The Section football team enters Friday’s matchup with undefeated Falkville with an opportunity in front of it.
A win over the Blue Devils would certainly put Section on the verge of clinching the program’s first playoff berth since 2007. It would also keep the Lions in the region title hunt.
“If we could get this one, and then win out, it would come down to Falkville and NSM and us having a shot at it,” said Section head coach Chris Hammon. “There’s a lot of steps in the process out there still till then, but this could be a big step.”
Section (3-2, 2-1) hosts Falkville (5-0, 2-0) in a Class 2A Region 7 clash Friday at 7 p.m. at Section Stadium.
It’s the first meeting between the programs.
Falkville holds a COVID-19 related forfeit win over Decatur Heritage and on-field wins over Danville 56-0, Whitesburg Christian 38-0, Pisgah 53-14 and Cold Springs 49-13 on its record this season.
“Falkville has got a lot good size and is very physical,” Hammon said. “We’ve got to meet their physicality. We need to play hard-nosed football.”
Hammon said the Blue Devils’ spread offense is mostly run-oriented — Falkville’s top two rushers on the season are Christian Angulo with 564 yards and 10 touchdowns on 52 carries and Jordan Greenfield with 236 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries — but does present an effective passing game.
Quarterback Peyton Sallee is 24-of-47 passing for 414 yards and five touchdowns while back-up Caden Burnett is 7-of-10 passing for 79 yards and two scores and Angulo has completed all three of his pass attempts for 40 yards and one score. Andrew Jones is Falkville’s leading receiver with 12 catches for 286 yards and five touchdowns while Wyatt King has nine catches for 54 yards and one touchdown and Mikell Philyaw has eight catches for 118 yards and one score.
“They’ve got some good skill guys,” Hammon said. “They run it mostly but they’ve got some guys to throw to.”
Defensively, linebacker Luke Fitzgerald (26 tackles, four quarterback sacks, one fumble recovery), safety Austin Holmes (22 tackles, one interception), linebacker Greenfield (21 tackles), safety Philyaw (21 tackles, one fumble recovery) and defensive back Angulo (18 tackles, four interceptions) are Falkville’s defensive leaders.
Section is coming off of playing a game of no record against Collinsville last week. The Lions did not play in Week 4 after receiving a COVID-19 related forfeit from Ider and were scheduled for bye in Week 5 before getting a non-counting rematch of its season opener with Collinsville, which picked up a COVID-19 related forfeit from Sand Rock.
The Lions lost 28-0 — they trailed 13-0 after the varsity first half — but Hammon said getting “live reps against a good opponent” was beneficial for his team, which would have gone 21 days without playing had they not faced off with Collinsville.
“ I’m glad we got to play. We needed that. We wanted a good scrimmage, to get better, and we accomplished that,” Hammon said. “Collinsville runs a stack defense like Falkville. Their offenses are similar too. So it was really good for us. It helped us prepare (for Falkville).”