MONTGOMERY – Sophomore place-kicker Juan Castro kicked a 19-yard field goal as time expired to lift Cleveland to a 23-20 Class 2A first-round playoff victory over Reeltown and the Panthers advanced to the second round of the 50th AHSAA state football playoffs.
The heroes were many as Coach Gardner Gilliland’s team improved to 11-0 and captured the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for the playoffs’ first round.
Castro booted three field goals--20, 24 and his game-winning 19-yarder, but it wasn’t without some drama. He missed on his first try with 1.8 seconds left but Reeltown was penalized for roughing the snapper giving the sophomore kicker another try.
Talented senior quarterback Peyton Gilliland, the son of the head coach and named after NFL great Peyton Manning, held in check for most of the night by the Reeltown defense but came to life late as the Panthers rallied from a 20-6 third-quarter deficit by scoring the final 17 points of the game.
Gilliland completed 7-of-14 passes for 158 yards with a touchdown and rushed for 72 yards on 19 tries and scored Cleveland’s other TD on a 27-yard run with less than two minutes to play that tied the game. He then picked off a Reeltown pass and returned it 45 yards to the Rebels’ 5-yard line with 54 seconds left to set up the game-winning field goal. He also had 12 tackles on defense to lead the Panthers.
Tristan Rittenhouse also had four receptions for 72 yards, six tackles and two interceptions on defense for the Panthers. Coach Jackie O’Neal got a big game from senior running back Martez McCullough, who had 161 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 24 carries in the setback.
Cleveland returns home in round two to host Sulligent, a 63-27 winner over Cold Springs last week.
Other top performances reported in round one included:
REED BLANKENSHIP, WEST LIMESTONE: Totaled 181 yards rushing and accounted for four touchdowns in a 42-36 Class 4A road playoff victory over Saks. He scored two rushing touchdowns, added a 15-yard TD reception and passed for a 10-yard score. He also had an outstanding game on defense with 20 tackles, a blocked field goal and a forced fumble.
BRANDON SIMMONS, PLEASANT GROVE: Piled up 256 yards on 27 rush attempts and scored three touchdowns as the Spartans moved to round 2 of the 5A state playoffs with a 35-14 win over Madison County.
IVORY STARR, CEDAR BLUFF: The workhorse running back had 239 yards on 35 carries, including a 14-yard touchdown, in the Tigers' 47-26 Class 1A playoff victory over Ragland. Teammate Josh Decker accounted for five total touchdowns, including four rushing (1, 1, 3 and 2 yards) and a 22-yard touchdown pass.
STACY WILLIAMS, ETOWAH: Rushed for 232 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries in the Blue Devils' first-round 27-21 overtime loss to Parker in the Class 5A playoffs.
OSTIN McPHERSON, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Rushed for 221 yards and two touchdowns to lead defending state champion St. Paul’s to a 42-17 Class 5A first-round win over Sylacauga.
BRANDON RODGERS, VIGOR: Piled up 235 yards rushing on 14 carries and scored four touchdowns as the Wolves beat Central-Clay County 26-14 to advance to round two in Class 5A.
NIC ROLLO, COLD SPRINGS: Had 186 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 63-27 Class 2A playoff loss at Sulligent. His scoring runs covered 5, 5 and 24 yards. Teammate Christian Crandall also had 132 rushing yards and a touchdown.
QUINTON DOWNEY, SPRING GARDEN: Had 178 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries and ran in a 2-point conversion in the Panthers' 39-16 Class 1A victory over Talladega County Central. It was Spring Garden's first home playoff win in school history.
KOBE SMITH, WEST POINT: Ran for 174 yards, including 116 in the fourth quarter, and three touchdowns in a 41-21 Class 5A first-round loss at Alexandria. The senior finished the season with 2,222 rushing yards, a new Cullman County record. The previous Cullman County record (2,214 yards) was set by Vinemont’s Ty Jones in 2013.
ALEX McNEAL, DALEVILLE: Rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns (13, 70, 32 and 7 yards) on 13 carries in a 40-18 Class 3A playoff win over Greensboro. Quarterback Coley Locke added 130 yards rushing on just eight carries scored on runs of 9 and 19 yards in the win.
DEMARCUS WILLIAMS, JACKSON: Rushed for 113 yards on 10 carries with three TDs and passed 53 yards for a fourth score as the Aggies beat Tallassee 35-7 in the Class 5A playoffs.
LEONARD JOHNSON, HAYDEN: The junior running back had 19 carries for 124 yards and three touchdowns (5, 55, 5 yards) in the Wildcats’ 19-0 win over East Limestone. It was Hayden’s first playoff win since 1992 and the program’s first-ever playoff victory in Class 5A.
KEYSHAUN ABSTON, WASHINGTON COUNTY: Gained 187 yards rushing on 10 carries and scored three touchdowns on runs of 55, 44 and 31 yards as Washington County posted a 39-0 Class 2A win over Goshen.
TAYLOR HAYES, PIEDMONT: Ran for 140 yards on 15 carries and scored a touchdown in the Bulldogs' 34-0 Class 3A playoff victory over Lexington.
MICHAEL MATTHEWS, UMS-WRIGHT: Had 13 of his 35 carries in a game-clinching 16-play drive late in the game to lift the Bulldogs past Handley 20-8. He had the last nine carries on the drive to finish with 125 yards as UMS-Wight moved to Round 2 of the Class 4A playoffs.
