Fairview and Good Hope each won a thrilling, first-round playoff game last week.
It doesn’t get any easier from here, though.
Both the Aggies and Raiders hit the road on Friday night, where each team will face off against a ranked opponent — a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
See below for complete capsules on both matchups.
% Team: Fairview (10-1, 5-1 in Class 5A, Region 7)
% Opponent: No. 9 Russellville (9-2, 6-0 in Class 5A, Region 8)
% First Round: Fairview 30, Fairfield 28 | Russellville 41, Lincoln 14
% All-Time Series: First Meeting
% The Skinny: The Golden Tigers are in the second round for the 16th time since 2000.
Conner Warhurst (RB), TJ King (WR), Nathan Brockway (TE), Gabe Amick (QB) and Boots McCulloch (RB) spearhead an offense that’s averaging 39.5 points per contest, while Martin Tomas, Karson Hyde and Emitt Green are the key cogs for a defense surrendering just 16.5 points per contest.
Russellville’s losses this season came to Class 6A No. 2 Hartselle (58-21) and Class 4A No. 1 Madison Academy (34-20).
The Golden Tigers have allowed 15 points or less in eight games and have scored at least 27 points in all nine of their wins.
Fairview, meanwhile, is averaging 44.4 points per contest offensively. On defense, the Aggies are yielding just 19.9 points per contest.
The Aggies enter Friday night’s matchup riding an eight-game winning streak.
% Quotes of Note: “The vibe around the team has been good. The guys are coming in with a good mentality. This team had a goal to get back in the playoffs, but they’ve also been talking about wanting to get through the second round." — George Redding
“Russellville is a really good football team that’s well-coached and very physical. They also love to bring pressure defensively and get a lot of hats around the football. It’s going to come down to execution for sure. With them, they’re always going to line up right and do things right. It’s going to take a four-quarter, physical effort to win this one." — George Redding
“I think everybody is excited. It’s a blessing to have another week. Their offensive line is pretty heavy. Their whole team is real disciplined, too. We’ve got to stay focused on Friday night. We can let up any plays." — Ethan Bice
“We’re happy to be here. Deep down, though, we knew we’d be here. We’ve been pushing the sled every day and putting in the extra work. And we knew that extra work was going to get us somewhere special. All we can do is keep working hard every day." — Eli Frost
% Game: Friday, 7 p.m. at Russellville
% Team: Good Hope (8-3, 5-1 in Class 4A, Region 6)
% Opponent: No. 4 Northside (10-1, 6-0 in Class 4A, Region 5)
% First Round: Good Hope 27, Central-Florence 24 | Northside 35, Madison County 31
% All-Time Series: Northside 2-0 (2018 and 2019)
% The Skinny: Northside has — along with Good Hope — been one of most consistent teams in Class 4A since the start of the 2018 season.
The Rams are an impressive 40-8 during that stretch, while the Raiders are 37-10.
Northside has rattled off nine straight triumphs since a Week 1 loss to Class 3A No. 3 Winfield (32-14), including a 14-12 win over No. 6 Gordo in a de facto region championship game.
Coach Chris Hilliker’s squad averages 30.8 points per game offensively, while the defense has allowed just 13.1 points per game.
Good Hope, meanwhile, is averaging 25.9 points per contest and yielding just 17.7.
The Raiders are back in the second round for the third time in the past four seasons.
% Quotes of Note: “”We’re thankful to be where we are. We realize the majority of the teams in the state are at home right now. To still be playing is an honor and says a lot about our guys and the work they’ve put in and their belief in each other. We don’t want to take anything for granted." — Alan Scott
“When you pop in the film, the first thing you realize is how big and strong and physical they are. Their M.O. has been to run the ball and control the line of scrimmage. And their skill guys are as good as anybody we’ve seen. They’re polished. The moment isn’t going to be too big for them." — Alan Scott
“We’re fired up. Their offensive and defensive lines try to dominate you and the line of scrimmage. But we’re excited, and we can’t wait." — Jager Burns
“It’s great to be here and winning games. We want to hold up the tradition and try to go as far as we can. You look across their offensive line — they’re big, they’re physical. They want to run the ball down your throat. Coach says it every week … it starts up front." — Paydon Bagwell
% Game: Friday, 7 p.m. at Northside