Homecoming battle at Dye Stadium

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Covington County’s next-to-last homecoming football game will be Friday night when the Red Level Tigers host cross-county rival and region foe, Florala at Bobby Dye Stadium.

RLS is returning home after a four-game road skid to face the Wildcats to start play for its second half of the season.

Tigers head football coach David Godwin said the players had a great practice on Monday.

“We were out there for a pretty good while for about two hours, and 45 minutes,” Godwin said. “They were enthusiastic and mentally and physically, they were paying attention to detail.

“It’s going to be real important to be sound this week on defense,” he said. “When they’re running the option, you’ve got to be sound to have someone to dive and the quarterback to carry. You have to adjust to formations correctly.”

Florala runs what’s called a split back veer offense that could be looked at as a power-run formation.

Leading the charge for the Wildcats (3-2, 1-2 in Class 1A, Region 2) is junior running back Austin West, who racked up 228 all-purpose yards and accounted for 22 of Florala’s 36 points during his team’s homecoming win over J.U. Blacksher.

“He is the kind of football player everybody wants on their team,” Godwin said about West. “He’s hard-nosed. Watching him on film, he gets after it real well. He’ll be somebody that we have to know where he’s at all times.”

Other Florala weapons include tight end Tamarus Jamison and wide receiver Ray Hall.

For Red Level, there are six players who can outrun anybody on the Wildcats’ squad, FHS head football coach Bubba Nall said.

“They’re scary,” Nall said. “It’s going to be homecoming for them, and they’re going to be excited to play.”

Nall said Red Level’s film indicates that the Tigers (0-5) have a good, quality team.

“They’re well coached,” he said. “Coach Godwin’s got them playing hard. It’s going to be a major challenge for us.”

Defensively, the Tigers have their front line that gave Pleasant Home some fits during their earlier region contest this season.

Additionally, RLS has some inside linebackers who will more than likely give the Wildcats some fits, Nall said.

“They’re pretty to look at,” he said. “It’s going to be a major challenge for us to move the ball.”

All season, Florala’s defense has been peaking and it came off of its first shutout last week since 2009.

Nall said the players are “excited.”

“They’ve been getting a little bit better each week,” Nall said. “It all came together on Friday.”

In order to get its first win since 2011 this week, Godwin said the name of the game has been the same for the past few weeks.

“We’ve got to execute from the get-go,” Godwin said. “We’ve got to start our execution on play one. They’re going to make us execute the entire game. Offensively, we’ve got to eliminate the negative plays and get better at what we do on that side.”

The Tigers have averaged seven points per game on the offensive side of the ball, and in the last five games, have given up an average of 32 points per outing.

All in all, RLS is glad to be back home, Godwin said.

“We’ve been on the road for four weeks straight,” he said. “We hope the fans and community will come out and support these players in a positive way, and be there for them. They’ve been working hard. We just hope we have a good crowd. It’s a county rival, so we’ll see where that goes.”

Kick off Friday night is at 7.