The skinny: Florence is hosting a playoff game for the third time in the program’s nine-year history and for the first time since 2009, which was the last year the Falcons mad a playoff appearance. ... Florence has won five straight and defeated the then-fourth-ranked team in 6A in two of its last three games. ... The Falcons beat then-No. 4 Vestavia Hills 28-21 last week, as QB Kendrick Doss accounted for all four TDs. ... Huntsville is a dangerous team despite losing 24-3 to Hazel Green last week, a game in which it held out some banged up starters. The previous two weeks, the Panthers won back-to-back road games at Clay-Chalkville (9-1) and Gadsden City (6-4), both playoff teams. ... Auburn LB commit Cameron Toney (6-3, 225) and Alabama OL commit Grant Hill (6-6, 300) are key players for Huntsville. Hill tweaked an ankle last week but is expected to play tonight.
The skinny: Russellville heads into the playoffs having won its last four games and 7 of its last 8, including back-to-back wins against then-ranked teams Hartselle and Fayette County. ... LB Jordan Gist had 17 tackles and two TFL at Fayette County, while Tyler Boyd and C.J. Posey combined for 222 yards rushing and six TDs. ... Etowah has lost two of its last three, against Southside Gadsden and 3A Glencoe. ... The Blue Devils are scoring 30.8 ppg and allowing 17.6 ppg.
The skinny: Top-ranked Muscle Shoals scored the first 38 points of a 38-6 win against Bob Jones last week to complete the first undefeated regular season in school history. ... The Trojans’ defense is allowing 6.2 ppg while its offense is scoring 40.2 ppg. ... Boaz is 5-0 on the road this season but has lost 2 of its last 3 games and 3 of its last 5. ... The Pirates are scoring 30 ppg and allowing 17.7 ppg. They won 38-35 against 4A Sardis last week.
The skinny: The third seed out of Region 8, Haleyville travels at Huntsville’s Milton Frank Stadium to face the No. 2 seed out Region 7. ... Haleyville dropped its regular-season finale 26-6 against Hamilton last week. ... J.O. Johnson is riding a six-game winning streak. It’s only loss was 28-12 to Madison County in Week 4. ... The Jaguars defense is allowing 7.5 ppg.
The skinny: Central has won back-to-back games since a midseason slump in which it lost three of four during the meat of its schedule. ... North Jackson lost at Deshler last week, 56-31. Its previous three losses were to ranked teams: Ft. Payne, Madison County and J.O. Johnson. ... Central’s Wing-T offense is scoring 32.1 ppg and its defense allowing 22.4 ppg. North Jackson’s spread offense is scoring 34.7 ppg and its defense allowing 23.5 ppg.
The skinny: Rogers has won 5 of its last 6, including last week’s 35-21 win at Sheffield, but faces a tough task in its playoff opener. ... Madison County’s only loss was 14-12 to 6A Hazel Green in Week 5. The Tigers are scoring 46.9 ppg and allowing 9 ppg. They have two shutouts in the previous four weeks. ... Rogers standout Austin Kerr moved back to RB against Sheffield and figures to do the same today.
The skinny: Brooks has won five straight since its only loss, 49-35 to Deshler. QB Skyler Beck passed for 456 yards and accounted for seven TDs in a 55-49 win at Colbert County last week. ... DAR has won three straight after losing five of its first seven. ... The Patriots are scoring 22.7 ppg while allowing 25.4 ppg.
The skinny: Deshler is one of the hottest teams locally, entering the playoffs on a six-game winning streak. The Tigers have scored 49 of more points in each game in their current winning streak, including back-to-back games in which they scored 56 points. ... Deshler led Class 4A North Jackson 35-7 after one quarter last week. ... Hanceville is equally hot, riding a seven-game winning streak into the playoffs. ... The teams haven’t met since 1986 when Hanceville pulled out a 23-14 win. ... Bulldogs allowed 114 points in their opening three-game losing streak and only 76 during their winning streak.
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The skinny: Lauderdale County ended the season ranked No. 4, while Vinemont was unranked. ... Lauderdale County edged rival Lexington 14-7 last week to close out the season with an eight-game winning streak. ... Eagles have won four in a row. ... Vinemont’s losses were against Hamilton (56-49) and Hanceville (34-6). ... Samuel Grisham leads Lauderdale County’s offense that has scored 356 points. ... Tigers defense allows only 11 points per game.
The skinny: Indians limp into the playoffs having lost 4 of 5 games against strong competition. After getting shut out in Week 9 by Madison Academy, Colbert County scored 49 points last week in a loss to Brooks. ... RB Ryan Carpenter had a big game against Brooks, rushing for 164 yards and three TDs on 19 carries. ... Hamilton’s Mitch Stults set the state’s all-purpose yardage record in last week’s win against Haleyville. ... The two teams haven’t met since the 2008 playoffs when Colbert County posted a 56-21 victory.
