The third round of the AHSAA playoffs features two unbeaten matchups involving Coastal Alabama teams.
Saraland hosts Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in Class 6A, while Mary G. Montgomery travels to Central-Phenix City in Class 7A.
Here is a look at five Coastal Alabama high school football games to watch in Round 3 this week. All games are set to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday.
CLASS 2A: B.B. COMER (12-0) AT CLARKE COUNTY (7-5)
Time/location: 7 p.m. Friday, H.G. Prim Stadium, Grove Hill
Last week: B.B. Comer defeated Highland Home 21-14; Clarke County defeated Goshen 22-15
The skinny: Clarke County defeated B.B. Comer in the third round of the 2021 playoffs in the only meeting so far between the two teams. … B.B. Comer has outscored the competition 494-87 during its 12-0 run this season. The Tigers have allowed just four teams (Dadeville, Isabella, Thorsby and Highland Home) to score in double figures, and no team has scored more than 21. They’ve held eight teams to seven points or less. Kamore Harris has rushed for 1,422 yards and 24 TDs on 94 carries to lead the offense. On defense, he has 82 tackles, 7.5 TFL and a sack. B.B. Comer reached the Class 2A final a year ago, losing to Fyffe. … Clarke County won the 2A championship in 2021. The Bulldogs lost four of their first five games this year under new head coach Rob Carter but have won six of the last seven. A.J. Ezell has rushed for 1,763 yards and 25 TDs on 304 carries. On defense, he has 29 tackles and an interception.
Winner faces: No. 7 Cottonwood or No. 3 Reeltown in the Class 2A semifinals.
CLASS 3A: MOBILE CHRISTIAN (12-0) AT TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN (11-1)
Time/location: 7 p.m. Friday, Ragsdale-Boykin Field, Montgomery
Last week: Mobile Christian defeated Houston Academy 35-10; Trinity defeated Flomaton 35-0
The skinny: Mobile Christian defeated Trinity 27-13 in the second round a year ago. … The top-ranked Leopards have outscored opponents 511-73 so far this season. They’ve held nine teams to single digits with five shutouts. Their closest game was as 20-point win, 41-21, over Athens Academy (Ga.) in Week 1. QB Damien Gatson is completing 62 percent of his passes for 2,046 yards and 19 TDs. Sophomore RB PJ Brown has rushed for 1,448 yards and 19 TDs on 150 carries. Senior Michael Moore (45 receptions, 865 yards, 8 TDs) is the leading receiver. Junior LB Kentonio Kelly leads the defense with 158 tackles, 17 TFL and a pair of sacks. … Trinity’s only loss came against rival and reigning 4A champ St. James, 47-8 on Oct. 13. The Wildcats have outscored opponents 457-192 in Brian Seymore’s first season as head coach. Senior QB Walker McClinton has thrown for 2,089 yards and 23 TDs. Senior RB Ross Sanders leads the ground attack with 1,309 yards and 26 TDs on 171 carries. McClinton also leads the defense with 79 tackles.
Winner faces: No. 7 Thomasville or No. 6 St. James in Class 3A semifinals
CLASS 5A: GULF SHORES (12-0) AT HEADLAND (10-2)
Time/location: 7 p.m. Friday, J.J. Yarbrough Stadium, Headland
Last week: Gulf Shores defeated Charles Henderson 41-0; Headland defeated UMS-Wright
The skinny: The two teams have never played. … Gulf Shores is making its second straight appearance in the Class 5A quarterfinals. The Dolphins have never been to the semifinals. … Mark Hudspeth’s team has outscored the competition 475-110 for the season and 89-7 in two playoff games. Defense and special teams have been a key for the Dolphins, who have nine interception returns for TDs, 6 kickoff returns for TDs and a pair of safeties. If Gulf Shores hadn’t scored an offensive TD all season, the Dolphins would still have a 142-110 scoring advantage against their opponents. N.C. State commit Ronnie Royal has 11 rushing TDs, 1 receiving, 4 punt return scores, 2 kickoff returns for TDs and a pair of Pick 6s. Kolin Wilson has rushed for 1,501 yards and 24 TDs. … Headland’s losses came against Eufaula (56-14) and Charles Henderson (35-14). The Rams, who also are trying to reach the semifinals for the first time, have won four straight games since their loss to Charles Henderson. They have scored 390 points this season but given up 232. Last week, Jaxon Williams threw four touchdown passes – two to Caleb Dozier and one each to Connor McKenzie and Tylen Williams – and Marcus Reeves scored on a run as Headland controlled the game against UMS-Wright.
