Jim Glover Stadium has fielded many big games over the years in Attalla.

Add Friday night’s game to the list. No. 7 Etowah hosts No. 6 Alexandria with the Class 5A, Region 6 championship on the line.

The Valley Cubs are 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the region. The Blue Devils have one blemish on their 7-1 overall record but sit 4-0 in region play where it matters most.

Both teams already have clinched a first-round home playoff game. Etowah is going for its third consecutive region championship while Alexandria is looking for its first since 2015. The Blue Devils have won their last 17 region games.

 

UNIQUE STYLE

Facing run-heavy offenses isn’t new for Etowah.

The Blue Devils’ region is full of run-heavy offenses. Etowah can expect even more than they are accustomed to Friday night, and it’ll be in a much different way than they’ve defended.

“They are very unique; that’s the word for me to describe them,” Etowah coach John Holladay said.

Majority of the time, the Valley Cubs will snap it to their best players — mostly senior Nate McCallum and eighth grader Ronnie Royal — and let them grind out yardage.

“They do a good job of trying to find where you’re weak,” Holladay said. “They do a fantastic job of running the football.”

 

FIRST-DOWN DEFENSE

Alexandria is capable of grinding out long drives for touchdowns or getting it done in one explosive play.

First downs will be key for Etowah defensively to put the Valley Cubs in some long yardage situations on second and third downs.

“If they are in second and medium or short, it’s going to be tough on us,” Holladay said. “That’s where they put you in a bind.”

 

20TH ANNIVERSARY

Once senior night festivities come to an end before the 7 p.m. kickoff, the 20th anniversary of Etowah’s 1999 state championship team will be recognized. The Blue Devils finished 14-0 led by legend Carnell Williams and beat Williamson 42-26 at Legion Field to win the Class 5A championship.

“I think it’s a big deal for our people to come back,” Holladay said. “I think it’s always great to celebrate accomplishments and that’s a big accomplishment for our community and for the people that were involved in that. I’m tickled to death that they are able to be recognized.”