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The Florence Times Daily: Game Previews for the State Quarterfinals

The following is a reprint from the Florence Times Journal article of November 18th

Class 4A

Oneonta at Brooks

Records: Oneonta (11-1), Brooks (12-0)

Playoff path: Oneonta — beat Rogers 40-14, Gordo 36-26; Brooks — beat Dora 41-21, Randolph 42-21

Radio: FM-97.9

The skinny: Brooks is 12-0 for the first time in school history. … The Lions won 12 games in a year one other time — in 2007, which was also their only time reaching the Class 4A semifinals. … Brooks has never won 13 games, and it will probably not come easily. After a 20-point win over Dora and 21-point win last week over Randolph in the first two rounds, Brooks meets an Oneonta team that has won nine straight games. … Brad Black’s Brooks teams are 6-6 in the playoffs. … Oneonta’s loss was 33-0 to an Etowah team that lost in the first round. … Oneonta has scored at least 35 points in all but two games this year, and except for the Etowah game has never allowed more than 26. … Braden Moore is Oneonta's quarterback. Collin Moon ran for 163 yards on 17 carries in the first round, according to the Blount Countian. … Oneonta is in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2018, when it upset Brooks in the first round and lost to Deshler in the semifinals. … Phil Phillips is in his fourth year as coach and is 7-3 in the playoffs.

TD pick: Oneonta

Class 2A

Spring Garden at Mars Hill

Records: Spring Garden (12-0), Mars Hill (9-3)

Playoff path: Spring Garden — beat Hatton 55-20, Aliceville 40-35; Mars Hill — beat Sand Rock 48-13, Tanner 47-20

Radio: FM-94.9

The skinny: Mars Hill is unbeaten this season against Class 2A opponents, but this looks like the toughest such game yet. … Spring Garden's Cooper Austin and Cam Welch each caught two TD passes from Chapel Pope last week against Aliceville. … Spring Garden has never been stronger as a program than it is right now under 10th-year coach Jason Howard. … Spring Garden’s past four seasons are its four winningest in team history. The team is 46-6 in that span and hasn’t lost since last year’s state semifinal game at, yep, Mars Hill. … Howard’s team will have no shortage of motivation upon returning to Florence. … Mars Hill is 11-0 all-time in home playoff games. …Last year’s 32-14 win over Spring Garden was Mars Hill’s second-closest margin in a home playoff game. … Mars Hill finished last week’s game on a 33-6 run. … Mars Hill’s leading rusher (Jay Dobbs), receiver (Damian Thompson) and passer (Griffin Hanson) are all sophomores. … Last year’s semifinal was the teams’ first meeting. ... However, the schools have been regular playoff foes of late — 2019 softball state tournament, 2019 baseball semifinals, 2021 baseball quarterfinals. Mars Hill won each time.

TD pick: Mars Hill


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