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SCHEDULE PREVIEW: Tigers prepare for challenging season

Red Bay football has one of the more intriguing schedules in the county this year with three interesting home games: the opener against Hamilton, a mid-October duel against Mars Hill and a season-ending matchup with Fayette County.

The Tigers have a whole host of talented seniors returning who have a lot of game experience. This could be one of the more talented Red Bay squads in many years.

The coronavirus claimed one of Red Bay’s opponents this year. With Mississippi delaying the season, the Tigers will no longer play Biggersville Aug. 28.

AUG. 21 – HOST HAMILTON

This might be the most intriguing matchup to open the season in Franklin County.

Red Bay is 0-17 against Hamilton; however, the two teams haven’t played each other since 1983, when the Tigers lost 56-7. The Aggies competed in Class 5A last year, went 8-2 in the regular season and lost a first-round play-off game. Hamilton posted some big wins, beating Russellville 17-0, Lawrence County 17-16 and Winfield 40-27. Hamilton dropped to Class 4A this year.

This should be a great opening week game.

SEPT. 4 – HOST LEXINGTON (REGION GAME)

The Tigers will host Lexington in their first region game. Red Bay has a 9-13 record against the Golden Bears, but the Tigers have won their last three meetings in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Lexington won only one game last year, a 3-0 thriller over Rogers in the opening game of the season. The Golden Bears had a few lopsided losses, but for the most part, they lost some very close games.

SEPT. 18 – AT THARPTOWN (REGION GAME)

Red Bay comes out of an open week to play the Tharptown Wildcats. Red Bay has never come close to losing to the Wildcats. The Tigers are 6-0 against Tharptown and have outscored the Wildcats 349-35 in those six contests.

Tharptown went 2-8 last year, with bookend wins over Shoals Christian and Vina.

SEPT. 25 – AT BELMONT

This is a storied state-line rivalry that consistently goes back to 1960 – although the two teams did play once in 1930, in which the Tigers won 7-0. Red Bay is 32-21-1 in the series. The two teams have split the past two meetings, with Red Bay winning last year 43-16.

OCT. 2 – HOST SHEFFIELD (REGION GAME)

Red Bay starts the second half of the season hosting Sheffield. The two teams have met four straight years, splitting those games 2-2. Red Bay has won the past two years by a combined score of 54-26.

The Tigers lead the series with a 6-4 record. Red Bay won last year’s game 30-14.

Sheffield went 6-5 last year losing in the first round of the playoffs to Fyffe 48-0.

OCT. 9 – AT HATTON (REGION GAME)

Red Bay has dominated Hatton through the years. The Tigers are 30-9 overall but have won the past 24 consecutive games dating back to 1994.

Red Bay shut out Hatton last year 24-0. The Hornets went 5-5 last year with wins over West Morgan, Tanner, Tharptown, Lexington and Clements.

OCT. 16 – HOST MARS HILL (REGION GAME)

This is another interesting matchup on the Tigers’ schedule. The Mars Hill Panthers quickly vaulted to the top of Class 1A football the past two years after starting the infant program less than 10 years ago.

The two teams have played four times, with Red Bay holding a 3-1 record. The Tigers handily defeated the Panthers in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but Mars Hill caught up to Red Bay, winning in 2017. Fast forward a few years, and Mars Hill is one of the most dominant programs in northwest Alabama in any classification.

The Panthers went 14-1 last season, with their only loss coming in the state championship to Lanett, 41-30.

OCT. 23 – AT COLBERT COUNTY (REGION GAME)

Red Bay and Colbert County had not played each other since 1961 until a couple of years ago. The two teams started playing again in 2017 when they landed in the same region.

The Tigers have won both modern meetings, 20-14 and 12-7.

The Indians went 6-5 last year and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Collinsville, 63-18.

OCT. 30 – HOST FAYETTE COUNTY

Red Bay closes out the season hosting the Fayette County Tigers. Fayette went 8-3 last year in Class 4A and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Anniston 19-6.

Red Bay and Fayette have never met on the gridiron, making this an great matchup to close out the season.

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