Âé¶¹app Big Game Friday Night's Playoff Game of the Week is Mars Hill (10-1) vs. Madison Academy (11-0).
All season, the Mustangs and Panthers have had their sights set on the 3A blue map. The teams cruised through the regular season and the first round, but now they are on a collision course and Friday night will decide which team stays in the fight.
âTo be able to keep going, you gotta be able to beat teams like this -- whether it's in the second round, semifinals, state championship game,â Mars Hill head coach Darrell Higgins said. âAnd if youâre going to win a state championship, you gotta be able to beat a great team.â
The Panthers are having one of their best seasons in program history, with their lone loss coming to Lauderdale County. But Mars Hill quickly put that behind them, dominating Oakman last week to keep their title hopes alive.
âWe played a lot of games to get us ready for something like this, but this is the best team weâve seen all year,â Higgins said. âThis is a semifinal, championship type of opponent and theyâre very good so itâll take our best.â
âVery goodâ might be an understatement. The Mustangs are undefeated and have dominated everyone on their path to the second round, outscoring opponents by 480 points.
âOur guys are extremely excited,â Madison Academy head coach Bob Godsey said. âYou know, I like our leadership, I like our chemistry, I like our unity on this team. â¦ Itâll take all of that, obviously, to continue to advance.â
The Mustangs and Panthers have never met before and now theyâre battling for survival.
âTo get a win over Mars Hill would definitely be a confidence boost,â Godsey said. âAdvancing to the quarterfinals I thinkâs a confidence boost as well, regardless of who youâre playing. You know, there are no easy ones left.â
âIâd say this is the first time weâve been an underdog in four or five years, so just to go in as an underdog and have to try to reach deep and see how tough we are is something that weâre really looking forward to,â Higgins said.
Only one team will take a step closer to Tuscaloosa. Weâll find out who it is on Friday night at Bill Washington Stadium.