Prep Playoff Preview: Oakman gets Hillcrest in 2nd-round rematch

Dora plays at unbeaten Saks

By W. BRIAN HALE and JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports
Posted 11/16/17

After a solid, 31-12 first-round victory over Daleville last Thursday night, the Oakman Wildcats return to the friendly confines of Hosea Collins Stadium for tonight’s second round battle against the Hillcrest-Evergreen Jaguars in a rematch from one year ago.

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Prep Playoff Preview: Oakman gets Hillcrest in 2nd-round rematch

Dora plays at unbeaten Saks

Posted

After a solid, 31-12 first-round victory over Daleville last Thursday night, the Oakman Wildcats return to the friendly confines of Hosea Collins Stadium for tonight’s second round battle against the Hillcrest-Evergreen Jaguars in a rematch from one year ago.

Meeting in the second round of the 2016 playoffs, Oakman posted a 33-0 victory over Hillcrest Evergreen for the Wildcats’ second-consecutive shutout to start the postseason.

Oakman head coach Mark Hastings expects a tough matchup against the Jaguars — the Region 1 champion — whose only loss on the year came against perennial power T.R. Miller in Week 4.

“Hillcrest-Evergreen is big, fast and strong — we’re going to have to play extremely well to have a chance against them. We played them last year and I think that we caught them at a good time and our performance was very good,” Hastings said. “We’re hoping that’s going to give us some confidence going into this year’s game against a team of this caliber. They have so many weapons and are so sound defensively as well.”

Hastings said one of the Jaguars’ greatest strengths is their ability to throw to any player on the team — making defensive preparations for the Wildcats extremely difficult.

“They’ve got two or three guys that line up in the backfield and can run the ball very well and their quarterback is a threat to both run and pass — he’s improved greatly as a passer since last year,” Hastings said. “Their offensive line does a great job in giving their quarterback ample protection and when he has time, he doesn’t miss many throws. Overall, they’ve done a good job in limiting their mistakes this season, which is a sign of great progress.”

Backfield penetration and disrupting offensive cohesion will be key defensively for Oakman, Hastings stated.

“We have guys who can make good tackles and blitz up the middle, as well as players can come off the edge to create problems in the backfield. If we can’t contain them at the line, our guys will have to be ready to chase down one of their talent athletes to avoid giving up a score,” Hastings said. “It’ll be one of the toughest test we’ve faced this season and our guys will have to be up to the challenge.”

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Dora (9-2) at No. 3 Saks (11-0)

Dora heads to Saks tonight looking to hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season in their Class 4A second-round playoff game tonight at Jack Steward Field.

The Bulldogs are coming off a narrow 29-20 win over Deshler in their first-round match. Senior kicker/punter Jack Spradlin led the Bulldogs’ attack with three field goals and a pair of punts that pinned Deshler inside the 10-yard line. The game marked Dora’s first playoff win since 2012.

Dora running back Caleb Danner carried the ball a season-high 39 times for 187 yards and a touchdown in the win over Deshler. Danner is just 48 yards away from 2,000 yards this season. Danner has rushed for 22 touchdowns.

Saks has won its 11 games by an average of 24 points a game. Only Jacksonville stayed within a touchdown of Saks in a 34-27 win. The Wildcats blasted Westminster Christian 42-21 in their first-round game last week. Saks has won 10 straight home games.

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Cherokee (8-3) at Lynn (11-0)

Lynn chases its first 12-0 start since 2000 when the Bears host Cherokee at David Posey Field tonight.

Coach Calvin Aldridge’s Bears escaped with a narrow 22-14 win over Holy Spirit in the first round. Lynn running back Jordan Davis led the way with 141 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Davis broke a 14-14 tie with 4:32 left in the game with a three-yard touchdown run. He also added the two-point conversion run.

Cherokee, led by former Courtland/R.A. Hubbard coach Lymos McDonald, won its first-round playoff game 49-0 over Coosa Christian. The game marked the Indians’ first playoff win since 1999 and only the fourth first-round win in school history.

Cherokee leads the all-time series 4-0, but the teams last played in 1956.

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Addison (9-2) at Hackleburg (10-1)

After a first-round breather, the Addison Bulldogs face a stiff road test in their second-round game tonight at Hackleburg.

Addison has dominated its last five opponents since suffering a two-game losing streak in the middle of the season. Last week, the Bulldogs crushed Hubbertville 45-13 with Tyler Borden rushing nine times for 185 yards and three touchdowns and Zayne Guthrie rushing eight times for 123 yards and a score. Guthrie also threw a pair of touchdown passes.

Hackleburg advanced with a 49-19 rout of Woodville in the opening round. The Panthers have won nine straight games since losing to Decatur Heritage in Week 2.

Addison has won seven straight games against Hackleburg, including a second-round playoff win in 1997.