Eight teams saw their perfect season end in week nine. Eleven more went 9-0 but couldn't quite reach 10-0. Two teams, due to Alabama High School Athletic Association rulings, found themselves on the other end of being perfect than previously thought.
Out of 19 teams that reached the playoffs without a loss, 17 of them took care of business in the first round. Here's what happened...
Week 9 featured many battles of undefeated teams in several classifications and also battles for the #1 seed in the region, most notably in 6A. Daphne was the #1 team in the state for good reason, riding a wave of 23 consecutive victories. Coach Bart Sessions, in his first year at McGill after being an assistant at Daphne, upset the Trojans 38-28 that night.
In another upset at the time, #4 Mountain Brook knocked off #2 Hoover 17-9. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, which was undefeated but not ranked, also defeated #8 Northridge in Class 6A action.
Only two teams in Class 5A got to 8-0, Hueytown and Hartselle, and they both finished 10-0 and ranked #1 and #2, respectively. Greenville, a one-loss team, also "became undefeated" during the week when Wetumpka was forced to forfeit its win over Greenville.
Week 9 in 4A was exciting as it matched #2 Jackson versus #1 Thomasville. It was a battle for #1 in the state and also for the #1 seed in the region. Jackson knocked off the defending state champions 28-9 to take #1 under first-year coach Danny Powell, who won multiple championships at Leroy. Number 8 Beauregard was also looking to knock off #3 Dadeville that night for the region crown, but fell short 32-31. That sets up second round match-ups of Beauregard at Jackson and Thomasville at Dadeville, both battles of Top 10 teams.
Class 3A Region 5 also featured two undefeated top 10 teams fighting for the #1 seed, and Hanceville defeated Hamilton, last year's runner-up. The other five perfect teams in 3A and all four perfect teams in 2A advanced to the final week of the regular season without a loss.
In 1A unranked Shoals Christian knocked off #6 undefeated Addison to get the #1 seed in the region. Also, unranked Marion County stunned the state's #1 team Lynn 63-28. Marion County won the #1 seed in the region in a three-way tie with a win the next week over another undefeated team, Red Bay, the #5 team in 2A.
Clay-Chalkville, 6A's new #1 heading into the final week, never lost a game on the field but eventually fell from the ranks of the undefeated because it had to forfeit nine games. Three other top 5 and undefeated teams in 6A lost in the final week as McGill fell to Murphy, Bob Jones was blown out by Hoover, and Blount lost to Vigor.
In 4A and 3A, the only undefeated teams to lose were playing up in classification. Deshler was blown out by rival Muscle Shoals 39-14 and Sardis lost a close one to 5A Boaz.
Class 1A featured a battle of #1 versus #2, and #1 Linden beat Brantley 15-6 to hand the Bulldogs their first loss. In another top 5 battle, #3 Collinsville lost 12-7 to #5 Ragland for its first loss of the season.
In the first round of the playoffs the fourth-ranked team in 3A, Hanceville, at 10-0, which had won a crucial game of undefeated teams just two weeks earlier against Hamilton to win the region, couldn't get past 6-4 Elkmont, falling 28-13.
In 4A, it was sixth-ranked Andalusia that fell to Elmore County, which was also a battle of 10-0 versus 6-4. Elmore County made it a clean sweep for Region 3 as Dadeville, Lincoln and Beauregard advanced and a winless year in the playoffs for Region 2 as Saint James, Headland and Straughn joined Andalusia in defeat.
After two weeks of drama to end the regular season and two surprises in the opening round, here are the remaining undefeated teams...
Mountain Brook, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
Hueytown, Hartselle, Greenville
Jackson, Dadeville, North Jackson, Bibb County
Piedmont, Handley, Bayside Academy, Hanceville
Elba, Fyffe, Tanner
Friday Night's Second Round Pairings
Pickens County (10-1) at Brantley (9-1)
Sweet Water (8-3) at Winterboro (10-1)
Geneva County (6-5) at Maplesville (11-0)
Linden (10-1) at Pleasant Home (8-3)
Ragland (11-0) at Berry (10-1)
Lynn (9-2) at Collinsville (10-1)
Donoho (10-1) at Shoals Christian (8-3)
Cedar Bluff (6-5) at Marion County (10-1)
Vincent (9-2) at Elba (11-0)
Flomaton (10-1) at Goshen (7-4)
American Christian (10-1) at Barbour County (8-3)
Leroy (7-4) at Highland Home (8-3)
Fyffe (11-0) at Woodland (7-4)
Reeltown (8-3) at Tanner (11-0)
Red Bay (10-1) at Fultondale (9-2)
Oakman (8-3) at Lineville (8-3)
Washington County (9-2) at Walter Wellborn (8-3)
T.R. Miller (9-2) at Handley (11-0)
Gordo (8-3) at Leeds (9-2)
Clay County (10-1) at Bayside Academy (11-0)
Sheffield (9-2) at Piedmont (11-0)
Rogers (9-2) at Saks (7-3)
Glencoe (9-2) at Lauderdale County (10-1)
Madison Academy (9-2) Elkmont (7-4)
UMS-Wright (7-4) at Elmore County (7-4)
Thomasville (10-1) at Dadeville (11-0)
Bibb County (11-0) at Lincoln (7-4)
Beauregard (10-1) at Jackson (11-0)
Anniston (7-4) at Dora (9-2)
Fayette County (8-3) at North Jackson (11-0)
Alexandria (8-3) at Deshler (10-1)
Oneonta (9-2) at West Limestone (6-5)
Valley (9-2) at Spanish Fort (8-3)
Vigor (9-2) at Greenville (11-0)
Eufaula (10-1) at Hueytown (11-0)
Saint Paul's (10-1) at Charles Henderson (6-5)
Hartselle (11-0) Pinson Valley (9-2)
Center Point (10-1) at Etowah (10-1)
Cullman (8-3) at Muscle Shoals (10-1)
Fort Payne (10-1) at Briarwood Christian (10-1)
McGill-Toolen (10-1) at Murphy (7-4)
Central-Phenix City (9-2) at Benjamin Russell (7-4)
Daphne (10-1) at Prattville (8-2)
Blount (10-1) at Fairhope (9-2)
Huntsville (8-3) at Mountain Brook (11-0)
Northridge (10-1) at Oxford (10-1)
Hoover (10-1) at Bob Jones (10-1)
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (11-0) at Vestavia Hills (7-4)