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James Clemens leads the four local schools into the AHSAA Football Playoffs. The fifth-ranked Jets competed its first ever perfect regular season. Photo- William Aycock

High School Football State Playoffs Round One- Four Local Programs Begin Quest For State Championship

MADISON- All seven defending state champions return for the chance to post back-to-back titles in their respective classifications as part of the AHSAA state football playoffs.

Among the field of 208 schools to qualify for the post-season face offs are the four local Madison area schools in Bob Jones, James Clemens, Sparkman and Madison Academy.

In Class 7A, James Clemens will host Oak Mountain on Thursday, Nov. 4 at Madison City Schools Stadium, Bob Jones will host Hewitt-Trussville at the same stadium on Friday, Nov. 5 while Sparkman travels to Hoover to tangle with the No. 1 ranked Buccaneers. In Class 4A, the top ranked Mustangs of Madison Academy will host Hamilton in the Friday night matchup.

Oak Mountain at James Clemens

A Thursday night matchup will feature fifth ranked, Region 4 champs and undefeated James Clemens (10-0, 7-0) hosting Region 3 representative Oak Mountain (6-4, 4-3). For the host Jets, the program had its first perfect regular season in school history scoring 40 points per game and allowing just 19 per outing. Under first-year head coach Chad McGehee, James Clemens roared through the 2021 season with a tremendous offense easily balanced to hold off any opponent including a seven-point overtime victory over crosstown rival Bob Jones.

Oak Mountain arrives in Madison with memory of the clash between the two programs in 2014 when the Eagles from Pelham slapping around the Jets to a score of 60-43. This year’s version of the Eagles won its first four games on the 2021 schedule, but lost its last three games being outscored 126-7. The last three flops were to Thompson, Hewitt-Trussville and Clay-Chalkville, The squad also lost to No. 1 ranked Hoover during the recent campaign. The navy and red squad lost in the second round of the AHSAA playoffs a season ago.

Hewitt-Trussville at Bob Jones

A runner-up spot in Region 4 standings allowed the Bob Jones Patriots to host a first-round playoff game and they will host a very tough squad of Huskies as Hewitt-Trussville is ranked No. 8 and represent Region 3. The Huskies own a 4-2 record over Bob Jones all time including the last meeting in 2017 where the Huskies manhandled the Patriots 52-18.

The host Patriots (5-5, 5-2) fought tough to finish runner-up in the region. The most unlikely bookends of a season included losing its first two games and last two games on the season schedule. This is the program’s first playoff appearance since 2018 where the Patriots lost in the first round to Hoover. It’s the first under head coach Kelvis White. The Pats scored 35 points per game and allowed 29 per outing.

Hewitt-Trussville (8-2, 5-2) roared through its season putting up 36 points per game and allowed 21.6 a game. The Huskies won its first four games of their campaign. In 2020, they lost in the second round of the AHSAA playoffs.

Sparkman at Hoover

The 4-6, 4-3 Sparkman Senators will face the 11-time state champion this century when they travel to face the No. 1 ranked Hoover Buccaneers (10-0, 7-0) who are Region 3 champs. Though they carry a losing record into the playoffs, the Senators were good enough to finish fourth in Region 4. The squad from nearby Harvest lost its first two games of the regular season, but head coach Leron White believed in the roster of players where Sparkman won its next three. Overall, Sparkman tallied 22 points per game while allowing 29 a game.

As for the orange and black Buccaneers from Hoover, the team is perfect on the regular season scoring 37 a game and allowing just 13 per game. They hold a 5-0 record all time against Sparkman and last won a state title in 2017.

Hamilton at Madison Academy

After dropping its season-opening game 41-17 to Briarwood, the Madison Academy Mustangs ran up the Class 4A rankings to take over the No. 1 spot as they open the state playoffs hosting Hamilton.

The Mustangs (9-1, 7-0) and head coach Bob Godsey faced their personal challenge after the opening game loss and steamrolled through its schedule where no other opponent even came close to knocking off the maroon and gold Mustangs. For the 2021 season, Madison Academy scored 400 points while allowing just 132 with 41 of those coming at the hands of Briarwood in game number one. The Mustangs won the Region 7 title. They lost in the second round of the AHSAA playoffs a season ago and last won a state championship in 2014.

The Hamilton Aggies (4-6, 2-4) of Region 5 are 1-1 all-time versus Madison Academy including a 43-12 loss in its last meeting in 2013. Scoring 23 points a game while giving up 30 per contest, the maroon and white Aggies won their first four games of the 2021 season only to fall in its remaining six games. They lost in round one of the playoffs last year.

All playoff games will kick off at 7:00 p.m.

The AHSAA playoffs were first held 56 years ago in 1966 and will culminate with the Super 7 State Championships at Birmingham’s new Protective Stadium Dec. 1-3 as the AHSAA celebrates its 100th anniversary. The AHSAA was formed originally by 87 public and private high schools in 1921.

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