BY RAY VAN COR
The Greenville Standard
Butler County only had two schools to make it to the playoffs this year.
Greenville Highs School managed to get further up the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) playoff chain until UMS-Wright Prep defeated the Tigers 14-12 to end Greenville’s championship chase.
The Tigers finished the season with a 9-4 record, 6-1 in region play and second in 5A Region 2.
The Panthers of Georgiana went winless for the season.
New head coach Berry Bess took the reins merely two weeks before the season started and found himself playing a lot of freshman and sophomores. The experience should bode well for them next year.
The McKenzie Tigers ended their championship run falling prey to the Keith bears 43-7 in the first round.
If there was solace in that defeat it would have been the fact that the head coach for Keith was a Greenville Tiger and Tuskegee stand out quarterback Harry Crum.
McKenzie completed their season 6-5 and fourth in1A Region 1.
Last but not least is the Eagles of Fort Dale Academy. The Eagles went 1-9 for the season and sixth in Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) AAA Region 2.
In other area football games for the AHSAA A semi-finals, the green and white juggernaut that is the Bulldogs of Brantley will square off with another juggernaut, the purple and gold Bulldogs of Sweetwater.
This dog fight is a must see because Sweetwater is undefeated at 13-0 and first in1A Region, but Brantley is undefeated as well at 12-0 and first in 1A Region 1.
Brantley will have home field advantage. The winner of this matchup will face the winner of the other semi-final game between Wadley and Pickens County.
AHSAA 2A semi play, the Flying Squadron of Highland Home, who are 8-5 on the season, defeated a 10-3 Lanett Panthers team 15-14 to move up.
Now they face the Bulldogs of Clark County that are 11-2, and first in 2A Region 1.
Highland Home will travel to Grove Hill for this game. The victor will face Cleveland or Mars Hill Bible in the championship.
Notable in 3A play was the Hillcrest Jaguars of Evergreen that made it to the first round at 7-6 on the season and finished second in 3A Region 1.
An undefeated 13-0 Montgomery Catholic knocked them out of their run with a 41-6 loss.
In AHSAA 5A semifinals, the Andalusia Bulldogs at 9-5 overall, third in 5A Region 2 , defeated a 11-2 UMS-Wright Prep team 20-14.
They are matched up with an undefeated 12-0 Patriots of Pike Road that are first in 5A Region 2.
The Patriots shut out Faith Academy 42-0 last Friday night in quarter final play, however, this game is a home game for the Bulldogs.
The victor of this semi will play the winner between Pleasant Grove and Fairview.
In AISI A football playoff action, the Lowndes Academy Rebels beat Jackson Academy 21 -6 to be crowned AISI A State Champions.
Note that Lowndes Academy had to go through the Sparta Academy Spartans of Evergreen to face Jackson Academy in the Championship.
The Rebels finished their championship run with an 11-3 overall record.
Crenshaw Christian Academy did make it to the semi-finals but lost to Jackson Academy.
In AISI AA football, the Autauga Academy black and gold Generals defeated the Cougars of Escambia Academy 52-35 to take home the AA champion crown.
The Generals championship season went undefeated with a 13-0 record.
Last but not least, the triple AAA crown fell to the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots who downed the Knights of Tuscaloosa Academy 41-21 in their championship bout.
The Patriots complete their journey to the top at 12-1 and first in AAA Area 1.
AHSAA championships are returning to Birmingham this year.
The newly-constructed Protective Life Stadium will host the Super 7 State High School Football Championships.
This will be the first time since 2008 that the championships have been held in Birmingham.