MONTGOMERY – All seven defending state football champions and 20 unbeaten teams are among the 208-team state playoff field announced by the Alabama High School Athletic Association Saturday morning.
The state football playoffs get underway Thursday night, Nov. 3, with two Class 6A first-round games, and 102 games are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4. All contests are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
State champions will be crowned in seven classifications with 32 schools competing in Classes 1A through 6A through five rounds of play, and 16 competing in four playoff rounds in Class 7A. The ultimate goal of each is to compete in the Super 7 State Football Finals at Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
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 will be the third year of competition in seven classes.
This year’s playoffs mark the 51th anniversary of the AHSAA’s storied playoff completion. One school, Sidney Lanier, competed in the first playoff in 1966 that featured four schools and will be in the field for the 2016 playoffs.
AHSAA TV partner Raycom Media will for the second straight year telecast the Raycom / AHSAA Playoff Game of the Week over the next four weeks, culminating with Raycom televising all seven state championship games at Auburn. Next Friday’s Game of the Week will be Auburn (7-3) versus Davidson (9-1) in Class 7A first-round battle at Ladd-Peebles Stadium at 7 p.m. Coach Fred Riley’s Warriors will be home team finishing second to McGill-Toolen Catholic in Region 1. McGill beat Davidson 39-36 in overtime
The seven defending state champions include Class 1A Maplesville (9-0); Class 2A Elba (8-2); Class 3A Piedmont (10-0); Class 4A Leeds (8-2); Class 5A St. Paul’s Episcopal (7-3); Class 6A Spanish Fort (8-2); and Class 7A McGill-Toolen (10-0).
Piedmont head coach Steve Smith notched the 200th win of his prep coaching career earlier this season, His Bulldogs won the AHSAA’s current longest football winning streak (20) heading into the 3A playoffs. McGill-Toolen, coached by Caleb Ross, has a 19-game winning streak and Maplesville, coached by Brent Hubbert, is currently riding an 18-game streak.
In addition, 17 other unbeaten schools head into the state playoffs including Carroll-Ozark (10-0). The Eagles, coached by Roger McDonald, finished 10-0 in the regular season for the first time since 1930 after going just 1-9 in 2014. Class 4A Rogers (10-0), coached by Randall Martin, recorded its first unbeaten regular season in school history.
Montgomery’s newest high school Park Crossing, coached by Smitty Grider, is undefeated a 10-0 in just its third season.
Unbeaten teams by class in the playoffs include: (Class 1A) Maplesville (9-0); Georgiana (10-0), Linden (10-0), Wadley (9-0), Addison (10-0); (Class 2A) G.W. Long (9-0); Fyffe (10-0); LaFayette (10-0); (Class 3A) Gordo (10-0); Piedmont (10-0); (Class 4A) Rogers (10-0); Class 5A: Carroll (10-0); Scottsboro (10-0); (Class 6A) Park Crossing (10-0); Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (10-0); Oxford (10-0); (Class 7) McGill-Toolen Catholic (10-0); and Hewitt-Trussville (10-0).
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. More than 50 first-round games are expected to be broadcast by local radio stations as well. 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. 11, followed by the quarterfinals on Nov. 18, the semifinals Nov. 25.
John Carroll Catholic High School has been fined, placed on probation for one year and ordered to forfeit two varsity football wins for violating the AHSAA eligibility rules. The school self-reported the violation.
John Carroll played an ineligible student in violation of the AHSAA Overlapping School Zones Rule found on page 35 of the 2016-17 AHSAA Handbook, which states a student that transfers from a school within overlapping school zones is ineligible for one year at the new school. The school must forfeit all contests its team won in which the student participated. Forfeits include victories over Moody and Springville high schools.
The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.
MONTGOMERY – Raycom Media will televise James Clemens High School at Austin tonight at Decatur’s Shorty Ogle Stadium in the final Raycom / AHSAA regular-season Game of the Week. Raycom will feature a state playoff each of the next four weeks leading up to all seven AHSAA Super 7 state championship games at Auburn Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
The NFHS Network plans 18 AHSAA events tonight and Friday with one swimming match live-streamed by the Cullman High School School Broadcast Program and 17 football games.
James Clemens heads into tonight’s game locked in a three-way tie with Bob Jones and Gadsden City for the second playoff slot in Region 8 for the upcoming Class 7A state playoffs. A win over Austin, the Class 6A, Region 8 champion, would clinch the tie breaker and No. 2 qualifier for Coach Wade Waldrop’s team. A loss would give the No. 2 qualifier to Bob Jones. All three 7A, Region 8 teams are in the playoffs, however, behind Region 8 champion Hewitt-Trussville.
The NFHS Network also plans to live-stream 25 total events including 23 football games Friday – five designated as NFHS Network Alabama Games of the Week.
Raycom Media’s broadcast team features veteran play-by-play announcer Graham Dunn, color commentator Mike Peacock and sideline reporter Christina Chambers. Raycom will also televise live the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game at Cramton Bowl on Dec. 10. The playoff game to be telecast will be announced each week.
To find the cable channel serving your area, go to www.pathwaytotheplayoffs.com or go to www.ahsaa.com and click on the Raycom link.
NFHS SLATE INCLUDES 17 FOOTBALL GAMES
The NFHS Network announced earlier this week four games designated as NFHS Network “Alabama Games of the Week.” Those include: Class 7A Thompson vs. unbeaten Class 6A Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa tonight; Central-Clay County vs. Handley; Chelsea vs. Calera; and Grayson (GA) vs. Hoover, all on Friday. Hoover’s game will also be featured on ESPN.
Friday’s slate includes 17 games total.
Those with NFHS Network subscriptions can tune in to any of these football contests. For more information and instructions on how to subscribe, go to www.ahsaa.com and then click on the NFHS Network icon on the front page of the website or go to www.nfhsnetwork.com.
RARAYCOM / AHSAA GAME OF THE WEEK (check www.pathtotheplayoffs.com for cable channel)
JaJames Clemens (6-3) at Austin (7-2), Ogle Stadium, Decatur, 7 p.m.
NFHS NETWORK SCHEDULE OF AHSAA SCHOOL BROADCAST PROGRAM EVENTS (THURSDAY AND FRIDAY Oct. 27-28
Thurs. - 4:30 PM
Cullman HS SBP
Oct 27 - 6:30 PM
Thompson vs. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa HS SBP
B.C. Rain vs. Saraland
Saraland HS SBP
Oct 27 - 7:00 PM
Deshler vs. Muscle Shoals
Muscle Shoals HS SBP
Oct 28 - 6:45 PM
West Point vs. Lawrence County
Lawrence County HS SBP
Oct 28 - 7:20 PM
Foley vs. Theodore
Foley HS SBP
Oct 28 - 6:30 PM
New Brockton vs. Sweet Water
Sweet Water HS SBP
Prattville Christian vs. Highland Home
Central High vs. Handley
Oct 28 - 6:40 PM
Brooks vs. Lauderdale County
Brooks HS SBP
Oct 28 - 6:50 PM
Grayson vs. Hoover
Hoover HS SBP
Wilson vs. Randolph
Oct 28 - 7:00 PM
Chelsea vs. Cullman
Vestavia Hills vs. Shades Valley
Shades Valley HS SBP
Brantley vs. Goshen
Goshen HS SBP
Northview vs. Charles Henderson
Northview HS SBP
Russellville vs. Colbert County
Russellville HS SBP
Guntersville vs. Albertville
Albertville HS SBP