top of page - 5 High School Football Games to Watch in Coastal Alabama in Round 3

Saraland quarterback Gabe Reynolds passes against Lee-Montgomery in the first half of a prep football playoff game Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Saraland, Ala. (Mike Kittrell |

The following is an article written by Ben Thomas of published on November 16th.

CLASS 6A: Saraland (10-2) at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (10-2)

Time/location: 7 p.m. Friday, Roy Johnson Jr. Stadium, Tuscaloosa

Last week: Saraland defeated Lee-Montgomery 35-6; Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa defeated Baldwin County 28-22.

Playoff seeds: Saraland is the top seed from Region1; Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa is the second seed from Region 4.

The skinny: The two teams have split two previous meetings with Hillcrest winning 35-20 in 2014 and Saraland winning 34-27 in 2017. … Jeff Kelly’s Spartans have won 10 straight games since opening the season with back-to-back losses to a pair of Class 7A playoff teams, Theodore and Hewitt-Trussville. In the last four games, Saraland has outscored its opponents 170-19. The Spartans have allowed 13 points in the playoffs. Junior QB Gabe Reynolds has completed 63 percent of his passes for 1,714 yards 20 TDs. West Virginia commit Jarel Williams has 51 receptions for 742 yards and 12 TDs. Santae McWilliams Jr. (152 carries, 977 yards, 8 TDs) is the leading rusher. The defense is anchored by linemen Keaton Law and Trevon McAlpine. … Hillcrest has won seven straight since a 38-30 loss to Hueytown on Sept. 17. Jamie Mitchell’s team scored a season-high 56 in a first-round win over Carver-Montgomery. The Patriots are led by junior quarterback Ethan Crawford. Crawford has completed 117 of 189 passes for 1,927 yards and 22 TDs. He’s been intercepted just 3 times. He’s also rushed for 535 yards and 15 TDs. Jamarion Johnson (132 carries, 791 yards, 15 TDs) is the team’s leading rusher, while J’Quon Sturdivant is the team’s leading receiver (8 TDs). The defense is led by Kendrick Davis (37 tackles, 10 TFL) and Collin Dunn (31.5 tackles, 8.5 TFL).

UMS-Wright quarterback Barton Elliot is pressured by Greenville's Kameron Weaver during a Class 5A Round 2 playoff game at UMS-Wright on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. (Brad McPherson |

CLASS 5A: UMS-Wright (11-1) at Andalusia (8-4)

Time/location: 7 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Andalusia

Last week: UMS-Wright defeated Greenville 14-12; Andalusia defeated Demopolis 48-26.

On the air: Radio – Sports Talk 99.5 FM and the free Iheart Radio App

Playoff seeds: UMS-Wright is the top seed from Region 1; Andalusia is the third seed from Region 2.

The skinny: UMS has won 18 of 19 games played against Andalusia. Andalusia’s only win in the series was a 27-21 overtime win during the regular season in 2017. UMS came back to defeat the Bulldogs in the semifinals later that year 35-28. The teams have played in the state semifinals three times, the last time coming in 2019. … UMS has won 11 straight games since opening the season with a 13-0 loss to Class 7A Baker. The Bulldogs have scored 372 points while allowing just 96. They’ve allowed 19 points in their two playoff games. Cole Blaylock is the main threat on offense. The junior has rushed for 1,355 yards and 18 TDs on 223 carries. QB Barton Elliott is completing 64 percent of his passes for 1,124 yards and 11 TDs. He’s also rushed for 5 TDs. The offensive line is led by senior Luke Stringer. Robert Courtney leads the defense with 148 tackles. Holden Aran and John Erwin each have 109 tackles. Coach Terry Curtis is 259-55 in 23 years at UMS with 8 state titles. He has a playoff record of 72-14. … Andalusia has scored 90 points in its two playoff wins. The Bulldogs have won three in a row after back-to-back losses to Crestview, Fla. (27-21) and Greenville (28-20) in Weeks 9 and 10. J’Marion Burnette has rushed for 1,820 yards and 25 TDs on 249 carries. Omare Latimer has 459 yards and 8 TDs. Zade Newton also has 4 rushing TDs.

Faith Academy quarterback Colton Wood (16) carries the ball against Shelby County during the first half of a football game Friday, Nov. 5, 2021 in Columbiana, Ala. (Photo/Butch Dill)AL.COM

CLASS 5A: Pike Road (11-0) at Faith Academy (7-4)

Time/location: 7 p.m. Friday, Rams Field, Mobile

Last week: Pike Road defeated St. Paul’s 29-17; Faith Academy defeated Central-Clay County 40-33.

