Lions locking horns with neighbor Boaz

Boaz (6-3) at Sardis (6-3)
Series record: Boaz 37, Sardis 18, four ties
Last meeting: 2011 – Boaz 14, Sardis 7
Last week: Oneonta 49, Sardis 0; Etowah 28, Boaz 15

By Gene Stanley/Messenger Sports Correspondent

A neighborhood rivalry. Two good teams with identical records. Playoff berths awaiting each squad.Both teams having lost only to other good teams.

What more could a fan ask for? There’ll be all of that and more in this game tonight (Nov. 2) in Sardis City.

“They’re as good of a team as any we’ve lined up and played,” Sardis coach Gene Hill said. “We’ll have our hands full and will have to play a great game, plus hope they make a few mistakes.”

While a loss won’t hurt either team, as their playoff seeds are already wrapped up, the winner has a bit of momentum headed into next week’s postseason, as both lost last week.

Sardis travels to Region 5 No. 2 seed Lincoln for a first round game on Nov. 9.

Even with that said, Hill is looking for improvement more so than a victory.

“We didn’t play well last week, and I want us to fix some of those mistakes,” he said. “A good team gets better from week to week. We’ve done that at times this year but haven’t been consistent about it.

“Most everybody knows who they’ll play first (in the playoffs) but we can’t afford to be looking ahead because Boaz is too good for that. The last thing we want to do is end the season with another lopsided loss.”

With only a county line dividing the Sand Mountain communities, there is definitely a rivalry aspect. In fact, this is Sardis’ longest-running rivalry, with 59 games played.

Only Albertville has more appearances against Boaz.

“(Boaz) has had the upper hand in this series for awhile now,” Hill said. “It would be nice to end that, too.”

Sardis last defeated the Pirates in 1991 – with a span of 14 Boaz victories in between.

Last week against Oneonta, Will Scott completed 19-of-26 passes for 156 yards, while Jared Shirley had eight catches for 87 yards.

Jesse Hubbard led in tackles with six, while Zack Childers with five.

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