After announcing on Sept. 4 this his entire team and coaching staff would be under quarantine until Sept. 10, Brindlee Mountain coach Keith Garner said if everything went right, his squad would be healthy and ready to play against defending 2A state champion Fyffe tomorrow night.
For a change, everything finally has gone right for Garner and the Lions. And they’ll take on mighty Fyffe as scheduled Friday night at home.
It’s a major challenge against one of the state’s strongest programs regardless of classification, but Garner and his players are just ready to play some football after three of the team’s first four games were canceled.
“Friday night is a time of opportunity,” an elated Garner said earlier this week. “Our kids get the chance to return to what we know as a special time in Alabama, and that is Friday night football!”
Tomorrow’s game is special in other ways, too. Fyffe, which won the 2A title last season, moved up to Class 3A this season and was placed in Region 7 – same as Brindlee Mountain.
Last week, the Red Devils defeated Sylvania for head coach Paul Benefield’s 300th career win.
The week before, they whipped Collinsville 54-0. That’s the same team Fyffe defeated twice last season en route to their fourth state championship of the decade, all under Benefield.
As the team’s success has grown on the field, so has the reputation of the Fyffe following. Brindlee Mountain officials are anticipating a large turnout by the visitors.
That has Garner and his players excited, despite the daunting task that awaits them on the field.
“We want to encourage everyone who is a part of the Brindlee Mountain family to come out and represent,” he said. “This is a special night where we bring in one of the top programs/fan bases in the state.
“We are excited!”
After canceling the opener at Holly Pond, the third game at Sylvania and last week’s home game against Collinsville – all because of player shortages brought about by medical protocols – Brindlee Mountain is expected to dress 25 players against Fyffe, Garner said.
Two of the cancellations – against Sylvania and Collinsville – were Region 7 games, thus they go down as forfeits.
The Lions lost the only game they’ve been able to play, 48-6 at home against Douglas.
Fyffe won its opener against Isabella 48-0 and is 3-0 on the season, 2-0 in region games.
Fyffe last played Brindlee Mountain in 2007, winning 70-25.
• Brindlee Mountain Middle School played its first game of the season Monday night, falling at home to DAR, 28-6.
Ian Garner scored the Lions’ lone touchdown.