End draws near for high school football

High school football has reached the final week of the season.

Tharptown and Vina will end the season this week against each other at Vina. Phil Campbell has to win a critical rivalry game against Hackleburg this week to make the playoffs. Red Bay will use this week to warm up for the playoffs, having secured top spots in their respective regions.

Russellville’s game vs. Madison Academy was canceled Tuesday. Football players were directed to quarantine after several were observed with COVID-19 symptoms, and the high school moved to virtual learning through Nov. 9. At this time, RHS plans to carry on with the first round of playoffs next week as scheduled.

Although there have been hiccups along the way, congratulations go to all the players and coaches for making it through a season unlike any other.


The Phil Campbell-Hackleburg rivalry dates back to 1928. This year’s game comes with an added sense of urgency for the Bobcats, as Phil Campbell has to win this game to break a tie to get in the playoffs.

Hackleburg has owned this series lately, winning 16 in a row before the Bobcats put an end to the streak last year with a 42-8 victory.

The Bobcats are coming into this game with a 5-4 record; they’ve scored 197 points and given up 197 points thus far this season. The Bobcats are coming off a 28-21 win at Danville.

Hackleburg comes into the game with a 4-5 record. The Panthers have scored 266 points while giving up 174 points.

Phil Campbell and Hackleburg have played 84 times, with the Panthers leading the series 49-34-1. Hackleburg went 5-7 last year in Class 1A, losing in the second round of the playoffs.


Red Bay closes out the season hosting the Fayette County Tigers. The two teams have never met on the gridiron.

Red Bay is coming off the two toughest games of the Tigers’ season – a 35-8 loss to Mars Hill and a 30-14 win over Colbert County. The Tigers have outscored their opponents 241-103.

Fayette County, on the other hand, is down this year with a 3-6 record, having been outscored by opponents 194-118. Fayette has lost four consecutive games – Northside, Haleyville, Gordo and Hamilton – by a combined score of 88-14.

This will be a playoff warmup game for Red Bay, which will host Winston County next week in the first round.


Russellville was set to close out the season against Madison Academy Friday, but Tuesday morning all Golden Tiger players were directed to quarantine, and the game was cancelled.

Since their only loss this season to Hartselle, the Golden Tigers have won three straight – over Ardmore, East Limestone and Lee – by a combined score of 117-28. Russellville has given up 84 points this year, 38 of which were to Hartselle. The Golden Tigers have scored 287 points.

Madison Academy is almost a mirror image of Russellville. The Mustangs have scored 288 points and given up 103 points. Their past three wins were to Madison County 34-10, New Hope 48-21 and St. John Paul II Catholic 41-13.

This would have been a playoff warm-up game for Russellville, which will host Fairfield in the first round.


Neither Tharptown nor Vina will be going to the playoffs. This game will be both teams’ final game.

Tharptown comes into the game with the better record and the tougher schedule. The Wildcats did not come close to winning a region game, but they have run the table against three of Vina’s region opponents, beating Shoals Christian, Phillips and Cherokee by a combined 108-20. Vina beat Cherokee 32-6 but lost to Shoals Christian 20-8 and Phillips 41-12.

Vina holds an 8-5 record over the Wildcats dating back to the teams’ first meeting in 2006. Vina owned the series early, winning seven games in a row, but Tharptown has dominated the back half of the rivalry, winning five of the past six meetings.

Tharptown won last year’s contest 13-0.