Eight Region Rematches Highlight the AHSAA State Playoff Semifinal Pairings for November 29

Collinsville lineman Jonathan Green (55) lifts Panthers place-kicker Jason Perez (10) in celebration in the 37-28 win over Region 8 rival North Sand Mountain in the Class 2A football playoffs Friday night.
(AHSAA Photo by Kristy Gallagher)

MONTGOMERY – Eight of the 12 semifinal matches in the AHSAA 54th State Football Playoffs this coming week will feature rematches from regular-season region play.
   That record number of teams from the same region reaching the semifinal round highlights an exciting slate of Thanksgiving Week contests that will send all winners to the Super 7 State Football Championships at Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium Dec. 4-5-6.
    The Class 7A championship match pairings were set Friday night with, no surprise, two rematches in the semis from Region 2 and Region 3 and sets up a rematch from last year’s 7A finals between defending state champion Central-Phenix City (12-1) and Thompson (11-1). Coach Jamey DuBose’s Red Devils defeated Region 2 second seed Auburn 38-0 Friday night, and the Warriors, coached by Mark Freeman, beat Region 3 second seed Hoover 35-21.
   The rematch theme also evolved in the Special Olympics Alabama Unified championship game, which opens the 2019 Super 7 Championships at Jordan-hare at 3:30 p.m., on December 4, is also a rematch with Baldwin County taking on Vestavia Hills. Baldwin County won the game last year 26-18 but Vestavia Hills beat the Bandits in the qualifying competition 27-26 in overtime two weeks ago.
     Class 1A defending champion and 2019 Region 8 champion Mars Hill Bible (13-0), coached by Darrell Higgins, travels to Reform this week to face Region 6 champion Pickens County (11-2). The Panthers beat Coach Michael Williams’ Tornadoes 20-12 in last season’s 1A semifinals, the closest game Mars Hill has had versus 1A competition in the last two years.
      Lanett (12-0) travels to Sweet Water (11-1) in the other Class 1A semifinal pairing. Coach Clifford Story’s Panthers downed previously unbeaten Isabella (12-1) 41-21 and Coach Pat Thompson’s Bulldogs (11-1) nipped Brantley 38-35.    Lanett senior quarterback Kristian Story accounted for all six touchdowns in the Panthers’ win to set the AHSAA career record for touchdowns accounted for (166). The old record was set by current Auburn University freshman and former Pinson Valley quarterback Bo Nix (161) last year. Story also moved past Nix to become the AHSAA career leader in total yards accounted for.
       Story, a member of the Alabama All-Star team set to play Mississippi in the 33rd Alabama-Mississippi Classic Dec. 14 at Hattiesburg, now has 12,528 total yards – 8,529 passing (eighth all time), 3,469 rushing and 530 receiving. Nix closed out his prep career with 12,497 yards.
    T.R. Miller, coached by Brent Hubbert, the fourth seed in Region 1, knocked off defending 3A state champion and No. 1 seed Flomaton 14-12 Friday to advance to the semis to face No. 2 seed Mobile Christian.
      The AHSAA TV / NFHS Network (WOTM) Large School Playoff Game of the Week
Network/NFHS Network will pit Region 3 winner Opelika (11-1), coached by Erik Speakman, against Spanish Fort (8-4), coached by Ben Blackmon, the only fourth seed still alive in the playoffs. The two friends coached together as assistant coaches at Opelika. The Bulldogs advanced with a 45-24 win over Hueytown (11-2), and the Toros (8-4) edged Regio2 fourth seed Park Crossing 28-21.
    WOTM’s Vince Earley announced the game-of-week selection Saturday morning. He also announced that Collinsville’s rematch with Fyffe in the Class 2A North semifinals would be the AHSAA TV / NFHS Network (WOTM) Small-School Game of the week. The defending Class 2A state champion Red Devils (13-0), the 2019 Region 8 champion, downed previously unbeaten Red Bay (12-1) 45-6 in the quarterfinals Friday, and Collinsville (12-1), the Region 8 runner-up, bet Region 8 third seed North Sand Mountain 37-28. Coach Ernie Willingham’s Panthers lost 24-3 to Fyffe, coached by Paul Benefield, in the regular season. The Red Devils, currently riding a 28-game winning streak, have outscored opponents 562-36 this season, and ironically, the three points by Collinsville have been the only points allowed all season by the Fyffe starting defensive unit.
    Other region rematches in the semifinals November 29 include,  in Class 3A, Region 1: T.R. Miller (9-4) at Mobile Christian (8-4),  and Class 3A, Region 6: Walter Wellborn (12-1) at Piedmont (12-1); Class 4A, Region 1: Andalusia (10-3) at defending 4A state champion UMS-Wright (12-0); Class 4A, Region 6: Anniston (9-4) at Jacksonville (11-2); Class 5A, Region 4: Pleasant Grove (12-1) at Briarwood Christian (12-1); Class 5A, Region 5: defending Class 5A state champion Central-Clay County (11-2) at Mortimer Jordan (11-2); and Class 6A, Region 6: defending Class 6A state champion Pinson Valley (10-2) at Oxford (12-1).
    The NFHS Network plans to live-stream all 12 semifinal games November 29 if possible.
Six of the contests will be live-streamed by member school broadcast teams in the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program. Two games, Andalusia at UMS-Wright and Opelika at Spanish Fort, will be live-streamed by both schools. Most will also be broadcast over the radio as well.
    The Class 1A thru 6A semifinal pairings are listed.