Winner faces: Eufaula or No. 10 Demopolis in Class 5A semifinals
CLASS 6A: HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA (12-0) AT SARALAND (12-0)
Time/location: 7 p.m. Friday, Spartan Stadium, Saraland
Last week: Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa defeated Helena 42-7; Saraland defeated Briarwood Christian 51-14.
The skinny: The two teams have split four previous meetings, all in the playoffs. Hillcrest won 24-16 in 2021. Saraland won 56-31 a year ago. … Hillcrest has outscored the competition 491-85 this season. The Patriots have held nine opponents to single digits, including both of their playoff opponents (St. Paul’s, Helena). Last week, the Patriots caused three Helena fumbles, returning two for touchdowns. Decorrin Thomas scored on a 42-yard run and Kahden Smith added a 7-yard run. Bryson Kimbrough through a 13-yard TD pass to Jamarcus Prince. … Saraland has won 18 straight games dating back to 2022 and has outscored its competition 649-161 this season, including 105-28 in the playoffs. Texas QB commit KJ Lacey has completed 156-of-228 passes for 2,524 yards and 34 TDs. Reigning Mr. Football and Alabama commit Ryan Williams has 15 receiving TDs, 5 rushing scores and 2 punt returns for TDs. Crimson Tide DL commit Antonio Coleman has 21 tackles for a loss, while linebacker Jamison Curtis had 18. … Jeff Kelly is 130-35 in 13 years at Saraland, including 24-11 in the playoffs. Jamie Mitchell is 34-4 in his third year at Hillcrest.
Winner faces: No. 10 Benjamin Russell or Pike Road in Class 6A semifinals
CLASS 7A: MARY G. MONTGOMERY (12-0) AT CENTRAL-PHENIX CITY (11-0)
Time/location: 7 p.m. Friday, Garrett-Harrison Stadium, Phenix City
Last week: Mary G. Montgomery defeated Enterprise 13-10; Central-Phenix City defeated Auburn 49-21
The skinny: Mary G. Montgomery is playing in its first Class 7A semifinal game. Central-Phenix City has played nine of the 10 Class 7A semifinals. … The two teams played in the first round of the playoffs a year ago with the Red Devils winning 58-7. … MGM has outscored its opponents 406-104 this season and hasn’t allowed anyone to score more than 14 points in a game. The Vikings have held six opponents to single digits. South Alabama QB commit Jared Hollins is completing 66 percent of his passes for 2,749 yards and 29 TDs. He’s also rushed for 419 yards and 8 TDs. James Bolton has 48 receptions for 921 yards and 12 TDs. The defense is led by John Robinson with 102 tackles. … Central has outscored its opponents 514-138. The Red Devils have outscored their two playoff opponents (Davidson, Auburn) by a combined 112-42. QB Andrew Alford is completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,099 yards and 41 TDs. Zack Simmons and Tristan Williams have each rushed for 9 TDs. Five-star WR Cameron Coleman has 53 receptions for 1,195 yards and 16 TDs.
Winner faces: No. 2 Thompson or No. 9 Hewitt-Trussville in Class 7A title game
The Alabama High School Football Historical Society contributed to this report.
AHSAA STATEWIDE THIRD-ROUND PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Leroy (11-0) at Brantley (8-4)
Elba (12-0) at Maplesville (8-4)
Hackleburg (11-1) Coosa Christian (7-5), Gadsden
Wadley (11-1) at Pickens County (9-3), Reform
B.B. Comer (12-0) at Clarke County (7-5), Grove Hill
Reeltown (11-0) at Cottonwood (10-1)
Tuscaloosa Academy (10-2) at Pisgah (11-1)
Locust Fork (12-0) at Fyffe (11-1)
Mobile Christian (12-0) at Trinity Presbyterian (11-1), Montgomery
Saint James (10-2) at Thomasville (10-1)
Geraldine (11-1) at Lauderdale County (12-0), Rogersville
Sylvania (10-2) at Madison Academy (12-0), Madison
Jackson (11-0) at B.T. Washington (8-4), Tuskegee
Montgomery Catholic (12-0) at Jacksonville (10-2)
Westminster Christian (10-2) at Brooks (8-4), Killen
Cherokee County (11-1) at West Morgan (12-0), Trinity
Gulf Shores (12-0) at Headland (10-2)
Eufaula (9-3) at Demopolis (10-2)
Ramsay (10-2) at Moody (10-2)
Pleasant Grove (10-1) at Guntersville (11-1)
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (12-0) at Saraland (12-0)
Pike Road (10-2) at Benjamin Russell (10-2), Alexander City
Gadsden City (8-3) at Parker (11-1), Birmingham
Clay-Chalkville (11-0) at Muscle Shoals (11-0)
Mary Montgomery (12-0) at Central-Phenix City (11-0)
Hewitt-Trussville (9-3) at Thompson (10-1), Alabaster