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File / The Herald Wetumpka will take its second Thursday road trip of the season in Week 7 when they face Benjamin Russell.

For the first time in school history, the Wetumpka football team has won back-to-back region titles. The Indians have combined two of the most successful seasons they have ever seen and they are not looking to slow down now.

The team’s motto for this season is “Unfinished Business” as everyone has their sights on a run back to the state championship game. However, before they make it, there are plenty of hurdles in the regular season to keep an eye on.

In the last two seasons, Wetumpka’s region championships have come with the help of a three-way tiebreaker. It is hard to think that will continue to stay on the side of the Indians for a third consecutive season so they hope to leave no doubts this year with a focus on their tough region opponents.

Week 3 at Opelika Bulldogs

These two teams have met only five times in the last 81 years but it takes only the last three games to realize this is morphing into a rivalry. These teams represent the last five champions in Class 6A Region 3 and one of them has made it to at least the state semifinals in each of the last four seasons.

Both of these teams lost a handful of Division I talent from last season but they still have plenty of skill coming back, specifically on the offensive side. The last three games have averaged a total of 57.3 points per game but do not be surprised when this one surpasses that total.

After a pair of one-point victories by the Bulldogs in 2016 and 2017, Wetumpka finally came out on top with a 30-28 win last season. With just four total points separating these two teams over the last three seasons, this is a must-watch for football fans across the entire state.

Week 5 vs. Prattville Lions

This game does not count against Wetumpka’s region record but that does not make it any less meaningful to the fans on either side of this rivalry. The Indians know they have other crucial games before this one but this date will be circled on the calendar as it marks the first home game of the season after five weeks away from Hohenberg Field.

Wetumpka regained the advantage in the all-time series (27-26-3) after four touchdowns on four consecutive offensive plays led the Indians to win in Prattville. Since the Lions made the jump to Class 7A, Wetumpka has won three straight meetings which marks its longest winning streak in the series since 1960.

The Indians may not struggle with their season-opening road trip but if they do, this game could serve as a good time to regroup with a home game against a non-region team. A loss would not be the end of the world while a win would boost momentum entering the second half of the season.

Week 7 at Benjamin Russell Wildcats

Region road games are already difficult enough but this trip to Alexander City will come with an added twist of a Thursday night kick off. These two teams have met on a Thursday night twice since 2009 and while Wetumpka won both games, it was the closest margins of victory in this series since 2002.

The Indians have not lost to Benjamin Russell since 2001 but the Wildcats still lead the all-time series 25-16. The Wildcats hope to secure their first region title since 2013 and a big step to doing so would be to knock off the defending champions.

This will be the last road game of the regular season for the Indians and likely their last true test in region play. This matchup could serve as a clinching game for a third straight region title or it could take the Indians out of the driver’s seat in region play.

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.