Red Bay, Phil Campbell shift focus to rivals after key region wins

The Red Bay and Phil Campbell football teams were in the same situation last week.

Both were 0-2 in region play and in desperate need of a win to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth.

Each program earned a win and is now in a three-way tie for fifth in the region standings.

“It was huge,” Red Bay coach Dale Jeffreys said of his team’s 35-25 victory against Lamar County. “Our backs were against the wall. I’m proud of our kids and they way they played.”

Phil Campbell coach Bo Culver feels the same about how the Bobcats played in their 34-28 win at Hatton.

“It was big for us,” Culver said. “We lost to them by one point last year.”

Jeffreys and Culver don’t have to worry about region opponents this week, as many schools in the state play non-region games, but they cannot relax since their programs are playing long-time rivals on the road.

Red Bay is traveling to Belmont while Phil Campbell heads to Phillips.

Both coaches have concerns heading into those games.

Jeffreys said this is the biggest game of the year for the Tigers and it does not help that Belmont is undefeated.

“It’s always tough when you go across that state line,” Jeffreys said.

He said Belmont has run the Wing-T offense for years and have taken it to another level. It will be a good test for the new defense Red Bay is running this year.

Jeffreys has been pleased with how the defense has played early, but said mistakes on offense have given opposing teams good field position.

“We have given up 26 points and 20 points, but that is because of the short field created by turnovers,” Jeffreys said. “We have to make sure we give other teams bad field position.”

Red Bay has a two-game losing streak against Belmont.

Phil Campbell is renewing its rivalry with Phillips after a two-year break in the series.

Culver is excited about the game, but said the Bears can be a tough opponent.

“The are five miles away. How can you not play them,” Culver said. “They’ve got athletes and they put up 36 points against R.A. Hubbard.”

Phillips comes into the game with a 1-3 record and has allowed 151 points this season while scoring 126.

Culver said his team continues to improve, but he would still like to see some better play by the defense.

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