The Childersburg High School football team will look to remain perfect tonight when it travels to take on Talladega at 7 at Mary Dumas Stadium.
The visiting Tigers enter the matchup on a two-game winning streak, while Talladega is still looking for its first win of the season.
Talladega won last season’s meeting with Childersburg 41-28. Talladega leads the series 23-14.
Here for four things to watch going into tonight’s game.
Getting off to a good start in region play
Childersburg has wins over non-region opponents Talladega County Central and Shelby County. Fourth-year head coach Jonathan Beverly said leaving Talladega with a win tonight will be vital if his squad is going to compete for one of the four playoff spots in Class 4A, Region 4.
“It is really important to start 1-0 in region play,” Beverly said. “Talladega is a very good football team, and we have to come out ready to play.”
Talladega (0-1) is seeking its first win under new head coach Shannon Felder. The Tigers fell to county rival Munford 28-15 last week. Munford benefited from Talladega mishaps as the Lions turned three turnovers into points.
“We feel like there were some things we could have done better in the first game offensively, defensively and special team-wise,” Felder said. “We made a few changes here and there. We think we corrected most of the mistakes, but we will find out (tonight).”
Limiting the big play
Big plays in the passing game hurt Childersburg last season as Talladega quarterback Nigel Scales threw touchdown passes on three consecutive drives in the first half.
One of the ways Beverly plans to slow Talladega’s big-play offense down this season is by keeping that offense on the sideline. Childersburg enters tonight’s test averaging 40 points per game.
“Each new year brings different challenges and new things to the table,” Beverly said. “They are still a team that makes big plays, and we have to find a way to limit those. Hopefully, we can limit them to zero.
“For us offensively, we have to continue to do what we have done the last couple of weeks, which is make the most of our opportunities. We have to convert at a high percentage on third down and we have to hit our big plays. One way we can neutralize their big plays is by finding the end zone often.”
Challenges Childersburg presents
Talladega has the tough task of slowing down a Childersburg team coming in with momentum. The Tigers are led by running back Xzavion Garrett. The junior has rushed for 315 yards and four touchdowns in two games.
Quarterback Cameron Thrash has been able to get the job done with his throwing arm and legs. Last week, he threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a score against TC Central.
“They got a couple of votes to be in the top 10,” Felder said. “They have a good offense, they are big, they have good running backs and a good quarterback. They move around good on defense, so we have a tough challenge … They are coming in riding high and excited. They want to extend their winning streak. We have to be ready to play, and I think we will be.”