Four of 14 teams advanced Friday night for the first time in school history to the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s 2014 Super 7 State Football Championships Dec. 3-5 at the Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Class 1A Hubbertville (13-0), Class 3A Dale County (14-0), Class 5A Pleasant Grove (12-2) and Class 6A Saraland (13-1) each won semifinal games and will be playing in the finals for the first time. The AHSAA championships will also be the first with seven champions being crowned.
Dale County, coached by Pate Harrison, will meet defending state champion Madison Academy (13-1) in the 3A finals at 11 a.m. Thursday. Veteran Coach Lamar Harris, who has been head coach at Hubbertville since 1969, will see his Lions square off against Maplesville (13-0) at 3 p.m. Pleasant Grove, coached by Jim Elgin, will close out Thursday’s schedule in the 5A finals versus St. Paul’s Episcopal (14-0) of Mobile at 7 p.m.
On Friday, Saraland, coached by Jeff Kelly, will meet Clay-Chalkville (14-0) in the 6A finals at 7 p.m. Other Friday games are Deshler (13-1) versus Leeds (13-1) at 11 a.m. in the 4A finals and Elba (14-0) vs. Fyffe (14-0) in the 2A championship game at 3 p.m.
The AHSAA state football playoffs , in its 49th year, moved all state finals to one site in 1996 with the introduction of the Super 6 state championships. Birmingham’s fabled Legion Field served as host until 2009 when the AHSAA switched sites to Alabama and Auburn on alternating years opposite the host of the two state colleges’ Iron Bowl clash. Alabama hosted the Super 6 in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Auburn hosted in 2010 and 2012.
With the addition of a seventh classification this season, the Super 7 evolved this year and makes its debut on Wednesday, Dec. 3. with Hoover (11-2) taking on Prattville (11-2) in the Class 7A finals at 7 p.m. Prior to that contest, in conjunction with Special Olympics of Alabama (SOAL), the first Unified Sports state flag football game featuring Hewitt-Trussville and Lawrence County will be played at 3:30 p.m. The teams are comprised of Special Olympics athletes and peer partners in a 5-on-5 flag football competition.
Defending champions returning to finals this year include Hoover (in 6A last year) and Madison Academy (3A). The Bucs of Josh Niblett are making their 14th championship game appearance since 2000 and their seventh in a row since 2008.
The 14 teams are all that remain from the original 208-team field. The finalists have a combined 194-10 record and .951 winning percentage on the year with seven schools coming in undefeated, including Class 1A: Maplesville (13-0) and Hubbertville (13-0; Class 2A: Elba (14-0) and Fyffe (14-0); Class 3A: Dale County (14-0); Class 5A: St. Paul’s Episcopal (14-0); and Class 6A: Clay-Chalkville (14-0).
Raycom Network will televise and live-stream all seven championship games over its network and the Unified Sports game will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network by Opelika High School’s School Broadcast Program team.
For specific details on stations and channels carrying the game, go to www.pathwaytotheplayoff.com for Raycom information and to www.nfhsnetework.com for the Unified Sports game. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all games over its network. Information on all three networks will be available at www.ahsaa.com.
AHSAA 2014 FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Super 7 Pairings
Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn
Hubbertville (13-0) vs. Maplesville (13-0), Thursday, 3 p.m.
Fyffe (14-0) vs. Elba (14-0), Friday, 3 p.m.
Dale County (14-0) vs. Madison Academy (13-1), Thursday, 11 a.m.
Leeds (13-1) vs. Deshler (13-1), Friday, 11 a.m.
St. Paul’s Episcopal (14-0) vs. Pleasant Grove (12-2), Thursday, 7 p.m.
Clay-Chalkville (14-0) vs. Saraland (13-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
Hoover (11-2) vs. Prattville (11-2), Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Unified Sports Game
Lawrence County vs. Hewitt-Trussville, Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.
Friday’s Semifinal Results
Maplesville 33, Billingsley 8
Hubbertville 45, Marion County 35
Elba 21, Washington County 14
Fyffe 42, Ranburne 14
Dale County 32, Gordo 28
Madison Academy 31, Glencoe 28
Leeds 42, UMS-Wright 14
Deshler 45, Cordova 22
St. Paul’s 31, Jackson21
Pleasant Grove 27, Madison County 13
Saraland 14, Spanish Fort 10
Clay-Chalkville 35, Florence 21