AL HS: Huntsville vs. Hewitt-Trussville

The Hewitt-Trussville Huskies and Huntsville Panthers will meet at Milton Frank Stadium in Huntsville, (Ala.), for a quarterfinal match that pits 6A, Region 7 winner against 6A, Region 8 winner. Both teams enter Friday night's contest with 9-3 records, but that isn't the only elements similar about the two teams.

When you look at the Huntsville Panthers you find one thing that has been consistent with this team since Coach Wieseman took over as the head coach, defense!

Connor Neighbors, Grant Johnson, Blake Herrin, Darryl Martin and Jimmy Eye lead the Panthers' defense. The defensive unit has forced 26 turnovers, sacked opposing quarterbacks 23 times while causing 24 quarterback pressures, and broken up 35 passes. The unit is not feast-or-famine, but a very solid unit every week.

"Hewitt-Trussviile is very similar to us in many ways," Coach Kevin Wieseman stated. "I believe both teams play good defense, both is solid on special teams, and both do a good job of controlling the ball with their offense. The two teams are almost mirror images of each other."

With the two teams appearing equal, Coach Wieseman believes he knows what the difference is for a win versus a loss in this game.

"I believe the team that makes a mistake, or the most mistakes will lose the game. Or, if you turn it around, the team that is able to capitalize off the other teams mistakes will win. We need to take care of the ball and play solid defense to be able to limit our mistakes," Coach Wieseman noted.

This season marks the Panthers first trip to the quarterfinals since the 1981 season, some 27 years ago. Coach Wieseman talked about the success of this season, and the players who have made it possible.

"We have a nice tradition here at Huntsville. We are known as a team that makes it to the playoffs, and has winning seasons, but a trip to the quarterfinals does not come around all that often around here," he said.

"We don't have a kid that has an offer to play at the next level. Most of them will end their playing careers here at Huntsville, but they have worked hard to get to this point. They play hard every time out. That is what makes this team so much fun to coach," Coach Wieseman concluded.

Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM Friday night at Milton Frank Stadium in Huntsville, (Ala.).

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