TREY HARRIS, NORTH JACKSON: Ran for 152 yards and two touchdowns (2 and 55 yards) on 13 carries, and threw a 75-yard TD pass in a 28-6 Class 4A win over Haleyville.
WALKER MINOR, VESTAVIA HILLS: Had 27 carries for 133 yards and two touchdowns as the Rebels advanced to round 2 with a 28-17 Class 7A win over Bob Jones.
JORDAN BENTLEY, GUNTERSVILLE: Pounded out 108 tough yards on 28 carries with one touchdown in the Wildcats’ Class 5A first-round 14-6 playoff win over Ramsay. Bentley, who now has 1,964 yards rushing this season and 103 career touchdowns, added seven tackles on defense.
TYREN DUPREE, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Completed 17-of-28 pass attempts for 309 yards and pair of touchdowns (10, 8 yards) and ran for 72 yards on 10 carries with a 3-yard touchdown in the Warriors' Class 4A playoff 45-26 victory at Deshler. The win was the first postseason victory for the Warriors in six years.
SHAQUILLE JOHNSON, LEE-MONTGOMERY: Was 10-of-16 passing for 274 yards, including an 87-yard TD strike to Keniaus Johnson, and the Generals beat Murphy 37-21 in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs. Shaquille also rushed for 54 yards with TD runs covering 2, 1 and 4 yards.
TYLER JOHNSTON, SPANISH FORT: Remained undefeated as a starting quarterback, completing 14-of-21 passes for 176 yards and three second-half touchdowns as Spanish Fort beat Pell City 24-10 in Class 6A.
ORLANDO LACEY, OPP: Was 6-of-9 passing for 192 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 56 yards on 12 carries as the Bobcats beat Midfield 49-20 in Class 3A first-round road win.
CHADARIUS TOWNSEND, TANNER: Was 7-of-11 passing for 132 yards and added five rushes for 164 yards to account for five touchdowns in the Rattlers’ 73-7 Class 2A first-round win over Phil Campbell. He ran for TDs covering 40, 91 and 28 yards and his TD passes were 33 and 21 yards.
PARIS CHAMBERS, McTOOLEN: Combined for 275 total yards in a 30-13 Class 7A playoff win over Enterprise. He had 138 yards passing and 137 rushing with one TD pass and a 68-yard run to set up another TD.
JACOBY McDANIEL, DOTHAN: Completed 15-of-26 passes for 228 yards with three touchdowns in a 48-21 Class 6A loss to Northridge.
ANTONIO STANTON, BESSEMER CITY: Passed for 144 yards and rushed for 98, including a 24-yard run late to seal the Tigers’ 28-24 Class 6A win over Park Crossing.
RYAN SULLIVAN, FALKVILLE: Completed 15-of-21 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores in s 35-34 overtime Class 2A win over Hatton.
DAIMION WRIGHT, LEE-MONTGOMERY: Had nine receptions for 154 yards in the Generals’ 37-21 Class 7A win over Murphy.
REAGAN PADGETT, GARDENDALE: Caught seven passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-14 Class 6A playoff win over Hartselle. He also had 10 tackles and an interception in the secondary and blocked a Tigers’ field goal attempt.
QUARTEZ HENDERSON, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Caught six passes for 139 yards and an 8-yard touchdown in the Warriors' 45-26 Class 4A victory at Deshler. Teammate Jacob Graves also had five catches for 102 yards and had a touchdown run.
CHARLES SHEPHERD, BLOUNT: Caught three touchdown passes as Blount came-from-behind beat Chelsea 41-28 in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
JEFF HUNTER, DECATUR HERITAGE: Snared a 36-yard TD pass with 20 seconds remaining to lift Decatur Heritage over Meek 28-28 in Class 1A. He finished with six receptions for 114 yards and three scores and added an interception on defense.
RICKY HALL, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Had 20 tackles, including four for losses, in a 17-6 Class 2A win over Thorsby. Teammate Gray McClendon added 17 tackles as the Eagles limited Thorsby to 138 total yards.
CARAVION MYERS, PIEDMONT: Posted nine tackles and had an interception in the Bulldogs’ 34-0 Class 3A playoff opening-round win over Lexington. He also threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Bayley Blanchard in the win. The Bulldogs defense held Lexington to only one pass completion, 143 yards total offense and forced four turnovers.
TUFFY CASEY, ARITON: Led the Purple Cats with 10 tackles and had three touchdown receptions on offense in a 35-26 Class 2A playoff loss to Fayetteville.
ARCHER CHARLES, GUNTERSVILLE: Returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown as unbeaten Guntersville (11-0) beat Ramsay 14-6 in the Class 5A state playoffs.
GARRETT SANDERS, G.W. LONG: Scored four first-half touchdowns, one coming on an interception return, to lead the Rebels to a 55-0 Class 2A first-round win over Francis Marion. He scored on runs of 50 and 3 yards and also had a 50-yard TD reception to finish with 139 total yards on offense.
COBY NEENAN, NORTHVIEW: Kicked 3-of-3 field goals, hitting from 48, 22 and 22 yards, as the Cougars fell to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 36-15 in the Class 6A playoffs.
CAMERON MOORE, WEST POINT: Returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, his third kickoff return for a TD in the last three weeks, in a Class 5A 41-21 setback versus Alexandria.
