyed some mixed success in the preseason game and spent this week working to sharpen the positives from the jamboree and fix the negatives prior to lining up against its rival on Friday.

“We can’t make a bunch of mistakes and think we’re going to beat (Fort Payne),” Jacobs said. “We did some good things (in the jamboree), but we’ve got to execute better.”

The 2019 Scottsboro and Fort Payne teams have some interesting ties.

Scottsboro’s new defensive coordinator is Kyle Crabtree, a former Fort Payne quarterback who played collegiately at UNA. Meanwhile, current Fort Payne defensive coordinator Pat Vinson was Scottsboro’s defensive coordinator last season.

Fort Payne (1-0) kicked off its season last week with a 28-13 win over fellow Class 6A team, Pell City. 

Fort Payne racked up 343 total yards, including 250 on the ground. Hunter Love led the way with 141 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.

“(Love) is a big back,” Jacobs said. “He’s a load.”

Fort Payne also got 81 rushing yards and a touchdown on 12 carries from Matthew Shaddix and 28 yards on eight carries from Darwin Camp. J.B. Blalock completed 10 of 11 passes for 78 yards while Shaddix completed one pass for 15 yards. Defensively, Fort Payne recorded a safety and forced a pair of turnovers.

“There’s nothing fancy about what they do, but they’re consistent in everything they do,” Jacobs said. “They just play real steady. They’re well coached. They just play good football. They’re not going to beat themselves. We’ve got to be prepared for what they’re going to throw at us. We’ve got to keep everything in front us and make sure we do what we’re supposed to.”

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