Kingwood studying for road test

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

ALABASTER — For the Kingwood Lions, the Aug. 23 season opener against Jackson Academy was a tale of two games.

The first saw the Lions unable to get anything going, recording a fumble, an interception and a blocked punt in successive drives, falling behind 24-0 late in the second quarter. The second saw them explode for 43 unanswered points, shutting down the Eagles’ offense and winning 43-24.

KCS coach Steve Birmingham said he felt his team grew during the game.

“I think the guys learned something about themselves,” he said. “You’re either going to turn on each other, or pull together and win.”

Birmingham said he felt first-game nerves hurt the team early.

“We had to calm them down,” he said. “There was a little bit of confusion in the first half, but we got it settled down, and it was all she wrote.”

When the Lions travel to Hooper Academy Aug. 30, Birmingham said the team must play consistently in order to keep up with the Colts’ physicality.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” he said. “(Hooper)’s got a lot of speed. We’ve talked all week about mentally tough and playing four quarters of ball.”

Overcoming obstacles has been a theme for KCS so far this season. In addition to the furious comeback to win in Week 1, Birmingham said there were three players on the 27-man roster that were out with a stomach bug earlier in the week in addition to injuries.

Despite the health concerns, Birmingham said he felt good about the Lions’ chances.

“This is a game we can compete in,” he said. “I think we have equal talent, we just have to put it all together.”

The Lions will kick off at 7 p.m. at Davis Henry Field, located at 380 Fischer Road in Montgomery.