2015 High School Playoff Round 3 Preview & Predictions

So many great games last week, but half of the teams were sent home while the top 52 teams in the state move on to the third round of the AHSAA football playoffs.

This week we cut it in half again as we also set our first Super 7 match-up in Class 7A.

Central Alabama Games to Watch

Hoover at Spain Park – 7A Semifinals

Hoover gets their second rematch and it’s the one they really wanted. Losing to Spain Park this year took so much wind out of their sails. But they seem to have gotten back on track and are playing great football. The test will really be how Hoover can score on the defense that shut them out. They still aren’t putting up 40 points a game or anything, but they are definitely improved from the last time they faced Spain Park.

It sounds cliche and obvious but the team that makes the least amount of mistakes will win this one, no doubt. I think Hoover has gotten over any issues they had and are poised to go back to the Super 7.

Jon’s Pick: Hoover

Clay-Chalkville at Minor – 6A Quarterfinals

When Clay and Minor met earlier this season, Clay walked away with a 49-15 victory. Home field advantage didn’t help much as the first game was at Minor as well. Minor is a really athletic team who can compete, when it comes to speed and strength, with anyone. They flexed their muscles against Muscle Shoals (no pun intended…ok maybe). I don’t know if it will be as bad of a blowout as the first game, but I think Clay is upset with how they played last week and how they let Homewood have a chance to win at the end of the game. Clay will still win this one easy. For what it’s worth, Homewood beat Minor this year as well, but it was a close game.

Jon’s Pick: Clay-Chalkville

Austin at Gardendale – 6A Quarterfinals

Gardendale was on a collision course to meet Clay in the semi-finals from day one in my opinion, but then Austin had the season they had and now I’m curious whether they can knock off the Rockets. Austin inconsistent, but is also a giant slayer, taking down Spain Park and Bob Jones in the regular season. Gardendale will be a little bit different test, but I think either team is capable of winning.

It depends what day and what time you ask me when I give you a winner, but I’m leaning Gardendale in a close one right now.

Jon’s Pick: Gardendale

Guntersville at Mortimer Jordan – 5A Quarterfinals

Guntersville has been dominant all season, but had much closer games in the playoffs than they would have liked. They won their last three regular season games by a combined score of 158-0, but then have only won their playoff games by a combined score of 40-16. Not quite the stellar offense we saw before, and they are going to meet a really good Mortimer Jordan team.

Guntersville revolves around the success of Jordan Bentley, who should have offers from SEC schools, but is way overlooked for a player that is so good, and should be in the running for Mr. Football. Mortimer Jordan took out Wenonah last week, ending their magical season in the second round, and despite their one minor blemish with a close loss to Alexandria, they have been basically perfect. They are averaging 43 points a game and are playing really well in all aspects.

If Mortimer Jordan stops Jordan Bentley, they win. That’s a tough task, but as a complete team, I like Mortimer Jordan.

Jon’s Pick: Mortimer Jordan

Leeds at UMS-Wright – 4A Quarterfinals

After Leeds had such a shaky start, we all thought they may be done for. However, they proved last week that they are just now getting started. I don’t think anyone saw a 62-7 final score for their game against Montevallo, but Leeds looked unstoppable. Through two playoff games, they are winning by a combined 104-7.

They face an undefeated UMS-Wright team that is averaging 42 points a game on their own, but struggled pretty bad in their first game against Handley, in a score that was almost identical to when Leeds played them. Using common opponents, it’s hard to think Leeds will crush UMS-Wright, but using how they are playing right now, it’s easy to think Leeds will win. I think UMS-Wright will limit Leeds a little bit, but I believe the Green Wave will definitely walk away with a win and set up for a great rematch with Munford in the semi’s.

Jon’s Pick: Leeds


Class 7A

McGill-Toolen at Central-Phenix City
Hoover at Spain Park

Class 6A

Bessemer City at Benjamin Russell
Opelika at Spanish Fort

Clay-Chalkville at Minor
Austin at Gardendale

Class 5A

St. Paul’s at Demopolis
Beauregard at Jackson

Alexandria at Russellville
Guntersville at Mortimer Jordan

Class 4A

Andalusia at Munford
Leeds at UMS-Wright

Brooks at Fayette County
Hamilton at Cordova

Class 3A

Bayside Academy at Gordo
Hillcrest-Evergreen at TR Miller

Piedmont at Madison Academy
Colbert County at Lauderdale County

Class 2A

GW Long at Flomaton
Elba at Washington County

Ranburne at Fyffe
Cleveland at Randolph County

Class 1A

Georgiana at Maplesville
Linden at Brantley

Berry at Decatur Heritage
Cedar Bluff at Wadley

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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.