Some things to know about 4A playoff field

Published 6:56 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2006

As the Class 4A state football playoffs get underway this week, here are some things to keep in mind.
Undefeated teams: Fourth-ranked Tarrant and fifth-ranked Brooks are the only teams to go through the regular season unbeaten with 10-0 records. No. 1 Alexandria is also undefeated, but played one less game.
Just missed perfection: Guntersville, Thomasville and T.R. Miller all came within an eyelash of going 10-0, but instead went 9-1. Guntersville's lone setback was a 56-49 double overtime loss to No. 1 Alexandria. Thomasville squandered a nine-point lead in the final three minutes in a 28-23 loss to T.R. Miller. T.R. Miller lost a 21-point halftime lead and gave up the game-winning touchdown with eight seconds left in a 42-35 loss to W.S. Neal.
Teams with losing records: Greene County, which is T.R. Miller's first-round opponent, has the worst record of any team in the bracket at 3-7. Daleville, which lost 28-0 to W.S. Neal in the season opener, and Midfield also finished the regular season with losing marks of 4-6.
Highest scoring teams: Central-Tuscaloosa has scored the most points of any of the playoff teams with 418. Then comes W.S. Neal with 393, Tarrant at 392, Dora at 390 and Guntersville at 388.
Alexandria has the highest points per game average at 42.6 per contest followed next by Central-Tuscaloosa at 41.8, W.S. Neal at 39.3 and Tarrant at 39.2. T.R. Miller is averaging 35.7 points a game.
Top defenses: North Jackson allowed the fewest points among the playoff teams with 96, an average of 9.6 per game. Tarrant is second at 105 points allowed, a 10.5 points per game average. Brooks is third at 110 points, an 11.0 per game average.
By comparison, W.S. Neal's defense surrendered 181 points during the regular season, an 18.1 points per game average, while T.R. Miller gave up 204, an average of 20.4.
Most deceiving record: It could be Andalusia's 7-3 mark. The Bulldogs lost 20-19 to 3A No. 2 and unbeaten Geneva and 22-21 to 4A No. 9 Trinity Presbyterian. The other setback was a 32-7 decision to 3A No. 3 Pike County, which is 9-1 so far.
Another team that might be better than its record is Ashford with its 6-4 mark.
Ashford dropped a 27-26 overtime decision to Andalusia, a 32-25 setback to Andalusia, a 17-7 decision to St. James and a 31-20 non-region game to 5A member Rehobeth. Ashford averages a solid 25.5 points a game.
Headed in the wrong direction: Boaz lost its final three games by a combined 96-20 margin. Escambia County and Ashford both lost three of its
last four games.
Better record and traveling: W.S. Neal's contest at Jemison is one of two games where the visiting team has a better record than the home team. W.S. Neal is 8-2, as compared to Jemison's 6-4 mark. The other game is Cherokee County (7-3) at East Limestone (6-4).
Most intriguing first-round game: Central-Tuscaloosa (7-3) at Thomasville (9-1).
This may be the toughest first-round draw for a top two seed.
Central-Tuscaloosa has scored more points than any team in the playoff field (418). Central-Tuscaloosa was two points shy of a region championship and a number one seed, but lost to Jemison 27-26. The other losses were to 6A member Northridge and a 21-18 decision to 5A member Bibb County.
Thomasville had several close calls especially during the first half of the season when games against Sweet Water and Jackson were decided by less than 10 points and its game at W.S. Neal was tied in the fourth quarter. The Tigers also lost a nine-point fourth quarter lead in their only setback against T.R. Miller.

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