Big playoff brackets were minimized down to 12 total high schools on Friday night, as the Alabama High School Athletic Association's six football classifications now have a championship game set.
The top classification, 6A, has a familiar face in the Super Six, held in Tuscaloosa this year, in Hoover (Ala.) High. The Bucs had to rally to beat rival Vestavia (Ala.) Hills 31-28 to get a chance to defend its title. The storied program has won 29 straight games dating back to last season.
Their opponent comes from a program that has produced several elite prospects of late, Auburn (Ala.) High School. The Tigers edged offensive power Mobile (Ala.) McGill-Toolen 24-21 to get to the final game.
Top Prospects: Hoover - 2014 Five-star cornerback Marlon Humphrey, 2015 four-star linebacker Darrell Williams, 2015 three-star running back Bradrick Shaw, 2015 three-star defensive end Christian Bell as well as 2016 four-star Jeremiah Moon. Auburn - 2014 five-star outside linebacker Rashaan Evans, 2014 three-star cornerback Antreal Allen (UCLA commitment), 2014 three-star linebacker Darian Yancey (Southern Miss) and 2014 two-star wide receiver Blaise Taylor.
Defending Class 5A champion Spanish Fort (Ala.) had their closest game yet in getting back to the Super Six, defeating Saraland (Ala.) 24-14 Friday night. The offensive juggernaut will face defensive-laden Muscle Shoals (Ala.), who has allowed less than 100 points all together this fall.
Top Prospects: Spanish Fort - 2014 two-star linebacker Chason Milner (South Alabama, injured), 2014 tight end Hunter Wood, 2015 wide receiver Kavin Marion. Muscle Shoals - 2014 running back Devan Sullivan, 2014 offensive lineman Wesley Dillon Gibson, 2014 cornerback Martavius Mims.
The defending Class 4A champion, Mobile (Ala.) UMS-Wright was edged by undefeated Troy (Ala.) Charles Henderson High, 38-36. They will take on 2012 runner-up Oneonta (Ala.) High, who beat Munfrod (Ala.) 35-21 for another crack at the throne.
Top Prospects: Charles Henderson - 2015 three-star linebacker Richard McBryde. Oneonta - three-star safety Jalen Johnson (Georgia Tech - injured), 2014 defensive end Blake Bean.
Class 3A power Madison Academy (Ala.) makes its third straight trip to the Super Six, looking to claim the crown for the second straight season. The Mustangs beat Sacks (Ala.), 31-21 on Friday. Their opponent is a Birmingham-area power in Leeds (Ala.) High, making their return to the state title game with defense, beating Straughn (Ala.) 19-7.
Top Prospects: Madison Academy - 2014 defensive lineman Frank Williams, 2015 four-star running back Kerryon Johnson, 2015 offensive lineman Will Dye, 2016 linebacker Malik Miller. Leeds - 2015 running back Tre Nation.
Tanner (Ala.) is back in the title game to defend its 2012, Class 2A crown. It beat Fyffe (Ala.) 16-7 on Friday while Washington County (Ala.) defeated Sweet Water 28-14 to matchup with the Rattlers.
Top Prospects: Tanner - 2014 defensive back Blake Whitt, 2015 cornerback Johnathan Fletcher. Washington County - 2014 cornerback Kerrigan Pennington.
In 1A, defending state champ Brantley was knocked off by 14-0 Maplesville by a score of 31-8. They will face another undefeated team in Pickens County, who upended Hubbertville 53-22 on Friday.
Top Prospects: Maplesville - 2014 RB Damian Mitchell. Pickens County - 2014 defensive back Devonte Simon.
* THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIPS - Bryant-Denney Stadium (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Leeds (12-2) vs. Madison Academy (14-0), 11 a.m.
Maplesville (14-0) vs. Pickens County (14-0), 3 p.m.
Spanish Fort (14-0) vs. Muscle Shoals (13-1), 7 p.m.
* FRIDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIPS - Bryant-Denney Stadium (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Charles Henderson (14-0) vs. Oneonta (13-1), 11 a.m.
Washington County (13-10) vs. Tanner (12-1), 3 p.m.
Hoover (14-0) vs. Auburn (13-1), 7 p.m.