JORDAN GRADDY, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Returned the opening kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown and Mobile Christian beat Luverne 43-19 in the 2A playoffs. He finished with 157 yards on 15 carries and added a 15-yard TD run.
IMMANUEL WILDER, JAMES CLEMENS: Returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown and had a 62-yard kickoff return to set up another score in a 33-0 Class 7A win over Hewitt-Trussville. Alexandria.
DAVION FIFE, CEDAR BLUFF: Dashed 85 yards on the game-opening kickoff, putting Cedar Bluff in front 7-0 en route to the Tigers' 47-26 Class 1A playoff victory over Ragland.
MONTGOMERY – All 17 unbeaten teams and all seven defending state champions from 2014 survived round one of the Alabama High School Athletic Association 2015 State football Playoffs Friday and will be in the 104-team field for round two this Friday. All games are scheduled Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. This marks the 50th year of the AHSAA state football playoffs.
The state playoffs will culminate with The Super 7 Championships at the University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The Super 7 will feature state championship games in all seven classifications as well as a Unified Sports exhibition game to be played over a three-day period, Dec. 2-4.
Class 3A Madison Academy and Class 7A Hoover each posted first-round victories as each school keeps its hopes alive for a fourth straight state title. The Mustangs, which broke open a 21-21 halftime tie with 35 unanswered second-half points Friday, won the 3A title in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Hoover registered its 15th consecutive playoff victory with a 38-7 win over Buckhorn Friday night. The Bucs captured the 6A state championship in 2012 and 2013 and won the first 7A title last season. Madison Academy currently owns a 16-game playoff winning streak.
Other defending champions posting first-round victories were Maplesville (9-1) in 1A, Fyffe (10-1) in 2A, Leeds (9-2) in 4A, St. Paul’s Episcopal (9-2) in 5A and Clay-Chalkville (11-0) in 6A. Coach Jerry Hood’s Cougars extended the AHSAA’s current longest winning streak to 26 games with their 48-18 win over Cullman on Thursday.
Clay-Chalkville hosts Homewood (9-2) in round 2. Other pairings involving defending champs include Maplesville at Marengo (7-4) in 1A, Fyffe goes to Red Bay (11-0) in 2A, Madison Academy hosts North Sand Mountain (7-4) in 3A, Leeds is at home versus Montevallo (9-2) in 4A, St. Paul’s goes to Greenville (11-0) in 5A and Hoover hosts Vestavia Hills (9-2) in 7A.
The Rebels awarded Coach Buddy Anderson the 320th win of his head-coaching career with a 28-17 win over Bob Jones Friday. Anderson, the state career leader with a 320-134 record in 38 years as a head coach, has spent his entire coaching career at Vestavia Hills.
Five unbeaten teams remain in Class 2A: G.W. Long (10-0), Tanner (11-0), Red Bay (11-0), Cleveland (11-0) and Randolph County (11-0). All five will be at home this week in round 2.
Other unbeaten teams include: Class 3A: Gordo (11-0); Class 4A: UMS-Wright (11-0) and Cordova (11-0); Class 5A: Greenville (11-0), Beauregard (10-0), Jackson (11-0), Guntersville (11-0) and Wenonah (10-0); Class 6A: Opelika (11-0), Spanish Fort (11-0), Muscle Shoals (11-0) and Clay-Chalkville (11-0). No unbeaten teams remain in Class 1A and Class 7A.
Region champions won 45 of 52 first-round games, and region runners-up won 40 of 52 first-round games. Third seeds posted 12 wins and No. 4 seeds won seven contests. Three regions, Class 6A, Regions 4 and 5 and Class 3A, Region 1, swept all four first-round games. In 6A, Region 4, top seed McAdory (10-1) beat Wetumpka, No. 2 seed Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (8-3) beat Northview, No. 3 seed Northridge (9-2) beat Dothan and No. 4 seed Bessemer City (7-4) beat Park Crossing. In 6A, Region 6, top seed Walker (9-2) beat Scottsboro, No. 2 Homewood (9-2) beat Lee-Huntsville, No. 3 Minor (7-4) edged Albertville and No. 4 Briarwood Christian (5-6) beat Fort Payne. And in 3A, Region 1, top seed T.R. Miller (9-2) beat Central Coosa, second seed Bayside Academy (8-3) downed Fultondale, third seed Opp (8-3) defeated Midfield and fourth seed Hillcrest-Evergreen (6-5) beat Montgomery Academy.
A total of 52 games are set for Friday with eight contests in each of the AHSAA’s 1A thru 6A classifications and fourth in Class 7A.
The 50th annual state playoffs began with four teams competing for one state championship in what was then Class 4A in 1966. Championship play for all schools was implemented the following year in 1967 with four divisions. The six-class system began in 1984 and was replaced in 2014 with the new seven-classification system.
The quarterfinals for classes 1A-6A will be Nov. 20 and semifinals Nov. 27. Class 7A semifinals will be Nov. 20. The Class 7A finals will be Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Classes 3A, 1A and 5A will have finals on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively. Classes 4A, 2A and 6A will follow the same time schedule for Super 7 finals on Friday, Dec. 4. The Unified Sports game will be at Dec. 2 at 3:30 p.m.
Raycom Media will televise the seven state championship games over its affiliate stations in the AHSAA TV Network, and the NFHS Network will live-stream the Unified Sports exhibition game. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast live all games at the Super 7.
