Thompson

Josh Thompson and Woodville visit Falkville Friday.

The Woodville football team’s season hasn’t started the way the team hoped.

The Panthers suffered setbacks to Waterloo and Pisgah the first two weeks. The losses have featured a combination of facing quality opponents and making mistakes one can’t make against quality opponents, said head coach Jay Powell.

“We played some good teams, and the mistakes we made in those games, you just can’t have those,” he said. “I think we’ve shown signs what we can do. We’ve just got to cut out the mistakes and put it all together for a full game.”

With Class 1A Region 7 play getting underway this week, Powell would love for that to happen Friday night when Woodville (0-2) visits Falkville (1-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Falkville’s Burl Vest Stadium.

It’s just the second meeting between the schools. Falkville overcame a 21-8 first-half deficit to defeat Woodville 58-21 last season. The Blue Devils went on to the win the region title and finished 11-1 overall.

Falkville has a new head coach — former East Limestone defensive coordinator Tyler Mitchell took over after Joel Shrenk took the head coaching position at Class 6A Hazel Green — and lost a strong senior class. But the Blue Devils are still expected to challenge for the region crown again, Powell said.

“They lost some seniors, have a new coach, but it kind of just looks like the reloaded. They’re still got some big linemen (and) some good skill guys. They’re pretty physical, kind of look like they’re still able to do both (run and pass) on offense.”

Falkville opened the season with a 28-21 win over Danville before falling 32-21 to Vinemont last week. Quarterback Peyton Sallee has been a dual-threat at the position, completing 14-of-28 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown while also rushing or 178 yards and three scores on 36 carries. Mikell Philyaw has been Sallee’s top receiving target, making eight catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Christian Angulo leads the Blue Devils in rushing with 287 yards and three touchdowns on 46 carries.

Woodville counters with a rushing attack led by Jackson Peek (287 yards and four touchdowns on 44 carries) and Da’vion Johnson (94 yards on nine carries), who is getting closer to full strength after missing all but two offensive series in the season opener.

Powell said the Panthers aren’t happy with their start but know the beginning of region play is a chance to start over.

“We’re still 0-0 in the region with all our goals in front of us,” Powell said. “We’ve still got our work cut out for us, but we’re excited to get into region play and see what we can do.”

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