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The Tuscaloosa News - Preview of Tuscaloosa Area Third Round Playoff Games

The following is a reprint of an article written by Jerrell Rushin of the Tuscaloosa News on November 17th


Saraland (10-2) at Hillcrest (10-2)

Saraland entered the postseason as the No. 6 team in Class 6A and Hillcrest No. 10. Hillcrest is led by junior quarterback Ethan Crawford who has four Power Five offers, and a deep pool of playmakers. On defense, the Patriots have difference-makers at every level.

Saraland is equally balanced but has three top 35 recruits in the state in the class of 2022. This game could come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes and gives its offense more chances to score on a tough defense.

Crawford and running back Jamarian Johnson accounted for 224 yards and four touchdowns rushing against Baldwin County. Hillcrest also enjoys a home game after traveling south last week.

Rushin's pick: Hillcrest 31, Saraland 28

American Christian Academy (11-1) at Vigor (11-1)

Vigor's defense has been more sturdy, while American Christian Academy's offense is stronger as the Patriots nearly had their third 50-point game this season in a 49-35 win over Jacksonville on Friday. The main catalyst for ACA is Sawyer Deerman, an electric junior who accounted for four touchdowns and 291 yards of offense against Jacksonville.

This 4A game will be tougher for ACA, as Vigor hasn't allowed a point through the first two rounds. If Deerman and ACA have fewer negative plays and turnovers, they have a chance in every game.

Rushin's pick: ACA 38, Vigor 34


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