Manning and McCrary

Scottsboro's Gavin McCrary (5) lends blocking help as quarterback Jacob Manning looks to down field for a receiver. Scottsboro hosts rival Arab in Class 6A Region 7 play Friday night.

Scottsboro and Arab may not be one another’s biggest rival.

But when the two play one another, it can be difficult to tell otherwise.

“Even back when I played,” said Scottsboro head coach Don Jacobs, an SHS quarterback from 1973-76, “it was always a battle.”

The 60th meeting in the Scottsboro-Arab rivalry will be played Friday when the teams meet at Scottsboro’s Trammell Stadium. Kickoff for the Class 6A Region 7 contest is 7 p.m.

Scottsboro leads the series 40-19-1 and has won the last five matchups, including all three during Jacob’s tenure.

“Arab always seems to line down and play their best against Scottsboro,” Jacobs said. “The last three years, our guys have stepped it up, too.”

Arab (1-2, 0-1) opened the season with a 13-6 win over Albertville before suffering losses to Guntersville 35-9 and Fort Payne 28-7. The Knights lost their projected starting quarterback to an injury during the preseason practice and have since made another change at the position.

“They’re on their third quarterback (Aidan Cox), but he’s getting better. He’s got about a game-and-a-half under his belt,” Jacobs said. “They’re multiple, run a lot of formations. Run the mid-line, the power game, and throw it around every once in a while.”

Defensively, the Knights use a 3-3 front with a lot of blitzes. 

“They come from everywhere,” Jacobs said.

Scottsboro (0-2, 0-1) is coming off a 42-14 region loss to No. 2-ranked and defending Class 6A state champion Oxford. The Wildcats trailed 42-0 at halftime, but Jacobs was pleased with the team’s second-half effort and believes it was something to build on going forward.

“We didn’t quit and went out in the second half and continued to compete. That was a positive sign,” he said. “Now it didn’t make a difference in that ball game, but that could make a difference in this coming ball game (against Arab).”

Scottsboro may be 0-1 in region play, Jacobs said, but he’s reiterated to his team that things are far from settled with how the region will play out.

“A bunch (of teams) are going to have an ‘L’ (loss) by their name when they get through with Oxford,” Jacobs said. “The story we’ve been preaching to (the players) is ‘yeah we’re 0-1, but everything is in front of us. Go out and take care of business.’ Hopefully they will.”

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