High School Football Playoff Preview: 1st Round
Playoff football around west Alabama is here. Whether your team went undefeated or sneaked into the playoffs, the postseason provides an opportunity to have a fresh start and make a push toward a state championship.
The Hillcrest Patriots and Gordo Green Wave completed perfect regular seasons while a handful of other area teams will host first round games.
#1 Hillcrest (10-0) vs. Benjamin Russell (3-7)
The top ranked Hillcrest Patriots completed a perfect regular season last week with a 34-23 win at Thompson last Thursday and will host Benjamin Russell in the first round of the AHSAA Class 6A Playoffs.
For the first time in regular season play, the Patriots trailed in the fourth quarter but managed to rally with 14 unanswered points for the win. Alabama commit Brian Robinson tallied three rushing touchdowns against Thompson.
Despite throwing his first interception of the season, quarterback Cole Frederick remains one of the top signal callers in Class 6A with 23 touchdowns passes, over 2,200 passing yards and a .694 completion percentage.
On the opposing sideline, Benjamin Russell finished the regular season 3-7 but split their six region games to sneak into postseason play. The Wildcats lost their fourth consecutive game 63-35 at Beauregard in their regular season finale. While they have averaged a respectable 25.1 points per game, Benjamin Russell has struggled defensively allowing 36.1 points per game for the season and 48.8 points per game over the last four games.
Tonight marks the first ever meeting between the two schools. Airtime on 95.3 the Bear and the radioPup app is at 6:30.
#2 Gordo (10-0) vs. Prattville Christian (5-5)
The second ranked Gordo Green Wave finished the regular season undefeated for the third straight season with a 62-12 dismantling of Pickens County on the road last Thursday night.
Gordo signal caller Koy Chapman led the Green Wave offense over the course of the season with 28 touchdown passes and a .691 completion percentage. At wide receiver, Essie Davis and Pat Manning recorded a combined 54 receptions for 770 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Most impressively, the Green Wave finished the regular season as the top scoring defense in Class 3A surrendering 9.4 points per game.
In their fifth season as an AHSAA member, Prattville Christian is making their second playoff appearance over the past three seasons. The Panthers had one of their best offensive outputs of the season last week in a 47-28 win at Highland Home.
Tonight’s contest will be the first ever meeting between the two teams.
Bibb County (7-3) vs. Munford (6-4)
The Bibb County Choctaws won their last three games to secure a region championship in Class 4A Region 4.
Bibb County is making their fourth straight playoff appearances and is looking to avenge a first round playoff loss at home last to Straughn.
A pair of rushers have led the Choctaws on offense. Matt Hiott leads the team with 717 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns while Darryl Harris has 618 yards rushing with 2 scores.
Defense has been an issue in their three losses as Bibb County has allowed 33.7 points per game while giving 21.6 points per game in their seven wins.
Bibb County’s opponent Munford will appear in the playoffs for the fifth straight season. However, they come in to tonight’s game having lost three of their last four games.
While Munford averages 30.4 points per game, they have struggled in their four losses scoring 15.3 points per game.
Tonight’s matchup will be the first meeting between Bibb County and Munford.
West Alabama 1st Round Playoff Schedule (All start times at 7 PM)
Opelika vs. Paul Bryant
Pike County vs. American Christian
Handley vs. West Blocton
Pickens County vs. Coosa Christian
Aliceville vs. Luverne
Demopolis vs. Lincoln
Greensboro vs. Leeds
Tallassee vs. Hale County
Hubbertville vs. Woodville
Cedar Bluff vs. Berry
Spring Garden vs. South Lamar
Lamar County vs. West End (Walnut Grove)
Tanner vs. Sulligent
Cherokee County vs. Winfield
Linden vs. Houston County
Sweet Water vs. McKenzie
Maplesville vs. Talladega County Central
Monroe Academy vs. Tuscaloosa Academy (AISA 3A Quarterfinals)
Chambers Academy vs. Southern Academy (AISA 1A Quarterfinals)
Marengo Academy vs. Crenshaw Christian (AISA 1A Quarterfinals)