2019 AHSAA State Football Playoffs
Semifinal Pairings

Thursday, November 29
Lanett (12-0) at Sweet Water (11-1)
Mars Hill Bible (13-0) at Pickens County (11-2), Reform

Leroy (11-2) 35 at Reeltown (12-1)
Collinsville (12-1) at Fyffe (13-0)

T.R. Miller (9-4) at Mobile Christian (8-4)
Walter Wellborn (12-1) at Piedmont (12-1)

Andalusia (10-3) at UMS-Wright (12-0), Mobile
Anniston (9-4) at Jacksonville (11-2)

Pleasant Grove (12-1) at Briarwood Christian (12-1)
Central-Clay County (11-2) at Mortimer Jordan (11-2), Kimberly

Opelika (11-1) at Spanish Fort (8-4)
Pinson Valley (10-2) at Oxford (12-1)

Dec. 4, Super 7 Championships
Jordan-Hare Stadium
Thompson (11-1) vs. Central-Phenix City (12-1), 7 p.m.

Special Olympics Alabama Unified Game
Baldwin County vs. Vestavia Hills, 3:30 p.m.

Third-Round Results
Sweet Water (11-1) 38, Brantley (11-2) 35
Lanett (12-0) 41, Isabella (12-1) 21

Pickens County (11-2) 31, Spring Garden (11-2) 24
Mars Hill Bible (13-0) 42, Decatur Heritage (12-1) 21

Leroy (11-2) 35, Ariton (10-3) 24
Reeltown (12-1) 41, G.W. Long (10-3) 22

Collinsville (12-1) 37, North Sand Mountain (9-4) 28
Fyffe (13-0) 45, Red Bay (12-1) 6

T.R. Miller (9-4) 14, Flomaton (11-2) 12
Mobile Christian (8-4) 41, Gordo (12-1) 21

Piedmont (12-1) 33, Geraldine (8-5) 7
Walter Wellborn (12-1) 27, Randolph County (11-2) 20

UMS-Wright (12-0)  21, Montgomery Catholic (12-1) 0
Andalusia (10-3) 24, American Christian (11-2) 0

Jacksonville (11-2) 63, Northside (11-2) 27
Anniston (9-4) 30, Deshler (9-4) 13

Pleasant Grove (12-1) 51, Ramsay (10-3) 22
Briarwood Christian (12-1) 7, Bibb County (12-1) 3

Mortimer Jordan (11-2) 32, Center Point (9-4) 14
Central Clay County (11-2) 43, Madison County (10-3) 15

Spanish Fort (8-4) 28, Park Crossing (5-8) 21
Opelika (11-1) 45, Hueytown (11-2) 24

Oxford (12-1) 20, Clay-Chalkville (10-3) 13
Pinson Valley (10-2) 26, Muscle Shoals (12-1) 14

Central-Phenix City (12-1) 38, Auburn (9-4) 0
Thompson (11-1) 35, Hoover (10-3) 21