AHSAA 50th Annual State Football Playoffs
Second Round Pairings
Georgiana (10-1) at Billingsley (6-5)
Maplesville (9-1) at Marengo (7-4), Dixons Mills
Linden (8-2) at Notasulga (9-2)
Brantley (9-2) at Verbena (8-3)
Victory Christian (8-2) at Berry (9-2)
Spring Garden (8-3) at Decatur Heritage (10-1)
Hackleburg (10-1) at Cedar Bluff (10-1)
South Lamar (7-4) at Wadley (9-1)
Mobile Christian (10-1) at G.W. Long (10-0), Skipperville
Fayetteville (9-2) at Flomaton (9-2)
Pickens County (8-3) at Elba (10-1)
Providence Christian (8-2) at Washington County (9-2), Chatom
Ranburne (9-1) at Tanner (11-0)
Fyffe (9-1) at Red Bay (11-0)
Sulligent (8-3) at Cleveland (11-0)
Falkville (9-2) at Randolph County (11-0), Wedowee
Bayside Academy (8-3) at Daleville (10-1)
Gordo (11-0) at Opp (8-3)
American Christian (10-1) at Hillcrest-Evergreen (6-5)
Pike County (9-1) at T.R. Miller (9-2), Brewton
Oakman (8-3) at Piedmont (10-1)
North Sand Mountain (7-4) at Madison Academy (10-1)
Lauderdale County (8-3) at New Hope (7-4)
Winfield (10-1) at Colbert County (8-3), Leighton
Andalusia (10-1) at Dadeville (6-5)
Munford (8-3) at Straughn (5-5)
Montevallo (9-2) at Leeds (9-2)
Trinity Presbyterian (8-3) at UMS-Wright (11-0), Mobile
Fayette County (7-4) at Cleburne County (9-2), Heflin
North Jackson (7-4) at Brooks (10-1), Killen
Cherokee County (7-4) at Hamilton (5-6)
Cordova (11-0) AT West Limestone (8-3)
St. Paul’s Episcopal (9-2) at Greenville (11-0)
Demopolis (9-2) Vigor (7-4), Prichard
Helena (9-2) at Beauregard (10-0)
Eufaula (9-2) at Jackson (11-0)
Pleasant Grove (8-3) at Alexandria (9-1)
Russellville (10-1) at Parker (7-4), Birmingham
Guntersville (11-0) at Hayden (8-3)
Mortimer Jordan (10-1) at Wenonah (10-0), Birmingham
Blount (10-1) at Bessemer City (7-4)
Benjamin Russell (10-1) at McAdory (10-1), McCalla
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (8-3) at Opelika (11-0)
Spanish Fort (11-0) at Northridge (9-2), Tuscaloosa
Homewood (9-2) at Clay-Chalkville (11-0)
Muscle Shoals (11-0) at Minor (7-4), Adamsville
Austin (8-3) at Briarwood Christian (5-6)
Gardendale (9-2) at Walker (9-2), Jasper
Auburn (7-4) at McGill-Toolen (10-1), Mobile
Lee-Montgomery (8-3) at Central-Phenix City (8-3)
James Clemens (10-1) at Spain Park (10-1), Hoover
Vestavia Hills (9-2) at Hoover (9-2)
First Round Results
Billingsley 53, Millry 28
Georgiana 34, Keith 0
Marengo 30, Loachapoka 26
Maplesville 49, Kinston 12
Linden 38, McKenzie 28
Notasulga 22, Chickasaw 7
Brantley 35, A.L. Johnson 12
Verbena 21, J.U. Blacksher 13
Victory Christian 33, Woodville 19
Berry 38, Vina 14
Spring Garden 39, Talladega County Central 16
Decatur Heritage 29, Meek 28
Hackleburg 49, Hubbertville 34
Cedar Bluff 47, Ragland 26
South Lamar 54, Phillips 42
Wadley 50, Valley Head 0
Mobile Christian 43, Luverne 19
G.W. Long 55, Francis Marion 0
Flomaton 26, New Brockton 20
Fayetteville 35, Ariton 26
Pickens County 38, Samson 32
Elba 46, Sweet Water 14
Providence Christian 17, Thorsby 6
Washington County 39, Goshen 0
Ranburne 35, Gaston 7
Tanner 73, Phil Campbell 7
Fyffe 50, LaFayette 15
Red Bay 56, Addison 15
Sulligent 63, Cold Springs 27
Cleveland 23, Reeltown 20
Falkville 35, Hatton 34
Randolph County 70, Collinsville 7
Bayside Academy 42, Fultondale 10
Daleville 40, Greensboro 18
Opp 49, Midfield 20
Gordo 42, Wicksburg 14
American Christian 38, Slocomb 13
Hillcrest-Evergreen 35, Montgomery Academy 7
Pike County 14, Aliceville 6
T.R. Miller 67, Central-Coosa 16
Oakman 37, Plainview 19
Piedmont 34, Lexington 0
North Sand Mountain 27, Susan Moore 13
Madison Academy 56, Weaver 21
Lauderdale County 22, Walter Wellborn 7
New Hope 28, Winston County 13
Colbert County 20, Glencoe 7
Winfield 34, Geraldine 7
Dadeville 54, Thomasville 53 (2 OT)
Andalusia 48, West Blocton 0
Munford 20, W.S. Neal 0
Straughn 7, Bibb County 6
Montevallo 21, Saint James 7
Leeds 43, Clarke County 0
Trinity Presbyterian 14, Northside 7
UMS-Wright 20, Handley 8
Fayette County 49, DAR 38
Cleburne County 31, Wilson 12
North Jackson 28, Haleyville 6
Brooks 35, Jacksonville 21
Cherokee County 45, Deshler 26
Hamilton 29, Priceville 28
West Limestone 42, Saks 36
Cordova 33, Oneonta 14
St. Paul’s Episcopal 42, Sylacauga 17
Greenville 42, Dallas County 15
Vigor 26, Central-Clay County 14|
Demopolis 48, Charles Henderson 13
Helena 24, Sidney Lanier 7
Beauregard 44, Williamson 20
Eufaula 48, Calera 27
Jackson 35, Tallassee 7
Pleasant Grove 35, Madison County 14
