By Stan J. Griffin: November 16, 2015
The second round of the state high school football playoffs proved fruitful for six teams in the Tuscaloosa/West Alabama area as lived to play for at least another week, with their dreams of capturing a state championship still very much alive.
However, for seven other local schools, their title hopes were squelched as successful seasons ended in defeat.
One of those teams that continues its hunt for that state title trophy, while also chasing perfection is Ryan Lolley's Gordo Greenwave.
The No. 2 Greenwave moved to 12-0 on the season last Friday, while advancing in the Class 3A playoffs with an impressive 33-14 road win against Opp.
After a scoreless first quarter, Gordo exploded in the second period, outscoring the host Opp team 21-0.
At the end of three, Gordo still had a comfortable 27-6 advantage and was able to hold onto a comfortable lead in the final quarter.
Opp's season ended at 8-4.
Koy Chapman threw three touchdown passes, to Tyler Davis, Ben Davis and Collin Herring, for the Greenwave, which now hosts Bayside Academy.
In other playoff action involving Tuscaloosa/West Alabama teams last Friday, it was:
Fayette County 40, Cleburne County 23: Lance Tucker's Tigers improved to 8-4 and advanced in the Class 4A playoffs by defeating Cleburne County in Heflin.
By Stan J. Griffin: November 11, 2015
For 14 high school football teams in the Tuscaloosa/West Alabama area, it will be time to buckle their chinstraps again Friday night as they will be participating in the second round of the state playoffs.
One of those teams is Mike Smith's 9-2 Northridge High School Jaguars, who advanced with a particularly impressive 48-23 road victory against Dothan last Friday.
Three Jaguar running backs rushed for over 100 yards in that win.
The challenge increases significantly, however, for Smith's team this Friday as the Jaguars play host to Spanish Fort.
Spanish Fort, who comes to Northridge High with a perfect 11-0 record, was the champion of Class 6A Region 1. It advanced to the second round by topping Pell City last week to the tune of 24-10.
Other playoff action this week involving Tuscaloosa/West Alabama schools includes:
By Stan J. Griffin: November 9, 2015
The opening round of the state high school football playoffs proved very fruitful for a host of Tuscaloosa/West Alabama schools this past week as they took a successful first step toward a hopeful journey to the Super Seven championship games in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
One of those schools was Sam Adams' Hillcrest Patriots, who began postseason play in fine form as they romped past Northview 36-15 last Thursday night before a loud and frenzied home crowd that included the famed "Adams Army" student support section.
Quarterback Cole Frederick was the star of the night for Adams' team as he threw for a pair of touchdowns while running for two more.
Hillcrest (8-3) rolled to a 21-6 lead early before the visitors trimmed the lead to 21-12 by the intermission.
Northview kicked a field goal for the only points of the third quarter, and heading into the final quarter it was a precarious 21-15 lead for the home team.
Hillcrest, however, blew the game open with a 15-0 surge in the fourth quarter and moved on to a second-round game on the road against Class 6A Region 3 champion Opelika.
Standout running back Brian Robinson, who is being recruited by a host of schools including Alabama, also had another huge effort with 169 yards rushing and a score.
By Stan J. Griffin: November 5, 2015
Due to uncertainty regarding the weather conditions for Friday night, several Tuscaloosa/West Alabama schools have moved their first-round high school football games to tonight.
One of those local schools is Chris Smelley's No. 7 American Christian Academy Patriots.
The 9-1 Patriots, who finished as runner up to undefeated Gordo in Class 3A Region 4, begin postseason play as they host a Slocumb team that went 7-3 during the regular season.
Slocumb also finished a solid 4-2 in Class 3A Region 2, placing third in the region behind only Daleville and Pike County.
ACA had no trouble romping past Sumter Central last Friday behind the three touchdowns of Caleb Squires, and the Patriots are hoping to remain hot, especially offensively, as they begin a hopeful road to Tuscaloosa and the Super Seven state title games.
