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Northridge ready to square off with McGill-Toolen

Northridge and Bo Scarbrough, pictured against TCHS on Sept. 2, 2011, is ready to face McGill-Toolen in the Champions Challenge. (Photo by Jason Harless)

MONTGOMERY | When the Northridge Jaguars were enjoying their best season last year since the school opened in 2003, Bo Scarbrough sustained a knee injury and missed the last three games, including two Class 6A playoff games.

Scarbrough, a junior running back, expects to hit and be hit in next week’s preseason game. No. 9 Northridge, ranked in the preseason football poll for the first time, faces No. 4 McGill-Toolen of Mobile in the Champions Challenge at Cramton Bowl.

McGill-Toolen went 11-2 last year. The Jaguars, who went 10-2, won a playoff game for the first time and advanced to the second round. Scarbrough’s contributions included 13 touchdowns.

“I think this is a big opportunity to show people that I can come back off a knee injury,” said Scarbrough, who had a broken ankle as a freshman.

All three games will be streamed live through the WSFA-TV and the AHSAA websites.

“Since I have been a part of this, building it from the beginning, it is a very huge step for our program to be considered one of the elite programs in the state,” said Northridge coach Mike Smith. “That validates what we’ve preaching to these kids and how we’ve been working as a staff and players. When you do things right, this is what happens. You get the notoriety with it.”

The result won’t count, but Smith said it will prepare his team for a rugged Region 5 schedule. No. 1 Hoover is in the region this year.

“There’s no question about the character and quality of the opponent that we’re playing,” Smith said. “That’s the caliber of team that we’ve got to play week in and week out.

“I think the biggest thing we’ll find out is if we’ve got the right people in the right places and are we in shape, are we physical and how much has our learning curve increased from day one in knowing our assignments.”

James Cox is preparing for his senior season at Northridge. Cox, a wide receiver, has made a verbal commitment to Southern Mississippi.

“Coach is stressing to us that it’s just another game,” Cox said. “We’re very blessed to have this opportunity. We’re just going to prepare well and come out and play our best. It’s an opportunity to show the state what we have.”

Reach Andrew Carroll at or at 205-722-0223.