Opelika host Wetumpka in 1st round playoff game

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D. Mark Mitchell

On the Mark
By D. Mark Mitchell

The OHS Football team (7–2) will host Wetumpka (5–5, 1 loss due to forfeit) Friday night at Bulldog Stadium, in the first round of the AHSAA 6A playoffs. The Bulldogs hold a 5–1 record against the Indians, including a 33–32 win in 2019. The two teams played no common opponents and were off last week.

The following is a breakdown of Wetumpka’s football schedule and results: WHS opened the season with a 10–40 loss to Prattville, then had a win over Tallassee 35–14, beat Helena 28–22, lost to Hillcrest Tuscaloosa 30–35, beat Benjamin Russell 51–37, lost a forfeit game to Greenville due to COVID-19 precautions, lost to Pelham 34–18, beat Chilton County 42-7, beat Calera 49–28 and lost the last game of the regular season to rival Stanhope Elmore 13–23.

OHS and WHS played three teams with 7 or more wins. Opelika played Auburn (8-1), Eufaula (8-2) and Jeff Davis (7-3). Wetumpka played Prattville (7-3), Hillcrest Tuscaloosa (8-2) and Pelham (8-2).

Wetumpka scored 276 points and allowed 241 points in nine games. The Bulldogs scored 227 while allowing only 106 points. Based on these numbers, it is obvious Opelika’s defense will be the difference in the game. The Dawgs will not give up many points Friday, although the Indians score an average of 27 points per game. Opelika is the better team and will win, advancing to the second round of the playoffs. 

OHS and WHS are paired in the bracket with McGill-Toolen at Hillcrest. Depending on the outcome of that game, if Opelika wins, they will play at McGill-Toolen Catholic or host Hillcrest.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association will allow 33% of stadium capacity to watch in person. Fans can try to purchase tickets at www.gofan.co. You can listen to the game on WKKR 97.7 Kicker fm, and online at www.kickerfm.com. Fans can watch the game live on the NFHS Network (nfhsnetwork.com). However, the playoff games are not free. Fans will need to set up an account and pay a small fee to watch the game. The Orthopedic Clinic paid the fee for the regular season to allow fans to watch those games for free. Since playoff games are under AHSAA, the fee must be paid on an individual basis.

AHSAA FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PREVIEW

The AHSAA Football playoffs begin this week for Class 1A through Class 7A football teams. Teams in all seven classifications are trying to advance to the Super 7 Football Championship, Dec. 3–5 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

All seven State Champions from 2019 made the playoffs, including three teams in different classes. Lanett (2A) Fyffe (3A) and UMS Wright (5A) jumped up one class from 2019. The remaining champions are Thompson (7A), Oxford (6A), Central Clay (5A) and Piedmont (3A).

The AHSAA TV Network will televise the 7A game between Hewitt-Trussville at James Clemons in Madison next Friday. WOTM can be found on channel 80 if you have Charter Spectrum cable.

Twelve teams enter the playoffs undefeated. The 10-0 teams are, Fyffe, Brantley, Linden,  Montgomery Academy, American Christian, Madison Academy, St Paul’s Episcopal, Pike Road, Thompson and Demopolis. Teams 9-0 Are Ramsey and Guntersville. A side note: Colbert County reached the playoffs for a record 43rd year.

Local teams earning playoff games include 7A Auburn hosting Baker and 7A Central hosting Fairhope, 6A Opelika host Wetumpka, 3A Dadeville at TR Miller, 2A LaFayette at Leroy, JU Blacksher at Lanett, 1A Notasulga host Florala and Lochapoka at McKenzie.

AISA Schools making the playoffs include Lee Scott at Bessemer and Chambers host Autauga Academy

ORTHOPAEDIC CLINIC HIGH SCHOOL WRAP-UP SHOW SATURDAY ON FOX SPORTS THE GAME

Listen to the results from Friday’s playoff games, Saturday morning at 8 a.m., on the Orthopaedic Clinic High School Recap Show airing on Fox Sports the Game 910-1310.  The one hour show, hosted by Jeff Sasser, Terry Rosenthal and me (D.Mark Mitchell), will go over all local teams, state wide scores and reveal second round pairings.

CROSS COUNTRY SECTION

Good Luck to the OHS Cross Country Team’s as they participate in the Sectional Meet in Auburn Nov. 5. Individuals and teams can advance to the State Meet.

I will recap the meet in next week’s column.

D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.

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