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A look ahead to AHSAA 5A quarterfinals

No. 2 Hartselle at No. 10 Center Point

Series: First Ever Meeting

Stadium: Bowman Field, located at the old Erwin High School, 532 23rd Ave. NW, Birmingham, AL (GPS Coordinates: 33.647841,-86.699488)

Game Time: Friday at 7 p.m.

Radio: 99.9 FM

Internet broadcast:

Tickets: $7 general admission

Hartselle Schedule

at Athens – W, 23-0

Brewer – W, 54-0

at Hayden – W, 57-0

Walker – W, 17-3

Decatur (6A) – W, 28-21

West Point – W, 44-10

Curry – W, 55-7

at Mortimer Jordan – W, 49-13

at Cullman – W, 20-13

Austin (6A) – W, 42-14

Boaz – W, 52-13

at Pinson Valley – W, 22-21

Center Point Schedule

Anniston (4A) – W, 33-7

Shelby County – W, 46-14

at Briarwood Christian, L, 7-28

Pinson Valley – W, 23-21

Mortimer Jordan – W, 40-20

Sylacauga – W, 33-10

at Chelsea – W, 33-21

Moody – W, 50-0

at Talladega – W, 53-0

McAdory – W, 34-9

Russellville – W, 30-7

at Etowah – W, 26-20

Common opponents are in bold.

Playoff history:

Appearances: Hartselle 29, Center Point 17

Overall record: Hartselle 28-28, Center Point/Erwin 8-16

Last time in quarterfinals: Hartselle 2010(W, Russellville 24-14), Center Point 1997 (L, Etowah 27-7)

Record in quarterfinals: Hartselle 2-4, Center Point 0-2

Hartselle’s Team Statistics

Scoring: 463, 38.6 per game

Points Allowed: 115, 9.6 per game

Opponents Record: 60-70

Home Record: 6-0

Road Record: 6-0

Center Point Team Statistics

Scoring: 408, 34 per game

Points Allowed: 156, 13 per game

Opponents Record: 63-53

Home Record: 8-0

Road Record: 3-1

Gavin Marsh kicks the game-winning 19-yard field goal out of the hold of Preston Adams. | Richard Hollingsworth

Hartselle, Center Point players recognized

Hartselle’s Gavin Marsh and Center Point’s Aaron Perkins were recognized by AHSAA and the Alabama Sports Writers Association for their performances in the second round of the playoffs.

Marsh was 2-for-3 on field goals including the game-winning 19-yard kick with four seconds left in the game. He also made a 42-yard field goal and was 2-for-2 on extra points.

Perkins made eight tackles, four assists and 4.5 tackles for loss against Etowah.

Casey Goodwin blocks a punt by Pinson Valley's Donald Efram, which led to Hartselle's go ahead touchdown early in the third quarter. | Richard Hollingsworth

Kicking game plays role in wins

Both Hartselle and Center Point had big plays in the kicking game in their second-round victories.

In addition to Marsh’s field goals, Casey Goodwin blocked a Pinson Valley punt that set up Hartselle’s second touchdown.

After falling behind 6-0 to Etowah, Azarr Woods returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown. that helped the Eagles score 20 points in the first quarter. To neutralize this threat, look for Hartselle to try to kick the ball into the end zone for an automatic touchback.

The referee throws a flag after Deacon Aldridge was sacked by Pinson Valley using the face mask. The penalty kept Hartselle’s game-winning drive alive.

Eagles, Tigers kick Indians in the gut

Pinson Valley must have felt a bit of déjà vu on Friday night when Marsh’s 19-yard field goal went through the uprights to give Hartselle a 22-21 win.

It was the second time the Indians had lost a game on a fourth-quarter field goal. The last time that happened was when Center Point’s Max Lorenzo hit a 33-yard field goal with just over five minutes in the fourth quarter to give the Eagles a 23-21 win over Pinson Valley.

Aaron Lamb recovers a fumble forced by Tyler Phillips. | Richard Hollingsworth

What to expect

This will also be the final home game Bowman Field, which has served as the home field for Center Point, formerly E.B. Erwin High School. If the Eagles win, this will tie for the longest win streak in school history.

Hartselle and Center Point are both great defensive teams. Both teams like to run the football but can throw the football when they need to.

Points will be at a premium in this game. This is a game that could go to overtime. One or two big plays will decide the outcome.

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