By Joshua Huff, sports editor
After starting off the 2019 season 2-0, Springville has entered region play with a front-loaded schedule of region behemoths, which threatens to derail the Tigers’ quest for their first plus-.500 region record since the 2011 season in which they finished 4-3 in Class 4A.
Following a 42-21 loss to Sylacauga (3-0) to begin Class 5A play, Springville next turns to undefeated Central Clay County (2-0) in a bid to stave off digging itself into a deep hole within the region. The Tigers fell out of the week four ASWA prep rankings this week, while fellow Class 5A Center Point found itself in the top 10 for the first time this season.
If history is any indicator, then an 0-2 start in region play is more the norm than the exception. The Tigers have started 0-2 in Class 5A in five straight seasons — The lone exception being when Springville opened region play in 2013 with a 35-0 victory over Hayden. Since then, the Tigers have gone 6-27 in Class 5A.
In addition, Springville has not made the playoffs since 2009, and they have not won a playoff game since the 2005 season. However, life has a funny way of remaining unpredictable.
The Tigers have a host of talented players on both offense and defense. Led by quarterback Pearson Baldwin, Springville’s offense remains a threat in Region 5, while its defense is one of the best in the region throughout the early stages of this season — Through the first two games of this season, Springville’s defense has allowed just 13 combined points.
Despite the hiccup against a Sylacauga rushing attack that shredded Springville, the Tigers still sit third in the region in points allowed (55). Had it not been for the 42 points given up against Sylacauga, Springville would be boasting of the second-best defense in the region. However, the level of difficulty increases this Friday as the best defense in Class 5A plays host to the Tigers.
Central Clay County has allowed just 26 points this season. In addition, its offense ranks second in the region with 72 points scored; Sylacauga is in first with 96 points scored. Defensively, Central Clay County has not allowed more than 14 points in a game this season. Granted, the Volunteers have played in only two games this season.
Springville and Central Clay County have only faced each other once, which resulted in a 42-6 loss for the Tigers in 2018.