2015 AHSAA Football Playoff Preview & Predictions

The playoffs are here!

The top 32 teams in 1A-6A and top 16 in 7A have moved on to the next stage of the hunt for a blue map. Things will kickoff on Thursday as we get ready for 104 games to cut the field in half.

Here are the brackets for each classification:

Class 7A
Class 6A
Class 5A
Class 4A
Class 3A
Class 2A
Class 1A

I will keep those brackets updated as things move along.

There were only two games on Thursday originally – James Clemens hosting Hewitt-Trussville in 7A and Decatur-Heritage hosting Meek in 1A. However, due to weather, almost half of the games have been moved to Thursday.

Here is the full list of games moved to Thursday.

If a game is not on that list, it will be played on Friday at 7 pm.

Here are all of the games for 5A-7A. The bold team is who I think will be the winner. For each classification, I will give my picks in bold, and also a quick preview of how I think things will turn out. I will just give a quick preview of 1A-4A since I haven’t been able to watch much of that this season and don’t know as much about the teams.

Each grouping is a quadrant in the bracket. The first two are from the south and the second two are from the north. So the Super 7 match-up will be one team from the first two and one team from the second two. The match-ups will happen as they are listed, so the first two game winners will face each other next round.

Class 7A

Theodore at Auburn
Enterprise at McGill-Toolen
Lee-Montgomery at Murphy
Foley at Central-Phenix City

Hewitt-Trussville at James Clemens
Hazel Green at Spain Park
Buckhorn at Hoover
Vestavia Hills at Bob Jones

I’m looking for Bob Jones to get upset. I’d say James Clemens too if Hewitt was healthy. They may still be able to pull it off, but I’m not sure. I could easily see all region 3 teams fighting for the northern half of the bracket.

In the south, I like the high seeds across the board, but look out for Foley potentially upsetting Central. Central is a very talented team, but have shown some weaknesses throughout the year.

I said Central would win the title at the beginning of the season, and I still think they can, but McGill-Toolen could come out of the south instead. I’m going to say it’s Central vs. Spain Park in the Super 7 with Central winning. A lot will depend on whether Spain Park can keep their run going, or if Hoover will show up to beat them in the playoffs. Despite some problems still looming large for Hoover, they are playing much better now.

Jon’s Super 7 Pick: Central-Phenix City over Spain Park

Class 6A

Chelsea at Blount
Bessemer City at Park Crossing
Saraland at Benjamin Russell
Wetumpka at McAdory

Northview at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
Daphne at Opelika
Northridge at Dothan
Pell City at Spanish Fort

Lee-Huntsville at Homewood
Cullman at Clay-Chalkville
Minor at Albertville
Huffman at Muscle Shoals

Pinson Valley at Austin
Briarwood at Fort Payne
Hartselle at Gardendale
Scottsboro at Walker

Unfortunately for Opelika and Spanish Fort, they have to meet in the quarterfinals. They are two of the top three teams in the state in my opinion, the other being Clay-Chalkville. I look for both of them to get to the quarters with ease, and then the winner to 100% represent in the state title game.

On the northern side, it’s all Clay-Chalkville’s to lose. I think Muscle Shoals is a really good team that can challenge for the northern spot in the Super 7, but like the southern side’s best two teams, Clay and Muscle Shoals will meet in the quarterfinals. I think Gardendale will make it for a rematch against Clay in the semi’s.

The championship game, if it features any mixture of Clay/Muscle Shoals vs. Spanish Fort/Opelika, will be one of the better games we’ve seen in a while (assuming everyone is healthy).

Jon’s Super 7 Pick: Clay-Chalkville over Spanish Fort

Class 5A

Sylacauga at St. Paul’s
Dallas Co. at Greenville
Vigor at Central-Clay Co.
Charles Henderson at Demopolis

Sidney Lanier at Helena
Williamson at Beauregard
Calera at Eufaula
Tallassee at Jackson

Madison Co. at Pleasant Grove
West Point at Alexandria
Parker at Etowah
Anniston at Russellville

Hayden at East Limestone
Ramsay at Guntersville
Lawrence Co. at Mortimer Jordan
Randolph at Wenonah

The top three teams from region 1 will be really strong in the playoffs this year. Jackson is undefeated and only giving up 9.9 points a game while scoring 36.3. Jackson vs. Beauregard in the quarters should be a great match-up, as will a St. Paul’s vs. Vigor match-up if they can win to get to that point. The southern representative will definitely come from those three teams.

