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Preview of Week #7: #10 St. Paul’s Saints vs. #3 Spanish Fort Toros

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#10 St. Paul’s Saints ( 4-1 ; 3-0 ) vs. #3 Spanish Fort Toros ( 4-1 ; 3-0 )

We are past the halfway point of the 2018 season as we head to week #7. All local teams are back to region play and are looking to finish strong for a chance at a spot in the AHSAA state playoffs. Friday Night Rivals will showcase two teams battling for a top spot as both the St. Paul’s Saints and the Spanish Fort Toros are undefeated in 6A Region 1 play.

Steve Mask is in his 7th year as the head coach for St. Paul’s is looking to continue their winning ways as they have won four straight games since their season opening loss to UMS-Wright. The offense is led by their biggest offensive weapons in junior running back Jordan Ingram and Senior running back A.J. Finley. This year’s offense has struggled at times and is only averaging only 16.8 points, which well below last year’s average of 28.5 points per game. Both Finley and Ingram can be seen on the defensive side of the ball as well. This year’s defense has gotten better as the season has progressed, they are only giving up 6.2 points per game. 10 points is the most they have allowed in a game this season and that was in the 10-0 loss to the Bulldogs.

Ben Blackmon and the Toros are looking to continue their winning ways as well, as their only loss of the season came week one against the McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets. Junior quarterback Jackson Burhalter has continued to improve since that week one loss. His offense is averaging 35.6 points per game, but they are heading into the toughest stretch of their schedule for this season. The defense has also improved since giving up 48 points to the Yellow Jackets, since then they have only given up 20 points or less in the last four games, giving them an average of 19.6 points per game.

St. Paul’s holds the overall record at 6-4 over the Toros, but these two teams have not met since 2013, the last year Spanish Fort played in 5A. St. Paul’s last trip to The Hill was in 2012 and this week the rivalry gets renewed as they are set to battle this Friday night kickoff is set for Friday at 7pm on UTV44.