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Seven 4 Seeds Post Upsets in First Round of the AHSAA Postseason

Montgomery, AL – Seven No. 4 seeds posted upset wins over top seeds Friday night as the 56th AHSAA State Football Playoffs got underway with 104 first-round matchups.

All seven defending state champions also posted first-round wins while 11 of 13 undefeated teams advanced with first-round victories. A total of 208 schools reached the state playoffs with hopes of reaching the 2021 Super 7 State Championships, which will be held at Birmingham’s new Protective Stadium December 1st, 2nd and 3rd as the AHSAA celebrates its 100th anniversary. The Alabama High School Athletic Association was formed originally by 87 public and private high schools in 1921.

At least one No. 4 seed won in every class but 3A and 4A. In Class 1A, Region 4 No. 4 seed Woodland (4-7) knocked off Region 7, No. 1 seed Cedar Bluff (6-5) 28-20; Class 2A, Region 5 No. 4 seed Sulligent (7-4) downed Region 7 top seed Pisgah (7-4) 52-38; Class 5A, Region 5 No. 4 seed Ramsay (6-4) beat Region 7, No. 1 seed Guntersville (9-2) 28-20; in Class 6A, Region 1 No. 4 seed Baldwin County (8-3) slipped past Region 3 top seed Helena 32-29; Region 6, No. 4 seed Gardendale (8-3) handed Region 8 top seed Hartselle (10-1) its only loss of the season  35-28; and in Class 7A, Region 2, No. 4 seed Enterprise (8-3) defeated Region 1 top seed Fairhope (9-2) 35-10;  and Region 3, No. 4 seed Oak Mountain beat previously unbeaten Region 8, No. 1 seed James Clemens 38-35 on Thursday night.

AHSAA Executive Director Alvin Briggs set the official brackets Saturday morning for the second round of the playoffs to be played Friday, Nov. 12, with a virtual meeting attended by the 104 remaining teams. A total of 52 games will be played on Friday night. 

The AHSAA TV/NFHS Network Playoff Game of the Week will be Class 5A Parker (10-1) at Alexandria (11-0), Vince Earley of WOTM TV, the weekly featured game’s executive producer, announced Saturday morning. The Valley Cubs, coached by Todd Ginn, downed Ardmore 52-6 in the first round, and Birmingham’s Parker Thundering Herd (10-1), coached by Frank Warren, beat Boaz 31-21. The game will be shown live over the NFHS Network and will have a delayed start over the AHSAA TV Network.

The seven defending champions will all won with Class 3A Fyffe (9-1) claiming their 19th straight playoff win shutting out Walter Wellborn 34-0. Class 7A Thompson (10-1) captured its ninth straight playoff victory with a 49-10 win over Florence. Class 1A defending champion Linden (6-4) defeated Samson 20-12; Class 2A defending champion Mars Hill Bible (8-3) beat Sand Rock 48-13; Class 4A defending champion Handley (8-2) knocked off Geneva 42-6; Class 5A defending champion St. Paul’s Episcopal (8-3) downed Selma 36-0; and Class 6A defending champion Pinson Valley (8-3) won on the road over Muscle Shoals 28-21.

Eleven of the 13 teams entering the playoffs unbeaten advanced with wins and head into the second round next week. Teams still unbeaten include: Class 1A: Brantley (10-0); Sweet Water (10-0); Class 2A: Spring Garden (11-0); Class 3A: Montgomery Catholic (11-0); Winfield (11-0); Class 4A: Brooks (11-0); Class 5A: Alexandria (11-0); Pike Road (10-0); Class 6A: Clay-Chalkville (11-0); Class 7A: Central-Phenix City (11-0); and Hoover (11-0).

A total of 89 playoff games were live-streamed in the first round by member schools over the NFHS Network. In the second round, approximately 45 of the 52 games are expected to be live-streamed over the network. A total of 96 radio/internet audio broadcasts took place in round one. Approximately 52 radio/internet live audio broadcasts are expected this week with several games having multiple broadcast productions.

The second-round playoff pairings are listed below.

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SOUTH
Notasulga (9-1) at Keith (10-1)
Millry (8-3) at Brantley (10-0)
Linden (6-4) at Maplesville (10-1)
Kinston (8-3) at Sweet Water (10-0)
NORTH
Woodland (4-7) at Meek (8-3)
Hubbertville (9-2) at Wadley (10-1)
Decatur Heritage (9-2) at Ragland (9-2)
Winterboro (7-4) at Pickens County (9-2)

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SOUTH
B.B. Comer (9-2) at Isabella (8-3)
Ariton (10-1) at Clarke County (9-2)
Luverne (9-1) at Lanett (9-2)
Elba (10-1) at Highland Home (6-5)
NORTH
Sulligent (7-4) at Southeastern (7-4)
Cleveland (9-2) at Midfield (9-1)
Tanner (8-3) at Mars Hill Bible (8-3)
Aliceville (8-3) at Spring Garden (11-0)

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SOUTH
Trinity Presbyterian (9-2) at Montgomery Academy (8-3)
Opp (9-2) at T.R.  Miller (9-2)
Montgomery Catholic (11-0) at Bayside Academy (9-2)
Hillcrest-Evergreen (6-5) at Slocomb (8-3)
NORTH
Fyffe (9-1) at J.B. Pennington (8-3)
Oakman (9-2) at Saks (10-1)
Lauderdale County (10-1) at Piedmont (9-2)
Ohatchee (9-2) at Winfield (11-0)

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SOUTH
Jacksonville (7-3) at American Christian (10-1)
Vigor (10-1) at Cherokee County (7-3)
Bibb County ((9-2) at Handley (8-2)
Jackson (9-2) at Saint James (10-1)
NORTH
Priceville (10-1) at Madison Academy (10-1)
Good Hope (8-3) at Northside (10-1)
Randolph (10-1) at Brooks (11-0)
Gordo (9-2) at Oneonta (10-1)

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SOUTH
Demopolis (7-4) at Andalusia (7-4)
Greenville (8-3) at UMS-Wright (10-1)
Central, Clay County (8-2) at Faith Academy (6-4)
St. Paul’s Episcopal (8-3) at Pike Road (10-0)
NORTH
Ramsay (6-4) at Center Point (8-3)
Leeds (10-1) at Pleasant Grove (9-1)
Fairview (10-1) at Russellville (9-2)
Parker (10-1) at Alexandria (11-0)

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SOUTH
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (9-2) at Baldwin County (8-3)
Lee-Montgomery (8-2) at Saraland (9-2)
Hueytown (10-1) at McGill-Toolen Catholic (7-4)
Spanish Fort (10-1) at Opelika (8-3)
NORTH
Oxford (7-4) at Pinson Valley (8-3)
Jackson-Olin (9-2) at Mountain Brook (10-1)
Gardendale (9-2) at Homewood (6-5)
Briarwood Christian (10-1) at Clay-Chalkville (11-0)

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SOUTH
Theodore (10-1) at Central-Phenix City (11-0)
Enterprise (8-3) at Auburn (9-2)
NORTH
Oak Mountain (7-4) at Thompson (10-1)
Hewitt-Trussville (9-2)  at Hoover (11-0)

 

Photo: Gardendale’s  Jecorey Craig is tackled by Hartselle’s Donald Bishop in 6A first-round playoff action (AHSAA Photographer Marvin Gentry)