In the north, Pleasant Grove gets to face Madison County in a rematch of last year’s semi-finals in the first round. I’m not sure they will have enough to make it again this year to the Super 7. I really like Guntersville, and they are putting up just slightly better numbers than Jackson is. Guntersville vs. Mortimer Jordan or Wenonah will be a good game, and the winner of that will most likely play Russellville or Alexandria in the semi’s.

Jon’s Super 7 Pick: Jackson over Guntersville

Class 4A

Three of the better teams are all in the same quadrant with Leeds, Montevallo, and UMS Wright. I think UMS-Wright is the team to fear in the south, but they will have a decently hard road to get to the Super 7. So if they survive it, look out. Leeds has shown some question marks early in the season, but seem to be over whatever issues they had. Once again, the best two teams will meet in the quarterfinals.

In the north Cordova has looked legit so far this season. They are the only undefeated team in the north, and only Brooks has less than two losses. I don’t see anyone stopping Cordova until the Super 7.

Jon’s Super 7 Pick: UMS-Wright over Cordova

Class 3A

Only one team in all of Class 3A is undefeated, and that is the Gordo Green Wave. It’s hard to imagine Gordo having much of a contest until the semi’s when they will face most likely Montgomery Academy or TR Miller. In the north, Madison Academy is the top team without a doubt. They should have to face off against Piedmont and Winfield en route to the Super 7.

Jon’s Super 7 Pick: Madison Academy over Gordo

Class 2A

While the south only has one undefeated team and no 10-win teams, the north has four 10-0 teams. I picked Washington County before the season to win the 2A title, and they are in a good position to at least get to Tuscaloosa. They have to get through Elba, New Brockton and GW Long to do so. On the other side of the bracket, Fyffe is looking for the repeat, but will start from a second seed after losing by one score to Cleveland early in the season. If they can get past Red Bay and Tanner, they will set up a rematch against Cleveland in the semifinals.

While I think Fyffe is still a favorite, it’s hard to ignore Red Bay’s stats this season. Only giving up 4.8 points per game, and scoring 42.8 a game. That’s one of the best defenses this season. On the flip side, Tanner is averaging 56.1 points per game on offense. This one is a little too close to call.

Jon’s Super 7 Pick: Tanner over Washington County

Class 1A

There are no undefeated teams in 1A. I think in the south its between Maplesville and Georgiana. They are the only two real “favorites” in my opinion. In the north, I like Wadley, along with Decatur Heritage and Hackleburg.

Jon’s Super 7 Pick: Maplesville over Wadley

Mr. Football

The playoffs are the time to shine for Mr. Football candidates. Mr. Football is basically the Heisman trophy for Alabama high school football. Last year’s winner, Kerryon Johnson, is performing nicely at Auburn. There have been some big names win the award in the past such as TJ Yeldon (Daphne), Julio Jones (Foley), JaMarcus Russell (Williamson), Cadillac Williams (Etowah), among others.

It’s also not just going to a QB/RB/WR. There has been a defensive lineman (DeMarco McNeil) and an offensive lineman (Andre Smith) win the award. The last three award winners are now in Auburn: Kerryon Johnson (2014 – Madison Academy), Roc Thomas (2013 – Oxford), and Jeremy Johnson (2012 – Carver-Montgomery).

Ty Pigrome from Clay-Chalkville was in the running but fell short last year. He was my pre-season favorite to win the award this year, and I’m still high on him to do so. I think there are a lot of good players to choose from this year.

Here are some names to watch as we head into the playoffs:

QB Ty Pigrome (Clay-Chalkville)
QB Kaleb Barker (Priceville)
QB Tyler Johnston (Spanish Fort)
QB TaDarryl Marshall (Leeds)

RB Malik Miller (Madison Academy)
RB Jarrion Street (Hewitt-Trussville)
RB Jordan Bentley (Guntersville)
RB Josh Johnson (Opelika)

WR Velus Jones, Jr. (Saraland)
WR TJ Simmons (Clay-Chalkville)

LB Jeremiah Moon (Hoover)
LB John Broussard (Central-Phenix City)
LB Ben Davis (Gordo)

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Jon Lunceford is a sports media broadcaster and digital professional. Jon is a graduate of the University of Alabama school of journalism, and played football at Birmingham-Southern College. He has also won two AHSAA Football State Championships while at Homewood High School and was a two-time World Cyber Games Team USA representative. He currently hosts Primetime on WJOX 94.5 and runs the high school athletics site JoxPreps.