MONTGOMERY – Two teams coached by brothers are among the 11 unbeaten teams and seven defending state champions that survived round two of the Alabama High School Athletic Association 2015 State football Playoffs Friday.
Coach Brian Blackmon’s Opelika Wildcats (12-0) will square off in the Class 6A quarterfinals against Coach Ben Blackmon’ Spanish Fort (12-0) at “The Hill” in Baldwin County Friday night as the 52-team field heads into round three. All games are scheduled Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. This marks the 50th year of the AHSAA state football playoffs.
The Class 7A playoffs, which has one less round, conducts its semifinal round this week with Central-Phenix City (9-3) hosting McGill-Toolen (11-1) and Spain Park (11-1) at home versus defending champion Hoover (10-2).
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.
Coach Josh Niblett’s Bucs avenged one of two regular-season losses with a 24-0 win over Vestavia Hills in round 2. The win sets up a rematch with the other team that handed Hoover a rare region loss – Spain Park. The Jaguars beat Hoover 17-0 in the regular season on Oct. 1. It was the first victory in the series for Spain Park. The two teams played twice in the same season just once before, 2004, with Hoover winning the regular-season and playoff games.
The Jaguars beat James Clemens 13-10 in the second round. Central-Phenix City downed Lee-Montgomery 20-13 and McGill-Toolen beat Auburn 42-3. The 7A schools will be idle during week four of the playoffs with the third-round winners advancing to the Super 7 state championship game set for Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.,.
Two defending champions had narrow escapes. Class 6A Clay-Chalkville (12-0) posted its 27th consecutive victory beating Homewood 40-39 Friday. Class 5A St. Paul’s Episcopal (10-2) edged previously unbeaten Greenville 24-23. Other defending champions posting first-round victories were Maplesville (10-1) in 1A, Fyffe (11-1) in 2A, Madison Academy (11-1) in 3A and Leeds (10-2) in 4A.
Three games feature unbeaten teams this week. In Class 2A, Cleveland (12-0) is at Randolph County (12-0, in Class 5A, Beauregard (11-0) is at Jackson (12-0), and in 6A, Spanish Fort and Opelika meet. Other unbeaten teams advancing to round three include: Class 2A: G.W. Long (11-0); Class 3A: Gordo (12-0); Class 3A: Gordo (11-0); Class 4A: UMS-Wright (11-0) and Cordova (11-0); and Class 5A: Guntersville (11-0).
In addition to the unbeaten teams, 19 teams still alive have just one loss, 11 have two losses, six have just three losses, and five have 4 or more losses.
In Class 3A, three schools remain from Region 1 (T.R. Miller (10-2), Bayside Academy (9-3) and Hillcrest-Evergreen (7-5), and Region 8 (Madison Academy, Lauderdale County (9-3) and Colbert County (9-3). Also, in Class 4A, Region 5, Cordova (12-0), Fayette County (8-4) and Hamilton (6-6) advanced. The Aggies, coached by Rodney Stidham, recorded the school’s 600th win with its 21-14 victory over Cherokee County in the second round. Hamilton is now 600-346-36 in its storied history, which dates back 103 years to 1912. The Aggies become just the 13th school in AHSAA history to record 600 football wins. The leader is Oneonta (662) and T.R. Miller (661), still alive in the 3A playoffs, is next. Rounding out the state’s 600-game winners are Fayette County (660), Deshler (646), Benjamin Russell (630), Enterprise (628), Bessemer City (625), Colbert County (624), Thomasville (623), Decatur (619), Demopolis (611) and Russellville (603). Hartselle (593) and UMS-Wright (592) are next in line for that major football milestone.
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 semifinals for Classes 1A-6A are set for Nov. 27.
Raycom Media, which televises live a playoff game each Friday, plans to feature McGill-Toolen at Central-Phenix City Friday night as its AHSAA Game of the Week. Raycom will also televise all seven state championship games over its affiliate stations in the AHSAA TV Network. The NFHS Network will live-stream the Unified Sports exhibition game, which is set for Dec. 2 at 3:30 p.m.
The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast live all games at the Super 7.
AHSAA 50th Annual State Football Playoffs
Quarterfinal Pairings (Nov. 20)
Georgiana (11-1) at Maplesville (10-1)
Linden (9-2) at Brantley (10-2)
Berry (10-2) at Decatur Heritage (11-1)
Cedar Bluff (11-1) at Wadley (10-1)
G.W. Long (11-0) at Flomaton (10-2)
Elba (11-1) at Washington County (10-2), Chatom
Ranburne (10-1) at Fyffe (11-1)
Cleveland (12-0) at Randolph County (12-0), Wedowee
Bayside Academy (9-3) at Gordo (12-0)
Hillcrest-Evergreen (7-5) at T.R. Miller (10-2), Brewton
Piedmont (11-1) at Madison Academy (11-1)
Colbert County (9-3) at Lauderdale County (9-3), Rogersville
Andalusia (11-1) at Munford (9-3)
Leeds (10-2) at UMS-Wright (12-0), Mobile
Brooks (11-1) at Fayette County (8-4), Fayette
Hamilton (6-6) at Cordova (12-0)
St. Paul’s Episcopal (10-2) at Demopolis (10-2)
Beauregard (11-0) at Jackson (12-0)
Alexandria (10-1) at Russellville (11-1)
Guntersville (12-0) at Mortimer Jordan (11-1), Kimberly
Bessemer City (8-4) at Benjamin Russell (11-1), Alexander City
Opelika (12-0) at Spanish Fort (12-0)
Clay-Chalkville (12-0) at Minor (8-4), Adamsville
Austin (9-3) at Gardendale (10-2)
McGill-Toolen (11-1) at Central-Phenix City (9-3)
Hoover (10-2) at Spain Park (11-1), Jaquars Stadium, Hoover