This football season I’ve been able to see firsthand some of the best rivalries the state has to offer and most of them are local games.
It started with the Alexandria-Jacksonville game and continued with Jacksonville-Saks and then Weaver beating Wellborn for the first time in nine years. This week it will continue with an old rivalry as Cleburne County and Alexandria face off.
However, one of the best rivalries in the state may be a newer matchup.
This week, the two-time defending Class 4A state champion Leeds will travel to Piedmont to take on the defending 3A state champion Bulldogs. This will be the 10th time the two teams have played and the eighth time they’ve met since 2008.
Both teams have plenty of blue trophies to brag about and some years they’ve had to go through each other to win them.
In 2008, the two teams met twice with Leeds winning 35-0 in the regular season and then 26-7 in the quarterfinals. The Greenwave went on to win the state title that season.
In 2009, Leeds won 14-13, but the Bulldogs returned the favor with a 13-7 win in the semifinals. Piedmont went on to win the school’s first state title.
Last year, both teams were ranked in the top 10 when they met.
This week’s matchup was almost even bigger than it already is when there was a chance for both teams to be ranked No. 1 in their class. Leeds lost Handley last week and dropped to No. 6 in 4A.
Still, this has turned into one of the best matchups in high school football, and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.