The skinny: First meeting between the schools is a playoff elimination game. ... North Sand Mountain qualified for the playoffs as the No. 2 seed from Region 7. Sheffield is the No. 3 seed from Region 8. North Sand Mountain’s only losses are to Class 3A Sylvania and to second-ranked Fyffe (33-23). ... Sheffield is coming off a 35-21 setback to Class 4A Rogers in its final regular season game. ... Both teams have been better on the road than at home. Both of North Sand Mountain’s losses were at home and Sheffield was 4-1 on the road, 1-4 at home.
The skinny: Red Bay is riding high going into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed from Region 8. The Tigers upset Class 1A defending champion Marion County 21-17 a week ago. ... Matt Belue rushed for 134 yards and two TDs in the win. ... Westbrook Christian has won 5 of 6 and is 4-1 on the road this season. ... The teams haven’t played since 2001 when Red Bay won a 59-49 shootout.
The skinny: Fyffe finished the season ranked No. 2 in Class 2A and is closest game was a 14-10 win over Geraldine in the season opener. ... Lexington owns a 2-0 record against the Red Devils. In their most recent meeting, the Golden Bears won 24-13 in a 2005 playoff game. ... Six of Lexington’s games have been decided by seven points or less.
The skinny: R.A. Hubbard looks to rebound after a stunning 28-0 loss to Lawrence County in the final regular season game. ... The Chiefs have been up and down this season but had won four straight before last week’s loss. ... The Chiefs will need a big game from running back John Owens, who was held to 51 yards rushing last week. ... Collinsville, ranked No. 10 in Class 1A, is averaging 38.6 points per game, while giving up 21.4. ... The Panthers are making their fifth consecutive playoff appearance and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2011 before losing to Ragland. ... The winner of this game will likely face No. 3 Marion County in the second round.
The skinny: Shoals Christian is making its fourth consecutive playoff appearance and it’s sixth all-time. ... The Flame lost 28-7 last week to Class 3A Westminster Christian. ... Daniel Wood ran for 106 yards in the loss for Shoals Christian and has over 1,000 yards rushing for the season. ... Spring Garden has two backs with over 1,000 yards rushing in Forrest Livingston and Tyler Morgan, who have combined for over 2,600 yards. ... The Panthers were 3-7 in 2011, but were playing in Class 2A. ... Spring Garden is averaging 33.9 points per game. ... The Panthers’ only losses were to No. 10 Collinsville and No. 5 Cedar Bluff.
The skinny: Phillips is making its first playoff appearance since 2008. The Bears are 1-7 all-time in the playoffs with their only win coming in 1998. ... The Bears lost 40-20 at Brilliant last week. Rodney Camp threw three touchdown passes in the loss. ... Camp finished the regular season with 1,032 yards rushing and 14 TDs, while throwing for 2,428 yards and 28 TDs. ... Wide receiver Tyler Crumpton has 56 receptions for 1,121 yards and 20 TDs. ... Phillips’ is allowing 35.4 points per game and will face a big challenge against a Cedar Bluff team averaging 47.9 points per game. ... The Tigers are making their 16th consecutive playoff appearance.
The skinny: Hackleburg has reeled off nine consecutive wins since losing its season opener at Marion County. ... The Panthers will be making their fifth consecutive playoff appearance, but are looking for their first win since 2009 when they advanced to the Class 1A championship game. ... Hackleburg running back Kristian Jones leads the team with 1,182 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns, while quarterback Dylan Gallaway has 758 yards rushing. ... Donoho quarterback Marshall Ghee has thrown for over 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns. ... Wide receiver Chris Carr has seven touchdown catches for the Falcons. ... The two teams played each other in the first round in 1995 with Hackleburg winning 20-0.
The skinny: Loretto had a week off as it waited on this week’s playoff opponent. ... White House Heritage was the No. 6 seed in the quadrant but won a rematch game on the road at Houston County to advance. ... White House Heritage is making its first playoff appearance since 2010. ... Senior QB Christian Reid is one of the Patriots’ top players. Earlier this season he had a four-touchdown game against East Robertson. He also missed time with a concussion. ... Loretto beat Mt. Pleasant in its last outing to earn a share of the region title and also get a first-round bye.
The skinny: Collinwood got a week off after earning a share of the region championship. ... Jo Byrns beat Wayne County 28-21 to earn a trip to play the Trojans. ... QB Kevin Adams had a big night against Wayne County, throwing for 167 yards and three touchdowns on 12 of 16 passing. ... He also rushed for one touchdown. ... The teams last met in 2010 when jo Byrns posted a 28-14 win on the way to an appearance in the state championship game. ... Collinwood has made a seven-win improvement over its 2011 record.