When the AISA holds its state championship games in Troy on Friday, two area teams will suit up with a shot at winning it all.
Class AAA’s Glenwood Gators and Class A Chambers Academy Rebels will be playing in state championship games next week after taking care of business in the semifinals. Glenwood took down Tuscaloosa Academy on the road 17-7, while Chambers topped Wilcox 36-13.
Chambers will face Southern Academy at noon, while Glenwood will take on Bessemer Academy at 7 p.m.
The Gators found themselves in a low-scoring game in Tuscaloosa, but the squad made just enough plays to pay the Knights back for an overtime loss in the regular season. Glenwood quarterback Bryce Newman came through with nine completions for 57 yards and four carries for 24 yards, and running back Daryl Monn ripped off 10 carries for 55 yards and the team’s two scores.
Defensively, Monn contributed 10 tackles, second only to BJ Snellgrove’s 13. Tariq Mapel also contributed two interceptions.
“Doing this as long as I have, sometimes you can just tell when the players get it. They were really focused on the film. We were prepared,” Glenwood head coach Jason Gibson said. “The kids bought in, and the defense played lights out. I thought we won the special-teams battle. In playoff football, that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve just got to be solid all the way around, and at the end of the game hopefully you have a chance to win.
“That’s what happened, and it worked out in our favor.”
The Rebels, meanwhile, thumped the Wildcats at home and ruined Wilcox’s hopes of advancing past the semifinals for the second straight season.
Chambers quarterback Payton Allen put together another big game, taking 20 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns while completing seven passes for 137 yards and two more scores. Josh Holliday had three receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown, and Braxton Allen contributed two receptions for 57 yards and one score as well.
Defensively, Dean Sheffield led the way with 11 tackles, followed by Dijon Darden with eight. Jake Waldrop finished with seven tackles, Braxton Allen had six and Jacob Oliver had five.
The victory sends the Rebels to the state championship game for the fifth consecutive season, a feat that remains a special one for head coach Jason Allen.
“It took a lot of mental focus, fortitude and all those big words that mean being resilient and being tough. It was really a tough environment to play in. My hat’s off to our kids. We came out, and we got after them and played really well,” Allen said. “To be playing in our fifth state championship game in a row, that’s really something you can only dream about. That’s really hard to do. I’m really proud of these kids. I know we’re going to have a great week of preparation.”
Chambers hopes to win its second consecutive state championship and the second title in program history. Glenwood, meanwhile, will be looking to win its fourth state title and its first since 1992.
Brantley 49, Notasulga 21
Notasulga’s season ended on Friday night in the second round of the AHSAA Class 1A playoffs with a 49-21 loss to Brantley.
Notasulga was able to hang close early but a second-half surge and penalties doom any comeback hopes.
Notasulga head coach Anthony Jones was pleased with the effort his players brought all season which resulted in taking second in the region and winning its first-round playoff game.
Notasulga will take the next few weeks off for those not playing basketball and then begin preparing to try and make a deeper run in 2020.
The Blue Devils finish the year with a 6-5 record.
Ariton 30, LaFayette 12
Ariton ended LaFayette’s season in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs on Friday night. Ariton topped the Bulldogs 30-12.
LaFayette finishes the season with a 6-5 mark and were second in the region. Coach James Lucas blamed penalties for derailing the Bulldogs chances to advance.
Ariton advances to face Leroy in the state quarterfinals on Friday.