Playoffs begin for three area teams
by W. Brian Hale
Nov 07, 2013 | 1623 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dora’s Ki’Juna Babbs runs against Jemison in a region matchup from earlier this season. The Bulldogs will open the postseason by facing the top-ranked Charles Henderson.
Dora’s Ki’Juna Babbs runs against Jemison in a region matchup from earlier this season. The Bulldogs will open the postseason by facing the top-ranked Charles Henderson.
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With the 2013 regular season concluded last week, the eyes of the area will shift to the three teams who advanced to the postseason and their matchups as the Alabama High School Athletic Association football playoffs kick off on Friday night.

Two teams — the No. 5 Oakman Wildcats and the No. 3 Addison Bulldogs, having clinched homefield advantage by securing the second-place spot in their respective regions, will host their first-round games.

The Dora Bulldogs, the fourth-place team in Class 4A, Region 4, will travel to Troy to take on the No. 1 Charles Henderson Trojans at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium on the campus of Troy University — a rematch of last year’s third-round playoff meeting between the two programs.

Addison is making its fourth-straight appearance in the playoffs, while Oakman and Dora are making the third.

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Class 1A

Phillips (5-5) at No. 3 Addison (8-1)

With the exception of 34-20 loss to region champion Falkville in week eight, the Bulldogs have manhandled their region and non-region opposition, scoring over 35 points a game on offense, while defensively allowing just 11 points a contest.

Addison’s final ranking in the Alabama Sports Writer Association (ASWA) poll of third place is its highest since 2008, when the Bulldogs were ranked third in the preseason.

Addison defeated in-county rival Winston County last week, 38-12, in Double Springs.

Phillips, who made postseason play for the second-straight year, finished the 2013 regular season with a 5-5 record for the third consecutive year.

The Bears’ offense and defensive totals have closely matched, with production of 28.5 points per game and surrendering 23.5 points a contest.

Phillips recorded a 1-4 mark against playoff opponents this season, losing Hubbertville, R.A. Hubbard, Hackleburg and Brilliant and securing a victory of Shoals Christian.

The playoff matchup will be the 16th meeting between the teams, with the Bulldogs leading the overall series, 12-3-1.

Addison has won the last 10 games, including the last meeting, 63-20, in 2011.

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Class 2A

Cottonwood (6-4) at No. 5 Oakman (9-1)

Following a week two loss to region champion Lamar County, the Wildcats have been on a tear, winning seven-straight contests, including close victories over Aliceville, Cold Springs and Berry over the past three weeks.

Oakman’s offense, which has been augmented by the return of a powerful rushing attack, has been consistently productive throughout the season, scoring over 37 points a game. The Wildcats’ smallest point total on the year was 19 points in the week two loss.

The bend-don’t-break defense, which has made big stops in key situations, is averaging 17 points a game.

Cottonwood, located south of Dothan a few miles from the Alabama-Florida border, is making its first playoff appearance since 2010.

The Bears opened the season with a perfect 4-0 mark before losing four of their last six contests.

Cottonwood’s offense has produced 33 points a contest, while surrendering 21 points a game on defense.

Friday night’s clash a Hosea Collins Field in Oakman will be the first meeting between the programs.

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Class 4A

Dora (5-5) at No. 1 Charles Henderson (10-0)

The injury-riddled Bulldogs were able to clinch their third-straight playoff berth, successfully clinching Region 4’s fourth-place spot after a season of hits to the depth chart and an absence of head coach Johnny Wright to heart bypass surgery served as obstacles beyond the on-field competition.

The Bulldog offense has seen good production this season, scoring 33 points a game, but has struggled defensively — giving up 31 points a contest.

Dora gave up more than 40 points this season in half of its games in losses to Calera, Muscle Shoals, Bibb County and Handley, as well as a win over Oak Grove.

The Trojans, who Dora defeated in the third-round of last year’s playoffs en route to a matchup with eventual state champion UMS-Wright, enter Friday night’s game with a perfect 10-0 record and Class 4A’s number one ranking.

Charles Henderson has been unstoppable on offense — scoring a school-record 442 points this year.

The Trojans’ defense has been equally formidable, surrendering just 14 points a contest.

Dora won last year’s meeting, 33-21.