MONTGOMERY – Defending Class 6A state football champion Clay-Chalkville High School edged Austin 45-35 Friday night in semifinals of the 50th AHSAA State Football Playoffs to advance to the 2015 Super 7 State Football Championships at Tuscaloosa next week.
The Cougars (14-0) led 35-21 at the half before the Black Bears clawed back to within three at 38-35 late. Clay sealed the win with a late touchdown and strong defensive stand to extend its current AHSAA-leading winning streak to 29 games and earned the right to face Spanish Fort (14-0) in the Class 6A championship game.
The 6A finals is the only game pitting unbeaten teams. The Toros clawed from a 27-10 deficit to beat Benjamin Russell 31-27 Friday night.
Four other defending state champions posted semifinal wins and will be in Tuscaloosa Dec. 2-4 as the 50th AHSAA State Football Playoffs conclude with seven state championships at Bryant-Denny Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama. This will also be the 20th year with all championships at the same site.
Class 1A Maplesville (12-1), Class 2A Fyffe (13-1), Class 4A Leeds (12-2) and Class 5A St. Paul’s Episcopal all return to defend titles. Classes 3A and 7A will feature four new schools.
Coach Brent Hubbert’s Red Devils beat Linden 50-19 to set up the 1A finals versus Cedar Bluff (13-1). Coach Paul Benefield’s Class 2A Fyffe team will meet Elba (13-1) in a rematch of last year’s Class 2A finals. Leeds, coached by Keith Etheredge, faces Fayette County (10-4) in the 4A finals, and Coach Steve Mask’s Class 5A Saints will meet Mortimer Jordan (13-1) in the finals.
The Class 3A championship game pits Piedmont (13-1) versus Bayside Academy (11-3) and in Class 7A, McGill-Toolen (12-1) squares off against Spain Park (12-1) in the first game Wednesday night. The Unified Sports flag football game will feature Lee County and Hewitt- Raycom Media will televise all seven state championship games over its affiliate stations in the Raycom/AHSAA TV Network. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa High School’s NFHS School Broadcast Program team will live-stream the Unified Sports exhibition game, which is set for Dec. 2 at 3:30 p.m.
The AHSAA Radio Network will broadcast all seven championships over its statewide network of radio stations.
The AHSAA state football playoffs began in 1966 with four schools in the largest class (4A) playing semifinals and finals. Sidney Lanier beat Lee-Montgomery 9-7 in the first championship game. The next year, state championships were conducted in all four classes with Marengo County (1A), Lamar County (A), Russellville (3A) and Sidney Lanier (4A) posting wins.
That format continued until 1984 with six classifications were instituted. The AHSAA moved all championships at one site in 1996 at Birmingham’s Legion Field where the “Super 6” was born. The playoffs continued with that format until 2009 when the AHSAA began a rotation between Tuscaloosa and Auburn.
Last year, the six-class format was replaced by the seven-class format, hence, the “Super 7” championships. In conjunction with Special Olympics Alabama, the first Unified Sports flag football game was also played for the first time in 2014 at Auburn. Tickets at: www.preptix.com/ahsaa.
Super 7 Championships
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 2
Unified State Game
Lee County vs. Hewitt-Trussville, 3:30 p.m.
Class 7A Championship
Spain Park (12-1) vs. McGill-Toolen (12-1), 7 p.m.
THURSDAY, DEC. 3
Class 3A Championship
Bayside Academy (11-3) vs. Piedmont (13-1), 11 a.m.
Class 1A Championship
Maplesville (12-1) vs. Cedar Bluff (13-1), 3 p.m.
Class 5A Championship
Mortimer Jordan (13-1) vs. St. Paul’s Episcopal (12-2), 7 p.m.
FRIDAY, DEC. 4
Class 4A Championship
Leeds (12-2) vs. Fayette County (10-4), 11 a.m.
Class 2A Championship
Elba (13-1) vs. Fyffe (13-1), 3 p.m.
Class 6A Championship
Spanish Fort (14-0) vs. Clay-Chalkville (14-0), 7 p.m.
AHSAA 50thState Football Playoffs
AHSAA State Football Playoffs
Maplesville 50, Linden 19
Cedar Bluff 53, Decatur Heritage 40
Elba 24, G.W. Long 7
Fyffe 20, Randolph County 17
Bayside Academy 36, Hillcrest-Evergreen 0
Piedmont 14, Colbert County 0
Leeds 48, Munford 20
Fayette County 32, Cordova 0
St. Paul’s Episcopal 35, Jackson 24
Mortimer Jordan 42, Alexandria 36 (OT)
Spanish Fort 31, Benjamin Russell 27
Clay-Chalkville 45, Austin 35