WAAY 31 Big Game Friday Night's Game of the Week for Week Three is Fyffe (2-0) vs. Sylvania (2-1).
Since 1947, the Fyffe Red Devils and Sylvania Rams have been battling it out in DeKalb County. The Region Seven rivalry has been slightly one-sided since coach Paul Benefield left Sylvania to join Fyffe in 1997. In 14 meetings since then, the Red Devils have 12 wins.
Coach Benefield, who spent his first five years as a head coach with the Rams, said this one doesn’t have any special meaning to him, it’s just another game. The same way he’s approached every game.
“Always one game at a time here,” Benefield said. “We don’t feel like we’re good enough to look ahead to other people. Some teams might be, but we just don’t.”
Even so, Fyffe is on quite an impressive streak. The team has claimed three straight state titles with three perfect seasons.
The last time the Red Devils lost was in November of 2017, but Rams’ head coach Tyler Vann is hoping to change that this week. Vann played against Benefield as a student and says while he is nervous to coach against one of the best, he thinks his team has what it takes.
“If you don’t show up against Fyffe with the mindset that you can beat Fyffe, you’re already beat,” Vann said. “I think our guys have the mindset that they can beat Fyffe and I think that’ll go a long way on Friday night.”
This year the Red Devils are off to a hot start, 2-0 with 80 points scored. It’s no secret the team likes running the ball, with 423 rushing yards racked up last week against Collinsville.
Vann said one of the strengths of his team is their aggressiveness on defense and the energy his guys bring every snap.
“Our goal coming into the year was to be region champs and if you don’t win this football game, you’re not region champs. We also have the goal of hosting a playoff game, so if you win this football game, you set yourself up to be region champs, you set yourself up to host a playoff game,” Vann explained.
We’ll see if the Rams have enough to beat Fyffe for the first time since 2005 and end the streak on Friday night in Sylvania.