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Bob Jones heads to Hazel Green for region showdown

Bob Jones will attempt to remain unbeaten in 6A, Region 8 and extend its winning streak over Hazel Green Friday at Trojans Stadium.
The Patriots (2-1, 2-0 in the region) have beaten Hazel Green (2-1, 1-1) seven straight times, including a 52-7 triumph last season. Their last loss in the series came in 2004 when they lost 21-14 at Hazel Green.

Hazel Green opened the season with blowout wins over Grissom and Sparkman, teams with a combined 1-5 record. The Trojans followed that with a 21-14 road loss to Decatur.  Friday’s game will be the first region home opener for Hazel Green, winners of five of its last six home games dating back to last year.

“Hazel Green is by far the most improved team in the region for two years in a row,” Bob Jones coach Kevin Rose said. “This will be a difficult game (playing at Hazel Green).”

A Bob Jones win at Hazel Green would not only extend its recent success over the Trojans and be a third straight victory in 2012, it would also continue the Patriots’ Region 8 dominance. Bob Jones has won 26 region games in a row and 13 straight region road games since 2008. The Patriots last region loss came at home to former region rival Huntsville on October 10, 2008 and they lost at Decatur September 26, 2008 for their last region road defeat.

Improved play on defense will be a key to prevailing over the Trojans. Bob Jones has allowed 40 or more points in two of its three games.
The Patriots fell to Northridge 40-30 in the season opener. They held on to beat Florence 48-42 last week after leading the Falcons 40-21 early in the fourth quarter.

“We have been giving up too many big plays,” Rose said.

Hazel Green’s running game will pose a threat for Bob Jones. Running backs Latrez Wike and Rodney Held have accounted for seven touchdowns in three games. Wike has scored four times on the ground and caught a touchdown pass. Held has rushed for three scores.

The Patriots’ offense has fared better averaging 50 points per game so far. The Region 8 co-leaders put up 30, 72 and 48 points in winning two of three games.

Running back Jay Rogers came up big on the ground for Bob Jones in beating Florence. Rogers ripped through the Florence defense for 241 yards and four touchdowns.

“We really needed (Rogers) to rush the ball against Florence,” Rose said.

Rose credited the entire offense for blocking “extremely well” in the win.