3-0 feels so good: Local teams starting season strong

Sep. 12—Three weeks of the high school football season have now passed, and for several local teams it's been a fun three weeks.

Five teams in The Decatur Daily's coverage area (Athens, Decatur Heritage, Falkville, Elkmont and West Morgan) have started the season 3-0. And while that may not seem like all that big of a deal, coaches would tell you otherwise.

"I've been coaching 28 years, and I've only been a part of two teams that started 3-0, and I've been a part of some good teams," Athens head coach Cody Gross said prior to his team's Friday win. "It's hard to do."

Athens defeated Decatur on Friday 44-16. It's the Golden Eagles' first 3-0 start since 2006, when they finished 13-2 and won the 5A state championship.

West Morgan, Falkville and Decatur Heritage also enjoyed 3-0 starts Friday, and they did it in dominant fashion. Decatur Heritage defeated Valley Head 34-12, Falkville defeated Sheffield 58-34 and West Morgan defeated Brooks 83-53.

The last time each team started 3-0, West Morgan finished 10-2 in 2017 with a region championship, Decatur Heritage finished 12-1 in 2019 with a region championship and a third-round playoff berth, and Falkville finished 8-3 in 2020.

Then there's the surprise of the season: the Elkmont Red Devils.

The Red Devils have started 3-0 for the first time since 2010 thanks to a 44-22 win over Phil Campbell on Friday. Those three wins also match the win total of the previous four seasons.

Second year head coach Chris Bunio has his team rolling in Year 2.

"We here. We comin'," Bunio said simply in response to his team's start.

Some other numbers of note following last week's games:

1 — The West Morgan offense is currently No. 1 in the entire state of Alabama according to the Alabama High School Historical Society. The Rebels have scored 172 points in three games for an average of 57.3 points per game.

7 — West Morgan running back Jalen Fletcher scored seven touchdowns during the Rebels' win over Brooks on Friday. Fletcher finished with 244 yards rushing on 21 carries for five touchdowns and caught two passes for 110 yards and two more scores.

23 — Decatur Heritage lost by 23 points to Valley Head in 2022. This past week the Eagles defeated the Tigers by 22 points.

94 — Hartselle has outscored its rival Cullman by 94 points in the last three meetings between the two. The Tigers blanked Cullman on Friday 42-0.

4 — Priceville had four different players rush for more than 75 yards during the Bulldogs' 48-21 win over Madison County. Blitz Clemons rushed for 135 and three touchdowns, Riley Wagg had 122 yards and a score, Jake England finished with 86 yards and a touchdown and Bronson Carroll had 78 yards and a touchdown.

448 — Teams in The Daily's coverage area that won Friday scored a combined 448 points. It was an average of 50 points per game.

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