Alexandria 41, West Point 21
Parker 27, Etowah 21
Russellville 10, Anniston 7
Hayden 19, East Limestone 0
Guntersville 14, Ramsay 6
Mortimer Jordan 46, Lawrence County 20
Wenonah 48, Randolph 0
Blount 41, Chelsea 28
Bessemer City 28, Park Crossing 24
Benjamin Russell 41, Saraland 10
McAdory 35, Wetumpka 3
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 36, Northview 15
Opelika 51, Daphne 0
Northridge 48, Dothan 21
Spanish Fort 24, Pell City 10
Homewood 49, Lee-Huntsville 14
Clay-Chalkville 48, Cullman 14
Minor 37, Albertville 35
Muscle Shoals 36, Huffman 0
Austin 35, Pinson Valley 7
Briarwood Christian 30, Fort Payne 26
Gardendale 38, Hartselle 14
Walker 35, Scottsboro 9
Auburn 45, Theodore 15
McGill-Toolen 30, Enterprise 13
Lee-Montgomery 37, Murphy 21
Central-Phenix City 34, Foley 14
James Clemens 22, Hewitt-Trussville 0
Spain Park 31, Hazel Green 7
Hoover 38, Buckhorn 7
Vestavia Hills 28, Bob Jones 17
After three years of close losses, Holly Pond finally turned its despair into joy. The Broncos finally broke through on Thursday night, edging Cold Springs 49-40 to snap the state’s current longest losing streak at 29 games. The Broncos finished the season 1-9.
The victory propelled Coach Mike Bates’ team into the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for the final week of the football regular season.
“I was just hoping that it wasn’t going to turn out like another Vinemont or Hanceville,” junior quarterback Michael Lambert told the Cullman Times. “I wouldn’t have been able to take that. Not again. I’ve held back a lot of emotions, but that would have been awful. This win is worth some of those emotions. We’ve worked so hard for this. It feels amazing.”
Lambert turned in an exceptional effort completing 13-of-19 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns. Teammate Caleb Jones had seven catches for 203 yards and both scores and also rushed for 82 yards and three more touchdowns.”
Bates, who has also coached a team to the state championship in his storied career, took the win in stride. “Coach (Bear) Bryant once said, ‘Every game sooner or later gets jaw to jaw and cheek to cheek.’ We made big plays where, in the past, we couldn’t do it. I was confident we could do some things coming in this game. I knew we’d get a win one day. We just didn’t know when it’d be.”
Christian Crandall led Cold Springs (6-4) with 195 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 19 carries.
Cold Springs Coach Rod Elliott praised Holly Pond’s effort. “Holly Pond played fantastic,” he said. “They came ready. Congrats out to them.”
TYRONE PIGROME, CLAY-CHALKVLLE: Completed 13-of-20 passes for 272 yards and five touchdowns and rushed 11 times for 127 yards and two scores in a 53-35 win over Hewitt-Trussville as Coach Jerry Hood’s Cougars closed out a second straight undefeated regular season at 10-0.
Receiver T.J. Simmons caught six passes for 133 yards and four TDs in the win.
HUNTER GRANT, WEST END: Completed 11-of-16 passes for 224 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 183 yards on 12 carries in the Patriots’ 48-15 victory over Appalachian. He had 407 total yards. He finished his season with 43 touchdowns accounted for (31 passing and 12 rushing) and had 3,428 total yards in 10 games. Grant was 151-of-259 passing for 2,611 yards and rushed 104 times for 817 yards. His season best was a 402-yard passing performance versus Gaston (27-of-44 for four TDs).
PIKE COUNTY DEFENSE: Beat Washington County 35-0 to register the school’s sixth shutout of the season in nine games by forcing a season-high eight turnovers. Coach Fred Holland’s Bulldogs had six interceptions in the final regular season game. Jahmir Lampley intercepted three passes for Pike County (8-1) and Jerrell Lawson, Michael Rumph and Cory Batie had one each with Batie returning his for a touchdown. Batie and Kamari Jackson also recovered fumbles. Five of the turnovers came in the fourth quarter.
In other top performances reported for Week 10:
CALVIN FIGUEROA, SAKS: Rushed for 325 yards on 23 attempts and scored five touchdowns in a 63-34 win over LaFayette. He went over 2,000 yards for the season with the effort. His scores came on runs of 1, 5, 58, 73 and 19 yards.
KOBE SMITH, WEST POINT: Helped West Point beat Priceville 49-21 with 309 yards rushing and four touchdowns. He now has over 2,000 yards on the year heading into the playoffs.