By Stan J. Griffin: November 2, 2015
Although it no doubt has its mind on a much more serious task ahead, which is navigating through the Class 3A state playoffs and ultimately reaching Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa for the 2015 Super Seven championship games, Ryan Lolley's No. 2 Gordo Greenwave had one remaining order of business to take care of as it wrapped up the regular season last Thursday at home.
And that was finishing a perfect 10-0 for the second consecutive season.
Mission accomplished in smashing fashion as Gordo had little difficulty in getting past James Thompson's Pickens County Tornadoes 53-8 in the renewal of their fabled Tuscaloosa County rivalry.
Collin Herring was the standout of the game for Lolley's team as he had three touchdowns on the night to lead the way for Gordo, two via scoring receptions and one on a pick-six.
By Stan J. Griffin: October 26, 2015
Lance Tucker's No. 8 Fayette County Tigers have a secure spot waiting for them in the Class 4A state playoffs, which begin in a couple of weeks.
But the Tigers came up just short Friday in their quest to capture the Region 5 title.
The No. 2 Cordova Blue Devils proved to be just a little too much for Tucker's host team as the visitors claimed the region crown with a hard-fought 20-18 victory.
Fayette County fell to 6-3 on the season and 5-1 in region play while Cordova, meanwhile, kept its perfect season going by improving to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in region play.
By Stan J. Griffin: October 22, 2015
A week after seeing their perfect season spoiled by a loss on the road to the Bibb County Choctaws, Chris Hilliker's Northside High School Rams find themselves gearing up for yet another huge Class 4A Region 4 encounter.
The Rams will be in the friendly confines of their home stadium Friday night as they will be hosting the Montevallo Bulldogs, coached by former University of Alabama quarterback Andrew Zow.
Both the Rams and the Bulldogs find themselves with identical records at 7-1 overall and 4-1 in region play, but both need a win to keep pace with Bibb County, who remains on top of the region standings with a perfect 5-0 record (6-3 overall). A win by the Rams could also help them with their seeding come playoff time.
By Stan J. Griffin: October 1, 2015
Although it may be difficult for some fans to believe, we have reached Week 7 of the high school football season.
As the playoffs inch ever closer, Friday night offers a full slate of games involving Tuscaloosa/West Alabama schools.
Several could also shape up to be pretty interesting, as several teams begin to round into postseason form.
Friday night's key matchups include:
American Christian at Gordo: Perhaps the matchup of the week as Chris Smelley's high-scoring Patriots, coming off a 63-6 romp over West Blocton, head to Gordo to battle Ryan Lolley's Green Wave with both teams looking to improve to 6-0 on the season. This could be a shootout with ACA's high-octane offensive attack battling a stellar Gordo offense engineered by Koy Chapman.
By Stan J. Griffin: September 30, 2015
Hillcrest High School running back Brian Robinson shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
In a matchup of schools from the Druid City last Friday, the Patriots' standout junior weapon had another big outing on the ground as Sam Adams' Hillcrest team convincingly topped the Tuscaloosa County High School Wildcats.
Robinson, currently being recruited hard by a host of colleges, including Nick Saban's University of Alabama Crimson Tide program, tallied 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Pats over the Wildcats 35-7.
Hillcrest burst to a two-touchdown lead (14-0) by the second quarter and never looked back in handing another defeat to the 0-5 TCHS team.
In other key prep football games from last Friday involving Tuscaloosa/West Alabama teams, it was:
Paul W. Bryant 13, Central 12:
Using a pair of desperation lateral plays late in the contest, the Stampede was able to pull out a thriller over the Falcons.
The first play was a 36-yard gain as Justin Cannon passed the ball to Zabriel Moore, who then connected with Andreaz Spencer.
The varsity cheerleading squad of Holy Spirit Catholic School in Tuscaloosa attended the Universal Cheerleading Association’s cheerleading, mascot and dance camp held at the indoor football practice facility at The University of Alabama the week of June 16.
The team earned two first place trophies for spirit cheer and overall small varsity squad, a 2nd place trophy for the sideline cheer competition and a 5th place trophy for dance at the final showcase in addition to three blue ribbons and five superior ribbons earned throughout the week.
Sydney Colburn, Holy Spirit upcoming 10th grade student, was chosen for the All American team.