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PREVIEW: Hoover vs. Vestavia Hills (AL)

September 25, 2013

HOOVER, AL – The Hoover Buccaneers will attempt to keep their winning streak intact when they host the Vestavia Hills Rebels on Friday at 8 p.m. (EST) at Metropolitan Stadium. More than 12,000 fans are expected to watch a game that’s part of the 2013 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the U.S. Marine Corps and Hibbett Sports.

The Buccaneers, who are ranked No. 1 in the state and are ranked high nationally, have won 19 straight games dating back to last season. They went 16-0 last season on their way to claiming the Class 6A state title with a 31-0 win over Opelika, and they’re 3-0 this season after a 56-14 win over Northridge. Junior quarterback Jack Hutcheson had 250 total yards and five TDs in the win, while junior back Justin Johnson added 122 yards and two scores.

Hoover, coached by Josh Niblett, has won eight state titles, including six since 2000 when it’s gone a combined 135-15.

The Rebels went 10-3 last season and are off to a 4-0 start this season. They are coming off a 35-7 win over Gardendale, a game in which senior back Jordan Johnson ran for 144 yards and two TDs. Senior corner Marlon Humphrey is one of the top prospects in the country and is being recruited by some of the top teams in Division I.

Vestavia Hills is coached by Buddy Anderson, who has 301 wins in his 36 years at the helm. He is one win away from tying Alabama legend Glenn Daniel for second all-time in career coaching victories in state history.

The rivalry featuring schools less than 10 miles apart began in 1972 with Hoover holding a 28-18 advantage in the all-time series. Hoover won two meetings last season, 35-15 in the regular season then 21-7 in the state quarterfinals, and has won four straight and 13 of the last 16 overall.

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.