JERMAINE BROWN, ST. LUKE’S: Rushed for a season-high 306 yards and three touchdowns and also passed for two scores in a 53-50 win over Cottage Hill Christian.
KEENAN WOODRUFF, ALEXANDRIA: Rushed for 274 yards and three touchdowns and also scored on a 97-yard kickoff return in the Valley Cubs' 65-49 shootout victory over Cherokee County. Teammate Jamal Tucker added 128 yards and scored the Valley Cubs' first three touchdowns on his first four carries of the game.
JAHARI BROWN, NEW BROCKTON: Rushed for 230 yards and four touchdowns (60, 46, 28 and 9 yards) on just 10 carries as the Gamecocks (9-1) beat Kinston 44-6 to finish its best regular season since 1986.
JACOB WASHBURN: J.B. PENNINGTON: The senior running back had 237 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries in the Tigers' 47-14 victory over Susan Moore. It was just his second game back after missing more than four games with a dislocated elbow.
ZACH ALFORD, GOSHEN: Rushed for 216 yards and three touchdowns (67, 5 and 53) and added a 90-yard kickoff for a touchdown in a 55-48 overtime loss to Brantley. Alford amassed 379 total yards, also earning 120 in kick returns and 43 yards off three receptions.
CARLOS STEPHENS, THOMPSONJ: Rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries as the Warriors beat Chelsea 56-21.
DERRICK UNDERWOOD, HOMEWOOD: Had 206 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns in the Patriots’ 34-14 win over Tuscaloosa County.
JONATHAN FELLS, CARROLL: Rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns and teammate C.J. Roberts had 95 yards and three scores in a 66-14 win over Booker T. Washington. Both backs surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in the game.
DERRICK DUNIGAN, BILLIGNSLEY: Ran 29 times for 191 yards and four touchdowns and caught four passes for 33 yards and a score in a 44-34 win over Montevallo. He has 1,661 yards and 19 TDs rushing this season heading into this week’s 1A state playoffs.
DESHON COWLING, PIKE COUNTY: had 184 yards rushing, scored on runs of 15 and 80 yards and also caught a 57-yard TD pass as the Bulldogs (8-1) beat Washington County 35-0.
QUINTON DOWNEY, SPRING GARDEN: Rushed for 168 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns (13, 17, 51 yards) as the Panthers closed out the regular season with a 50-25 victory over Gaylesville.
BRANDON BARNES, GAYLESVILLE: Led the Trojans with 200 yards on 25 carries and a 3-yard touchdown in a 50-25 loss at Spring Garden.
PACE OZMINT, GLENCOE: Rushed 14 times for 151 yards, caught three passes for 129 yards and three touchdowns, recorded six tackles and had an interception in the Yellow Jackets’ 38-20 win over Cleburne County.
J.T. WISE, SAMSON: The Tigers quarterback accounted for 328 yards rushing and passing and four touchdowns in a 40-21 win over Pleasant Home. Wise completed 8-of-14 passes for 196 yards with three touchdowns (6, 59 and 44 yards) and had 132 yards rushing on 13 carries with a 69-yard TD scamper.
JOSEPH SCHAUER, WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN: Completed 18-of-25 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns while adding 52 rushing yards in the Warriors’ 36-30 loss to Ranburne.
TYREN DUPREE, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Completed 20-of-31 pass attempts for 277 yards and a 19-yard touchdown in a 65-49 loss to Alexandria. He also rushed for 47 yards and a score on 13 carries.
BO NIX, SCOTTSBORO: The freshman QB completed 14-of-18 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-21 win over Madison County. He also ran five times for 57 yards and another score.
DERRICK McCARTY, THEODORE: Caught four passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-21 Class 7A playoff-clinching win over Fairhope.
ANDRE LITTLE, WEST END: Caught five passes for 109 yards with touchdown receptions of 30, 13, 10 and 44 yards in the Patriots’ 48-15 victory over Appalachian.
QUARTEZ HENDERSON, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Caught eight passes for 124 yards and a 19-yard touchdown in the Warriors' 65-49 loss at Alexandria. Teammate Justin McKnight also had nine receptions for 94 yards.
TYRIC RICHARDSON, DAPHNE: Returned an interception 103 yards as the Trojans clinched their 18th straight playoff berth with a 27-6 victory over LeFlore at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
TREY PRATER, FORT PAYNE: The Wildcats cornerback had an interception returned 70-yards for a touchdown and blocked the game-tying extra point to preserve a 27-26 win over Anniston.
TUFFY CASEY, ARITON: Had 16 tackles on defense and also caught a 2-yard TD pass in the Purple Cats' 35-17 win over Zion Chapel.
ETHAN McMINN, CULLMAN: Totaled 12 tackles, including one for a long loss, and forced and recovered a fumble in a 6-0 loss at Russellville.
TRAMEKQUEZ LANE, OPP: Had 10 tackles and recovered a fumble on Elba's last drive, sealing a 20-14 win over the previously-undefeated Tigers.
COBY NEENAN, NORTHVIEW: Converted a 40-yard field goal, his 10th field goal this season, hit all four extra-point kicks and punted for a 41.3 average on three punts, including a 58 yarder, in a 35-31 loss to Charles Henderson.
CALEB ROEBUCK, SYLVANIA: Returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and rushed for 146 yards and two TDs in a 36-0 win over Ider.
