Playoff Football Primer: Bucs get Thompson again –

Hoover wide receiver Jonah Winston (14) sprints downfield after a catch during a game between Hoover High School and Bob Jones High School on Friday, Nov 4, 2022, at the Hoover Met in Hoover, Al. Photo by Barry Stephenson

The stakes continue to rise, as the Class 6A quarterfinals and 7A semifinals are here.

Hoover (11-1) vs. Thompson (9-3)

Last week: Hoover rolled past Hewitt-Trussville 28-11; Thompson held off Vestavia Hills 21-12.

What to watch: This is the sixth straight season Hoover and Thompson have squared off in the Class 7A semifinals. Hoover won the first meeting in 2017 to advance to the state championship game, but Thompson has taken the last four and gone on to win the last three state titles. In three of those previous five seasons, the regular season result flipped in the semifinals. These two teams met just four weeks ago, a 9-0 win for Hoover in a defensive struggle. Since then, Hoover’s offense has continued its steady ascent behind freshman quarterback Noah Schuback and a three-headed running game. Thompson has gone to eighth grade quarterback Trent Seaborn, who has led the Warriors to two playoff wins. Both defenses are elite, so it is likely that this game comes down to a few key plays.

Last meeting: Hoover shut out Thompson 9-0 on Oct. 21, 2022. Hoover historically dominated this series, winning the first 20. In the last five years, Thompson has a 7-4 edge.

What’s next: The winner will face the winner between Auburn and Central-Phenix City on Nov. 30 in Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium for the 7A championship.

Mountain Brook (10-2) vs. Hartselle (12-0)

Last week: Mountain Brook flattened Gadsden City 37-6; Hartselle held off Center Point 36-26.

What to watch: Mountain Brook is making its third straight quarterfinal appearance, having won in this round by double digits each of the last two years. Running back Cole Gamble has been virtually unstoppable over the last few weeks and Mountain Brook will certainly rely on him running behind that dominant offensive line once again this week. Hartselle has been a mainstay in the playoffs over the years, but the undefeated Tigers are back in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2012.

Last meeting: This will be the first meeting between the two programs.

What’s next: The winner will play the winner between Muscle Shoals and Gardendale in the 6A semifinals next week.

Homewood (10-2) at Saraland (12-0)

Last week: Homewood worked past Pike Road 24-21; Saraland thumped Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 56-31.

What to watch: Homewood is into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2018 and just the second time since 2006. With last week’s win, the Patriots achieved 10 wins in a season for the third time in the last six years. This is a team that has certainly been battle tested, with five of those 10 wins coming by 10 points or fewer. The Patriots will need that to come in handy this week against a strong Saraland team, whose only loss is a one-point defeat to Theodore, arguably the favorite to win 6A this season. The Spartans have scored 40 or more points in nine of their 12 games.

Last meeting: The teams met in the second round of the 2013 playoffs, with Saraland defeating Homewood 21-14.

What’s next: The winner will face the winner between St. Paul’s and Theodore next week in the 6A semifinals.

Historical information courtesy of

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