It was senior night at Huntsville (Ala.) High less than two weeks ago, and the Panthers offense was cruising down the field.
Then, late in the first quarter, Grant Hill drove his defender into the ground after another four-star caliber block. Soon after, a pair of additional lineman rolled into his lower-leg from the back.
After trying to gut it out and get back on the field, Hill elected to stay put since his Huntsville squad had already clinched a playoff berth. Though tough to sit out the rest of the way, it enabled him enough time to work through the following week.
That was important because of a solid Florence (Ala.) team that awaited Huntsville in the first round of the playoff on Friday. With limited practice and treatment, Hill was ready.
"It was really tough, but I played through it and we came out with the win so I'm happy," said Hill.
The scenario was a bit different for fellow Crimson Tide commit Parker McLeod.
The quarterback pledge has been dealing with several injuries, but a high ankle sprain has kept him out the longest during his senior season.
Still, Marietta (Ga.) Walton High managed to lock-in a playoff berth set for this weekend. Worried about rust and such a gap in playing time, McLeod gave it a go in the regular season finally on Friday after missing more than half of the season.
"I played okay and my ankle felt pretty good," he said. "But it hurt a little as the game went on."
With the post-season already determined, the Raiders didn't unravel their entire offense even though it gave McLeod the chance to shake some rust off in the eventual loss.
"It's a little better now (Monday) and I'll play in the whole game (Friday)," said McLeod. "Our backup got hurt in the second possession, so I played the rest of the game last week."
Both Hill and McLeod took trips to Tuscaloosa after their games in order to take in the Texas A&M game. While each was disappointing with the loss, the atmosphere at Bryant-Denney was still noteworthy.
"It was nice," said Hill. "Even though Alabama lost, I enjoyed the atmosphere and liked talking to the coaches."
"It was a good game and was really exciting," McLeod added. "It was probably the best I've been to even though they lost."
This coming week, Hill and the Huntsville Panthers take on Vestavia Hills (Ala.) in the second round of the 6A playoffs while McLeod and Walton kicks off its 2012 playoff campaign this Friday against Parkview (Ga.).