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Defending State Champs Reach High School Football Semifinals

All six defending state football champions survived stern tests in the quarterfinals Friday night to advance to this week’s Alabama High School Athletic Association 2013 state football playoff semifinals.

A total of 24 teams remain from the original 192-team field. All semifinal contests will be played Friday, Nov. 29 with 7 p.m. kickoffs. The winners will then advance to the Super 6 State Championship games at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa Dec. 5-6.

Class 6A defending champ Hoover (13-0) edged Florence 22-21 for its 28th win in a row to set up this week’s battle with arch-rival Vestavia Hills (11-2) at Hoover. Coach Buddy Anderson’s Rebels beat Bob Jones 19-12 – the 308th victory of Anderson’s legendary career. All the wins have come at Vestavia, where he has been head coach since 1978. Coach Josh Niblett’s Bucs will be playing in their sixth straight semifinal and 13th in the last 14 seasons.

Class 4A defending champion UMS-Wright (11-2) scored late to nip Dadeville 35-34 and will now head to Troy’s Veterans Memorial Stadium to face unbeaten Charles Henderson (13-0). The Trojans beat Clay Central 34-7.

Piedmont (11-2) pushed defending 3A state champion Madison Academy (13-0) to the limit before falling 34-33 in overtime. Coach Eric Cohu’s Mustangs ride a 23-game winning streak into this week’s semifinal at Saks (13-0), a 20-14 winner over Colbert County. Madison Academy is advancing to the semis for a third straight year.

Class 5A defending champion Spanish Fort (13-0) beat previously unbeaten Jackson 36-6, Class 2A defending champion Tanner (11-1) won on the road at Montgomery Academy 26-14 and defending 1A state champion Brantley (11-2) downed Loachapoka 36-19.

The 5A Toros and 2A Rattlers are heading to the semis for the third straight year while the 1A Bulldogs will be playing in its 11th semifinal overall. Spanish Fort, with a 22-game winning streak, hosts Saraland (12-1) this week. Tanner is on the road at Fyffe (12-1) and Brantley goes to Maplesville (13-0). The Red Devils beat Linden 41-0 and became the first team this season to top 700 points on the year. Coach Brent Hubbert’s team has scored 702 points and is averaging 54.1 points per game.

Undefeated teams advancing to the semifinals include: Class 1A: Maplesville (13-0) and Pickens County (13-0); Class 3A: Madison Academy (13-0) and Saks (13-0); Class 4A: Charles Henderson (13-0); Class 5A: Spanish Fort (13-0) and Southside-Gadsden (13-0); and Class 6A: Hoover (13-0).

The 48th annual state playoffs began with four teams competing for one state championship in what was then Class 4A in 1966. Championship play for all schools was implemented the following year with four divisions. The current six-class system began in 1984.

The Super 6 state finals schedule for Dec. 5-6 has three championships set for Thursday and three on Friday. Class 3A opens Thursday’s tripleheader at 11 a.m. Class 1A follows at 3 p.m. and Class 5A is set for 7. Friday’s schedule has Class 4A at 11 a.m., Class 2A at 3 p.m. and Class 6A at 7.

SEMIFINAL PAIRINGS

(All games, Friday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. kickoff)

Class 1A

South

Brantley (10-3) at Maplesville (13-0)

North

Hubbertville (11-2) at Pickens County (13-0), Reform

Class 2A

South

Washington County (12-1) at Sweet Water (10-3)

North

Tanner (11-1) at Fyffe (12-1)

Class 3A

South

Straughn (10-2) at Leeds (11-2)

North

Madison Academy (13-0) at Saks (13-0), Anniston

Class 4A

South

UMS-Wright (11-2) at Charles Henderson (13-0), Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy

North

Oneonta (12-1) at Munford (12-1)

Class 5A

South

Saraland (12-1) at Spanish Fort (13-0)

North

Southside-Gadsden (13-0) at Muscle Shoals (12-1)

Class 6A

South

Auburn (12-1) at McGill-Toolen (12-1), Archbishop Lipscomb Complex, Mobile

North

Vestavia Hills (11-2) at Hoover (13-0), Hoover Met

(AHSAA)

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