Five Blount County football teams are headed to the first round of state playoffs: Cleveland, Hayden, J.B. Pennington, Oneonta, and Southeastern.
Cleveland @ Falkville
The Panthers, 7-3 overall and 5-2 in Region 6, finished up the regular season ranked No. 3. They head to Falkville for a tough opening round matchup. The Blue Devils boast a 7-2 record with only one loss in Region 7 play. They top Class 2A in points scored with 370, while their defense ranks second, giving up only 82. Cleveland, though, has racked up 304 points behind an explosive offense led by junior quarterback Logan Washburn and senior running back Daquarrius Phillips. The Panther defense is anchored by sophomore Karter Adams and senior defensive lineman Kyle Willis. Cleveland beat Sand Rock on Oct. 23, before COVID-19 shut the school down for 14 days forcing them to forfeit their final regular season game. Southeastern @ North Sand Mountain
As the end of the season approached, the number of COVID-19 cases began to creep up at Southeastern School.By Oct. 22, the Blount County Board of Education was forced to shut the school down. The Mustangs (6-4, 4-3) haven’t played a game since a 31-28 win over West End on Oct. 16. In the eight games they did get to play, the offense averaged 27.88 points per game. The Mustang defense allowed an average of only 18.25. Friday they head to Region 7’s number one team, North Sand Mountain (9-1, 6-0). The Bisons have scored an average of 31.9 points per game while allowing only 15.4 points per game.
J.B. Pennington vs. Geraldine
J.B. Pennington’s win over Locust Fork last week helped the Tigers secure the No. 2 spot in Region 6 plus a home game for the the first round of the playoffs. Friday night they host the 6-4 Geraldine Bulldogs, who lost their regular season finale to Crossville. Pennington finished up the regular season 7-3, 5-1 in region. Geraldine finished third in Region 7 at 4-2. In the nine games the Tigers played, they averaged 34 points per game scoring 306 points. Geraldine scored 246 points in 10 games for an average of 24.6 points per game. Pennington’s defense gave up an average of only 15.5 points per game while the Bulldogs allowed 20.4.
Oneonta @ Madison County
Oneonta’s third place finish in Region 6 earned them a matchup against the Region 7 runner up, Madison County. After COVID-19 forced the Redskins to forfeit the first two games of the season, Oneonta bounced back to finish the season 6-2 and 4-2 in the region. The Madison County Tigers are 8-2 and lost only one region game. These two teams are pretty evenly matched with Oneonta scoring an average of 31 points per game to the Tigers’ 30.3. The Redskin defense allowed an average of only 19 points per game. Madison County’s defense gave up 23.8 points per game.
Hayden @ Guntersville
The Hayden Wildcats are in the playoffs, but they face a very talented and undefeated Guntersville squad. Hayden finished the season with an overall record of 6-4, 4-3 in Region 6 play. Guntersville has the number two offense in 5A averaging 50 points per game on their way to scoring 500 points in the regular season. They have Class 5A’s number one defense that’s allowed an average of only 7.8 points per game. Wildcat senior running back Carson Rickels is coming off a record-breaking night and needing only 60 yards on the ground to break the school record.