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Aggies Hope to End Losing Streak to Cats

Posted Thursday, October 08, 2009 by Shannon Allen

Aggies hope to end losing streak to Cats


 

Published October 8, 2009

The Albertville football team will try to end Fort Payne’s recent domination of the rivalry when the Class 5A, Region 7 foes collide Friday at 7 p.m. in the Aggies’ 2009 homecoming game.

Fort Payne (5-1, 3-1) has won nine of the last 10 games in the series, including six in a row. The Wildcats rolled to a 44-0 decision last year.

The Wildcats are one of four teams tied for first place in the Region 7 standings.

Albertville (3-3, 2-2) is one of six teams in Region 7 that is still in contention for a postseason berth.

“It’s kind of almost like every game is a playoff game for us, because we have to keep winning to stay in contention,” said AHS head coach Joel Poole.

The first-year Albertville boss can’t find any weaknesses on the Fort Payne squad.

“They’re pretty good,” he said. “They do what they do very well.

“They’re very well-coached. Coach (Paul) Ellis and his staff do a great job.

“Akeem Appleton is their bellcow, but (quarterback Kyle) Crabtree makes them click.

“The (Kyle) Conkle kid plays a lot both ways. He’s a good athlete and gets after it. No. 1 (Ethan Barnes) is a senior who does a good job for them.

“We’ve got to play good and have no turnovers. We only had one turnover last week and that’s better, but it’s still not where it needs to be.

“We need to continue to create turnovers and not give the ball up.”

Crabtree passed for 162 yards and a touchdown in Fort Payne’s 24-22 win over Boaz last week. He also rushed for 39 yards and a TD.

Appleton caught six passes for 100 yards and a score. He ran 11 times for 58 yards and one TD.

Last year against the Aggies, Crabtree completed 15-of-26 passes for 243 yards and five touchdowns, including two scoring tosses to Appleton.

Albertville beat Madison County 28-0 last weekend, posting its first shutout since the final game of the 1998 season.

“Taylor Hawkins has moved positions and is doing a good job,” Poole said.

“Damian Gomez had a good performance on the defensive line, and Austin Smith had to step up and play for an injured Addison Powell.

“Jacob Champion, a freshman, stepped in and played well. We’ve had some different guys play tough.

“We’ve got a bunch of kids stepping up, and we’ll have to continue to do so. We’ll be better because of that.”

Poole praised the Aggies’ defensive coaching staff for its work in helping the squad post the shutout.

“I can’t say enough about our defensive staff. They do a great job,” he said.

“They do so much preparation. They break film down for us and see how many times teams run this or that play, and they relay all that information to the kids.”

Powell, a senior and four-year starter at linebacker, is sidelined by a stress fracture of a vertebra in his back.

“It’s not a paralysis type of thing, but it’s just something you can’t play with,” Poole said.

“One of the issues is we think he’s played with the thing quite awhile, so how much longer is it until it heals? If we get in the playoffs, there’s a possibility he could get back.

“It’s killing him and his family. Addison’s family has devoted so much time and effort to this football program.

“He’s a leader for us, and I’m still hoping he can get back somehow.”

Poole is pleased his players are continuing to exhibit good attitudes and good efforts.

“This time of year the season gets old, but they’re continuing to come out and practice and get after it,” he said. “They’re lifting weights, running and doing all the stuff we ask them to do.”

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