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franklin county times

Phil Campbell Bobcat season starts against Hackleburg Panthers

The Phil Campbell Bobcats are coming off one of their better seasons in recent memory, going 7-4 and losing a heartbreaker to J.B. Pennington in the first round of the playoffs this past year.

Kevin Barnwell enters his fifth year as the Bobcats’ head coach and returns a lot of players from last year’s team. The schedule, however, looks much different and much more difficult: Phil Campbell replaces Phillips, Haleyville, East Lawrence and Danville with Colbert County, Mars Hill and Red Bay.

Big games to watch: at Hackleburg Aug. 19, at Colbert County Sept. 6, versus Lauderdale County Sept. 30, at Mars Hill Oct. 7 and at Red Bay Oct. 28.

PHIL CAMPBELL AT HACKLEBURG

The Bobcats will open their season with the second-oldest rivalry and longest consecutive rivalry game in Franklin County when they travel to Hackleburg Aug. 19. This game is usually in the middle or the end of the season – almost never at the beginning.

This series dates back to 1927. The two teams have played each other 86 times, with Hackleburg leading the series 49-36-1.

The Bobcats and Panthers have played each other 73 straight years dating back to 1949, with the Panthers holding a slight edge in wins 38 to 35.

The Bobcats won this game this past year 31-8.

PHIL CAMPBELL AT LAMAR COUNTY

Phil Campbell will be on the road again in week two, traveling to Lamar County Aug. 26. The Bobcats and Bulldogs have played each other 20 times, with Lamar County on the winning side, 13-7.

The Bobcats lost to the Bulldogs this past year 7-0.

PHIL CAMPBELL VS. ELKMONT

The Bobcats will play their first home game Sept. 1 against Elkmont.

This will be the Bobcats’ first region game. They have played Elkmont twice before – and won both games easily, including this past year 55-8.

PHIL CAMPBELL AT COLBERT COUNTY

The Bobcats go on the road again Sept. 9 when they travel to Leighton to play the Colbert County Indians in regional play.

Phil Campbell hasn’t played Colbert County since 2002 in the first round of the playoffs. The Indians won that game handily 42-14. The Bobcats have only beaten the Indians once in eight tries. Colbert County won six times, and there was one tie.

The Bobcats will have their open date Sept. 16, giving them a break before they head into the toughest part of their schedule.

PHIL CAMPBELL VS. CARBON HILL

Phil Campbell will come off the open date at home Sept. 23 against Carbon Hill. The Bobcats and Bulldogs haven’t played each other since 2003, when Phil Campbell won 56-20. Carbon Hill holds a decisive edge in the all-time series, winning 22 and losing 10.

PHIL CAMPBELL VS. LAUDERDALE COUNTY

Phil Campbell begins a tough stretch of region games Sept. 30, hosting Lauderdale County. The Bobcats lost a tough one to the Tigers this past year, 13-6. It’s the closest Phil Campbell has come to beating Lauderdale County in a long time.

The Bobcats are 1-11-1 against the Tigers historically and have lost four straight.

PHIL CAMPBELL AT MARS HILL

It certainly doesn’t get any easier for the Bobcats the next week when they go on the road to Mars Hill Oct. 7.

The Panthers haven’t been playing football long, but they have certainly been on an upward trajectory. The Panthers went 10-4 this past year in Class 2A, breezing through their Region 8 schedule. Their four losses were to Jasper, Cullman, American Christian and Cleveland in the Class 2A semifinal game 21-14. They were Class 2A state champions in 2020, lost in the Class 1A finals in 2019 and won the Class 1A championship in 2018.

Now the Panthers are in Class 3A in football.

Mars Hill last played Phil Campbell in 2017, and the Panthers won 48-20. It was the Bobcats’ only loss in four games against Mars Hill.

PHIL CAMPBELL VS. COLBERT HEIGHTS

The Bobcats will play their last home game Oct. 14 when they host the Colbert Heights Wildcats.

The Bobcats and Wildcats have had some epic battles lately with Phil Campbell. Phil Campbell holds a slight edge historically with a 15-13 record. The two teams have played each other six straight years, with the Wildcats winning four of those. Phil Campbell won this game easily this past year 42-7.

PHIL CAMPBELL AT CLEMENTS

The Bobcats go on the road their last two games, with the first being at Clements Oct. 21. Phil Campbell won this game this past year 37-14.

The two teams are 4-4 against each other historically and 2-2 in the past four straight games.

PHIL CAMPBELL AT RED BAY

After a three-year hiatus, Phil Campbell and Red Bay will renew their cross-county rivalry Oct. 28.  The Bobcats and Tigers haven’t played since 2019, when Red Bay won 54-20.

The two Franklin County teams have played 79 times, with Red Bay holding a 31-48 edge in the record books.

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