Maplesville running back Terence Dunlap (above) is one of the best players in Alabama in 2016
Class 3A: Mobile Christian (13-1) vs. Piedmont (14-0), 11 a.m.
Making its first state title game appearance under Ronnie Cottrell, Mobile Christian is paced by a stingy defense that is allowing just 10.6 points per game. Leading the way is Arizona commitment Troy Young at safety and talented 2018 defensive end Andres Fox.
For Piedmont it’s all about the offense with quarterback Taylor Hayes trying to guide his team to back-to-back state championships. Averaging 42.9 points per game, Piedmont has failed to score at least 30 points just twice this season while topping the 50-point mark in three of four playoff games.
Class 1A: Maplesville (13-0) vs. Pickens County (11-3), 3 p.m.
Pickens County will be looking to knock off powerhouse Maplesville when the two meet for the 1A crown on Thursday. Allowing just 6.8 points per game with seven shutouts on defense and scoring 49.5 points per game on offense, the Red Devils are led by two of the state’s top players in senior running back Terence Dunlap and junior wide receiver/linebacker Nathaniel Watson. This season Dunlap has 2,641 yards and 44 touchdowns while adding seven interceptions on defense. Watson already has an Auburn offer and is a big-play threat on offense and defense.
Allowing a touchdown or less to six opponents this season, Pickens County is led on defense by Arkansas State commitment Caleb Bonner. Offensively quarterback Zach Thomas is the key for a Pickens County offense that averages 41.6 points per game and has seven games of 50 points or more.
Class 5A: Beauregard (12-1) vs. Wenonah (11-2), 7 p.m.
Averaging 48.7 points per game this season with the only loss coming at Central Clay County, the Hornets are led by standout running back Ladamian Webb and his nearly 3,000 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns. Last week the Hornets avenged a loss at Jackson in round three with a 45-25 win over the Aggies to make its first title appearance. Quarterback Jaichis Holmes has thrown for 1,026 yards and 11 touchdowns while adding 400 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Zach Feaster is the guy on defense for the Hornets with 125 tackles, four interceptions, and a pair of caused fumbles on the year.
A program that had never made it past the third round of the playoffs, Wenonah defeated top-ranked Scottsboro two weeks ago and last week knocked off Briarwood to advance to Thursday night’s game. Wenonah makes its mark on defense, giving up just 11.5 points per game and only allowing two of their last eight opponents to score more than a touchdown. Quarterback Carlos Rogers (5-11, 190) is just a junior but runs the show for the Dragons with tiny running back Telvin Miller a threat to go the distance. On defense big linebacker Giovanni Williams can move despite being perhaps the biggest player on the field.