Football Week Zero: Russellville, Tharptown kick off season for FC

The longawaited week is finally here: the return of high school sports in Alabama.

“Week Zero,” according to the Alabama High Athletic Association, is going to look a little different than what might have been expected.

Several games have been cancelled because of changing school start dates because of the coronavirus. Phil Campbell and Red Bay both lost their Week Zero opponents with Marion County changing school start dates.

Phil Campbell was scheduled to open the season Friday night against Phillips. Instead, the Bobcats will host a jamboree/scrimmage against Hubbertville.

Red Bay was scheduled to open the season against Hamilton, but the Tigers will now be idle Friday night. Vina is scheduled to play its opener next week at Marion County High School.

As for the games on tap for this week that will count:

Russellville at Decatur (Thursday)

This game will kick off the 100th year of Golden Tiger football. Russellville is 6-4 all time against the Red Raiders of Decatur, but the last time these two teams met was in 2007, with Decatur getting an overtime victory.

Decatur went 2-8 last year in Class 6A, Region 7. Red Raider coach Jere Adcock will be entering his 25th year of coaching.

The Raiders run a spread offense. They return starters on the offensive line. They also return their quarterback, tailback and top wide receiver. On defense the Red Raiders return seven starters.

Tharptown hosts Shoals Christian (Friday)

Tharptown will open the season hosting the Shoals Christian Flame. The Wildcats picked up one of their two wins this past season against Shoals Christian in a 17-0 shutout.

Shoals Christian’s only win last year was a 34-20 victory over Cherokee.

Tharptown has a threegame winning streak against the Flame.

Traditionally, Senior Night is held the last home game of the year. Because of the uncertainty surrounding this year’s season, Tharptown – along with many other schools – will have Senior Night on opening night.