On the air: Radio – WNSP-FM 105.5

Playoff seeds: Pike Road is the top seed from Region 4; Faith Academy is the third seed from Region 2.

The skinny: Pike Road is in the quarterfinals for the first time in the school’s brief history. The Patriots lost in the second round each of the last two seasons. Faith Academy is in the quarterfinals for the second straight year under Jack French. The Rams had never been to the AHSAA playoffs before French’s arrival in 2018. … The Patriots have outscored their opponents 524-128 this year. This will be their second trip of the season to Mobile. They beat Class 6A McGill-Toolen at Archbishop Lipscomb Stadium 76-51 to open the season. In last week’s win against St. Paul’s, senior QB Iverson Hooks returned after missing two games and rushed for 113 yards and 2 TDs on 26 carries. He also intercepted a pass in the end zone in the final minute to secure the win. Ole Miss commit Quinshon Judkins ran for 102 yards and a TD on 22 carries. DL Khurtiss Perry, the top uncommitted player in the state, had five tackles, a sack and a safety. … Faith advanced behind QB Colton Wood and RB Christian Burnette. Burnette’s 80-yard run with 3:00 left put the Rams in front for good. He also had an 85-yard TD on a screen pass. Wood passed for 345 yards and 4 touchdowns. LB Shemar James, another top uncommitted player in the state, missed his fourth straight game with an ankle injury.

St. Paul's defender Jaylen Sulton stops Vigor quarterback Anthony Mix in the first half of a prep football game Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Theodore, Ala. (Mike Kittrell |

CLASS 4A: American Christian (11-1) at Vigor (11-1)

Time/location: 7 p.m. Friday, Harris-Terry Stadium (Blount High School), Eight Mile

Last week: American Christian defeated Jacksonville 49-35; Vigor defeated Cherokee County 34-0

Playoff seeds: American Christian is the top seed from Region 3; Vigor is the top seed from Region 1

The skinny: The two teams have never played. … ACA is in the quarterfinals despite an abrupt coaching change before the season. Chris Smelley stepped down three weeks before the season opener and was replaced by defensive coordinator Cody Martin. Martin’s team lost the opener to Parker 28-27 before reeling off 11 straight victories. They have scored 516 points this season and are averaging 49 points a game in their last seven. Last week, QB Sawyer Deerman threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more in the win over Jacksonville. Christian Davis rushed for 93 yards and a TD. … Vigor is coming off a successful 330-mile road trip to Cherokee County. Jacori Barnes ran for 107 yards and 2 TDs on 13 carries. QB Anthony Mix Jr. rushed for 93 yards and TD and threw a 29-yard TD pass to Abraham Daniels. Jermaine Coleman added 11 carries for 126 yards. Michael Towner Jr. led the defense with 10 tackles, including five for a loss, and an interception. … Vigor is playing its home games at Blount after Mobile County’s decision to not play further at Ladd-Peebles Stadium following the Oct. 15 shooting during a game against Williamson.

CLASS 1A: Sweet Water (11-0) at Maplesville (11-1)

Time/location: 7 p.m. Friday, Red Devils Stadium, Maplesville

Last week: Sweet Water defeated Kinston 54-7; Maplesville defeated Linden 22-15.

Playoff seeds: Sweet Water is the top seed from Region 1; Maplesville is the top seed from Region 4.

The skinny: The teams have split 12 previous games, eight of which have come in the playoffs. They met in the second round in 2019 with Sweet Water winning 34-21 at Sweet Water. … Sweet Water has allowed just 77 points all season. Pat Thompson’s Bulldogs have held nine opponents to single digits. In two playoff games, they’ve outscored the competition 103-7. QB Walker Thompson has thrown for 721 yards and 8 TDs and has 40 solo tackles and 36 assists on defense. Jaland Lewis Horton has scored 17 TDs, while Christian Dunning is averaging 9 yards per carry. Trace Luker has 32 tackles and 35 assists. Michael Alan Cole and Tyler Ward start on both the offensive and defensive lines. … Maplesville’s only loss came in the regular-season finale against Montevallo (20-7). The Red Devils have outscored the competition 441-114. They have reached at least the quarterfinals in 11 of the last 12 seasons. Brad Abbot is 29-7 in three years as head coach. They boast a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Brady Harrison (1,369 yards, 14 TDs) and Jakavion Jackson (1,026 yards, 16 TDs). Harrison leads the team with 119 tackles.


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