HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT)- For the second year in a row, the meeting between Hoover and Vestavia Hills pits two unbeaten teams against each other. Last season, Hoover walked away from a strong performance with a 35-15 victory over the Rebels. Hoover head coach Josh Niblett is 4-1 against Vestavia Hills, but he says his players will have to be sharp in every facet to come out with a victory in 2013. “Our kids have got to be sound,” he said. “We have to make sure that we understand our keys, read our keys, make sure we’re playing within the concept of what we talked about all week.” He credits Vestavia coach Buddy Anderson with instilling a system that has changed little over his 36 year reign over the Rebels.
Vestavia Hills is strong on the ground, offensively and defensively. Five different Rebels have carried the ball into the endzone, highlighted by a 310 rushing yard performance in week one against Homewood. On the other side, VHHS has allowed just over 80.0 yards per game in their last three contests.
To combat the staunch run defense of the Rebels, Coach Niblett says he needs every man on the field to do their job. “I’ve always felt like, if you can get eleven guys playing, your eleven can beat their ten,” he said. “Because there’s a good possibility that one guy on the other side of the ball may not play up to his capability, or may not play with great effort, or may have a busted assignment.”
Vestavia Hills is the Buccaneers longest running rivalry. Currently, Hoover holds a 29-17 advantage.