By Wil Crews
There were six area teams still playing for their playoff lives on Friday. When the last whistle blew, one had won state, one had clinched a berth in the state championship game and four were sent home with their 2020 seasons coming to an end.
The first team to play was the Chambers Academy Rebels from LaFayette, who were in the state championship for the sixth straight season. The rebels fell in last year’s championship game, but, this year, the Rebels captured their second state title in program history after a thrilling end-to-end 36-34 victory over the Escambia Academy Cougars. Up three points and with just over five minutes left in the game, Chambers Academy perfectly pulled off a fake punt on a fourth-and-6 at its own 47-yard line. Three plays later, the Rebels converted a third-and-27 after completing a precise downfield pass. The next play was a 28-yard touchdown pass that gave Chambers its two-score lead late in the fourth. Escambia managed to score one more time but failed to recover the ensuing onside kick. Chambers Academy then kneeled the game clock out and left Cramton Bowl in Montgomery with a 10-1 record and a 2020 State Championship Title.
Soon after Chambers won a state title, two other area teams faced off for a shot at one. Central and Auburn High met at Duck-Samford Stadium in a rematch of last year’s semifinal game. After losing in last year’s playoff matchup, Auburn got its long-awaited revenge. The Tigers sent Central home packing, beating the Red Devils 35-17 and clinching a berth in the ASHAA Class 7A Championship Game. For more on the Auburn/Central game, turn to page B1.
While Auburn and Chambers Academy deservedly celebrated their wins, four other area teams – Opelika, Glenwood, Lanett and Central – were left in the inglorious shadow of defeat.
Lanett saw their season end with a 28-21 quarterfinal loss to Leroy in the AHSAA Class AA playoffs. The teams were tied at 21 going into the fourth quarter, but Leroy’s go-ahead score in the fourth quarter was the difference. Lanett had a chance to tie the game with five minutes left in the fourth quarter but came up short when Leroy sacked the quarterback on fourth-and-goal from the 14-yard line. Lanett can hang their heads on a great season in which they finish 10-3 and champions of Region 4 in Class AA.
You can find more information on the playoff loses of Opelika, Glenwood and Central, on page B1.
There’s just one more week left of Alabama High School football, and it’s a blessing that we have gotten this far. The only area team still in play is Auburn High, which plays defending 7A champion Thompson on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.