NATE MITCHELL, SAND ROCK: Blocked a punt which teammate Braden Carver scooped up and returned for a touchdown in the Wildcats' 16-13 victory at Cedar Bluff. Mitchell also had six tackles on defense in the win.
Seventeen unbeaten teams and all seven defending state champions from 2014 are in the 208-team first-round field as the Alabama High School Athletic Association 2015 State football Playoffs get underway Friday, Nov. 6. Two games are set to be played Thursday night, Nov. 5, and all contests are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
For the first time, seven defending state champs will be the field as the AHSAA conducts its seven classification football playoffs for the second straight year. The playoffs began in 1966 with just four teams competing for the Class 4A state title. The playoffs expanded to four classifications in 1967, to six in 1984 and seven in 2014.
This year’s playoffs mark the 50th anniversary of the AHSAA’s storied playoff completion.
Classes 1A through 6A will compete in five playoff rounds culminating with the Super 7 State Championships at Tuscaloosa and Bryant-Denny Stadium Dec. 2-3-4. Class 7A will lay four rounds with the championship game at Bryant-Denny set for Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.
The seven defending state champions in the 2015 field include Class 1A Maplesville (8-1), Class 2A Fyffe (9-1), Class 3A Madison Academy (9-1), Class 4A Leeds (8-2), Class 5A St. Paul’s Episcopal (8-2), Class 6A Clay-Chalkville (10-0) and Class 7A Hoover (8-2). Coach Jerry Hood’s Cougars carry a 25-game winning streak, longest active streak in the AHSAA, into the post-season. Hoover and Madison Academy will be going for four straight state titles, the Mustangs in Class 3A, and Hoover, going for its second in 7A after winning the 2012 and 2013 titles in Class 6A.
In addition to Clay-Chalkville, other unbeaten teams in the 6A 32-team playoff field include Spanish Fort (10-0), Opelika (10-0) and Muscle Shoals (10-0). In 5A, five teams are unbeaten, Jackson (10-0), Greenville (10-0), Guntersville (10-0), Beauregard (9-0) and Wenonah (9-0).
Other unbeaten teams include, in Class 2A: Randolph County (10-0), Tanner (10-0), Cleveland (10-0), Red Bay (10-0) and G.W. Long (9-0); in Class 3A, Gordo (10-0); and in Class 4A, UMS-Wright (10-0) and Cordova (10-0).
Raycom Media, the AHSAA TV Partner, will be featuring Class 6A powers Bessemer City versus Park Crossing at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl Friday night as the Raycom AHSAA Game of the Week shifts to playoff games and moves to Friday night for the first four playoff rounds. Raycom will also broadcast all seven AHSAA state football championship games.
The NFHS Network plans to live-stream selected games each week with several member schools planning to live-stream contests over the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program as well.
All games will be listed at www.ahsaa.com as well www.nfhsnetwork.com. The AHSAA Radio Network will also host a statewide scoreboard show during the state playoffs. Check the AHSAA website for more details.
Second-round playoff games are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 13, followed by the quarterfinals on Nov. 20, the semifinals Nov. 27.
AHSAA Revised Football Playoff schedule
AHSAA 50th Annual State Football Playoffs
First Round, Nov. 6
Billingsley (5-5) at Millry (7-3)
Keith (4-6) at Georgiana (9-1)
Marengo (6-4) at Loachapoka (4-6)
Kinston (5-5) at Maplesville (8-1), rescheduled for Thursday
McKenzie (6-3) at Linden (7-2)
Chickasaw (4-6) at Notasulga (8-2)
A.L. Johnson (3-6) at Brantley (8-2), rescheduled for Thursday
Verbena (7-3) at J.U. Blacksher (7-3), Uriah
Woodville (4-6) at Victory Christian (7-2), Pell City, rescheduled for Thursday
Vina (5-5) at Berry (8-2), rescheduled for Thursday
Talladega County Central (6-3) at Spring Garden (7-3)
Meek (7-3) at Decatur Heritage (9-1), , Thursday, TBA
Hubbertville (6-3) at Hackleburg (9-1), rescheduled for Thursday
Ragland (3-7) at Cedar Bluff 9-1), rescheduled for Thursday
Phillips (6-4) at South Lamar (6-4), Millport, rescheduled for Thursday
Valley Head (3-6) at Wadley (8-1)
Luverne (6-4) at Mobile Christian (9-1)
Francis Marion (4-6) at G.W. Long (9-0), Skipperville
Flomaton (8-2) at New Brockton (9-1)
Ariton (5-5) at Fayetteville (8-2), rescheduled for Thursday
Samson (7-3) at Pickens County (7-3), Reform, rescheduled for Thursday
Sweet Water (5-5) at Elba (9-1)
Thorsby 6-4) at Providence Christian (7-2), Dothan
Goshen (4-6) at Washington County (8-2), Chatom
