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Luverne finishes region perfect

From a fans standpoint, Luverne's season this year may not seem too much different than last year's season.

The same coaching staff is calling the plays from the sidelines and most of the same players are making the big plays happen in route to another region championship.

Last Friday night, the third-ranked Tigers (8-1, 7-0) claimed a 41-0 win over Class 2A, Region 3 opponent Horseshoe Bend to finish the region undefeated. That's the difference.

"Our goal was to win the region," LHS Head Coach Mike DuBose said. "We also talked about doing something that last year's team didn't do and that was to win all of our region games."

The Tigers dominated the game from the get-go amassing 242 yards of total offense including 148 yards on the ground and 94 yards passing.

"Any time you travel the distance we travelled to Horseshoe Bend, you worry about focus," DuBose said. "We had good senior leadership, stayed focussed, started well early and played well most of the game."

DuBose said the Tigers' experience made the difference in the game.

"We're bigger, stronger and faster than they are at this particular time," DuBose said. "When you put all of those factors together it's going to be somewhat of a one-sided football game. I think they're a year, maybe two years, away from being a good football team. They're playing a lot of young guys, but in two years, I believe they're going to be a very competitive football team."

Sophomore running back Fred Hawkins led all rushers with 100 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns. Junior quarterback Ryan Brown completed 6 of 13 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was senior receiver Pat Parks, who finished with three catches for 45 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior Brandon Kilpatrick led the Tigers' defense, which held Horseshoe Bend to 42 total yards, with six tackles followed closely by senior Daniel Brown, who finished with five tackles and a sack. Parks had an interception.

Luverne will take the short trip to Brantley to take on the undefeated Bulldogs (9-0, 7-0) in a cross-county battle tonight.

"It's a big football game for Crenshaw County," DuBose said. "It's a special football game because it's played between two really good football programs. When you look at us for instance, one of the biggest advantages we have over most people we play is this is a good football program. Glenn Daniel, Butch Norman and all those people that have coached and played here before helped build a good football program, but you can say the same thing about Brantley. I don't think there's an edge there this week. Brantley's got a good football program and tremendous support in the community just like we do here."

DuBose believes the team that can run the football most effectively or the team that can defend the run most effectively, as well as protects the football offensively or takes it away defensively will come away the victor.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.