Sep. 29—TRINITY — The West Morgan Rebels don't have to think long to remember the last time they played in a battle of undefeated teams.
It was just two weeks ago when the Rogers Pirates came to town. That night West Morgan broke open a close game with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win 35-16.
"We came to West Morgan to play in big games like that," second-year West Morgan head coach Drew Phillips said. "We were fortunate to have that opportunity against Rogers and now we get it again with Deshler. This is really exciting."
After an open date at the middle of the season schedule, the Rebels will be back in big-game mode Friday against Deshler. The winner of this game will have sole possession of first-place in Class 4A, Region 7 with just three region games to play.
Having last Friday night off allowed some of the West Morgan players to check out Deshler in its 36-33 home win over Colbert County.
"It's a great place to watch a football game," West Morgan senior defensive back/receiver Matt Jones said. "The fans were really into the game."
Deshler's Howard Chappell Stadium is one of those sacred places in north Alabama where championship teams and All-State players have flourished for years.
The Deshler Tigers have been playing football for 102 years and have 688 all-time victories. That's good enough for fourth in the state behind Oneonta (714), T.R. Miller (712) and Fayette County (710).
The 688 all-time wins are more than the 595 games (300-293-2) that West Morgan has played in its 57 years of fielding a team.
"The thing I noticed at Deshler was all the fans at the fence surrounding the field," West Morgan senior lineman Eli Bice said. "That's the way it was for our game with Rogers.
"You know it's a big game when there are so many people there that they have to stand by the fence. I like it because you can hear them. It makes it really loud. It's a lot of fun."
West Morgan has had its share of football success over the years. It started in Class 2A and continued when the school moved into Class 3A in 1996. West Morgan went 10-2 in its last season in Class 3A in 2017.
The move up to Class 4A in 2018 has had some growing pains. It meant new rivals like Deshler, Rogers and Brooks. Last season's 5-5 record was the first non-losing season for the Rebels in 4A.
The West Morgan football fans are hungry for success and have been fed by this team's success. The Rebels average 44 points a game while holding opponents to just under nine points a game.
After opening with a 41-21 win over Randolph, West Morgan beat 5A Ardmore, 49-0, Brooks, 53-7, and Central-Florence, 42-0.
"You can tell a difference around school and in the community," Jones said. "People are paying attention to what we have done."
Deshler will be a test. After a couple of down seasons, the Tigers are back under first-year head coach Patrick Malone. Deshler is averaging 45.5 points on offense and allowing 19.7 points on defense.
After Deshler, West Morgan faces region games at home vs. West Limestone (4-2, 1-2) and East Lawrence (0-5, 0-3) and then a road game at Wilson (0-5, 0-3).
"We've got great fans at West Morgan who really support everything about our school," Phillips said. "I know they enjoy the big games. We want to give them another big win."
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