Gaston (7-3) at Ranburne (8-1)
Phil Campbell (4-6) at Tanner (10-0), rescheduled for Thursday
LaFayette (6-4) at Fyffe (9-1), rescheduled for Thursday
Addison (5-5) at Red Bay (10-0), rescheduled for Thursday
Cold Springs (6-4) at Sulligent (7-3), rescheduled for Thursday
Reeltown (6-4) at Cleveland (10-0), rescheduled for Thursday
Hatton (5-5) at Falkville (8-2), rescheduled for Thursday
Collinsville (6-4) at Randolph County (10-0), Wedowee
Fultondale (5-5) at Bayside Academy (7-3), Daphne
Greensboro (5-5) at Daleville (9-1), rescheduled for Thursday
Opp (7-3) at Midfield (6-3)
Wicksburg (7-3) at Gordo (10-0), rescheduled for Thursday
Slocomb (7-3) at American Christian (9-1), Tuscaloosa, rescheduled for Thursday
Hillcrest-Evergreen (5-5) at Montgomery Academy ((-1)
Aliceville (6-4) at Pike County (8-1), Brundidge
Central-Coosa (5-5) at T.R. Miller (8-2), Brewton
Plainview 6-4) at Oakman (7-3), rescheduled for Thursday
Lexington (6-4) at Piedmont (9-1), rescheduled for Thursday
Susan Moore (4-6) at North Sand Mountain (6-4), Higdon, rescheduled for Thursday
Weaver (5-5) at Madison Academy (9-1), rescheduled for Thursday
Walter Wellborn(603) at Lauderdale County (7-3), Rogersville, rescheduled for Thursday
Winston County (7-3) at New Hope (6-4), rescheduled for Thursday
Colbert County (7-4) at Glencoe (9-1), rescheduled for Thursday
Geraldine (6-4) at Winfield (9-1), rescheduled for Thursday
Dadeville (5-5) at Thomasville (6-4), rescheduled for Thursday
West Blocton (5-5) at Andalusia (9-1)
W.S. Neal (8-2) at Munford (7-3)
Straughn (4-5) at Bibb County (7-3), Centreville, rescheduled for Thursday
Saint James (6-4) at Montevallo (8-2), rescheduled for Thursday
Clarke County (4-6) at Leeds (8-2), rescheduled for Thursday
Northside (7-2) at Trinity Presbyterian (7-3), Montgomery
Handley (8-2) at UMS-Wright (10-0), Mobile
DAR (8-2) at Fayette County (6-4), Fayette, rescheduled for Thursday
Wilson (6-4) at Cleburne County (8-2), Heflin, rescheduled for Thursday
Haleyville (6-4) at North Jackson (6-4), Stevenson
Jacksonville (6-4) at Brooks (9-1), Killen, rescheduled for Thursday
Cherokee County (6-4) at Deshler (5-5), Tuscumbia, rescheduled for Thursday
Hamilton (4-6) at Priceville (8-2), rescheduled for Thursday
West Limestone (7-3) at Saks (8-2), Anniston
Oneonta (5-5) at Cordova (10-0), rescheduled for Thursday
Sylacauga (7-3) at St. Paul’s Episcopal (8-2), Mobile
Dallas County (6-4) at Greenville (10-0), rescheduled for Thursday
Vigor (6-4) at Central-Clay County (6-4)
Charles Henderson (5-5) at Demopolis (8-2), rescheduled for Thursday
Sidney Lanier (4-6) at Helena (8-2)
Williamson (5-5) at Beauregard (9-0)
Calera (7-3) at Eufaula (8-2)
Tallassee (5-5) at Jackson (10-0), rescheduled for Thursday
Madison County (6-4) at Pleasant Grove (7-3)
West Point (6-4) at Alexandria (8-1), rescheduled for Thursday
Parker (6-4) at Etowah (7-3), Attalla
Anniston (4-5) at Russellville (9-1), rescheduled for Thursday
Hayden (7-3) at East Limestone (8-2), Capshaw, rescheduled for Thursday
Ramsay (7-3) at Guntersville (10-0)
Lawrence County (6-4) at Mortimer Jordan (9-1), Kimberly, rescheduled for Thursday
Randolph (7-3) at Wenonah (9-0), Birmingham, rescheduled for Thursday
Chelsea (7-3) at Blount (8-2), Prichard
Bessemer City (6-4) at Park Crossing (8-2), Cramton Bowl, Montgomery
Saraland (8-2) at Benjamin Russell (9-1), Alexander City
Wetumpka (4-6) at McAdory (9-1), McCalla, rescheduled for Thursday
Northview (4-6) at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (7-3), rescheduled for Thursday
Daphne (6-4) at Opelika (10-0)
Northridge (8-2) at Dothan (6-4), Rip Hewes Stadium
Pell City (4-6) at Spanish Fort (10-0)
Lee-Huntsville (6-4) at Homewood (8-2)
Cullman (6-4) at Clay-Chalkville (10-0), rescheduled for Thursday
Minor (6-4) at Albertville (7-3)
Huffman (4-6) at Muscle Shoals (10-0)
Pinson Valley (7-3) at Austin (7-3), Ogle Stadium, Decatur, rescheduled for Thursday
Briarwood Christian (4-6) at Fort Payne (8-2), rescheduled for Thursday
Hartselle (7-3) at Gardendale (8-2), rescheduled for Thursday
Scottsboro (5-5) at Walker (8-2), Jasper
Theodore (7-3) at Auburn (6-4)
Enterprise (5-5) at McGill-Toolen (9-1), Archbishop Lipscomb Complex, Mobile
Lee-Montgomery (7-3) at Murphy (7-3), Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile
Foley (6-4) at Central-Phenix City (7-3)
Hewitt-Trussville (6-4) at James Clemens (9-1), Madison City Stadium, Thursday
Hazel Green (5-5) at Spain Park (9-1), Hoover
Buckhorn (6-4) at Hoover (8-2), Hoover Met Stadium
Vestavia Hills (8-2) at Bob Jones (9-1), Madison City Stadium