The Woodville football team officially punched its ticket to the postseason with last week’s win at Gaylesville.
But the doesn’t mean the Panthers’ region finale this week doesn’t hold playoff implications.
Woodville (3-5, 3-2) can lock up Class 1A Region 6’s No. 3-seed with a victory over visiting Appalachian Friday night at Woodville High School’s Frazier Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Should the Panthers lose and Sumiton Christian upset region champion and No. 8-ranked Valley Head, Sumiton Christian would be the No. 3-seed and Woodville would be the region’s No. 4-seed. A loss by both Woodville and Sumiton Christian would result in Woodville being the No. 3-seed and Sumiton Christian the No. 4-seed thanks to the Panthers 34-32, double-overtime win over Sumiton Christian earlier this season.
Woodville head coach Tyler Vann said the Panthers don’t want to leave things to chance.
“We want to sew up the No. 3-seed on our own,” he said. “How you play at the end is what matters, and we’re playing good football right now. We need to keep that going and keep getting better and go into the playoffs on a good note.
A win would allow Woodville to finish region play with a winning record for the first time in program history.
It’s the fifth straight season Woodville and Appalachian have squared off, but the first as region foes. Woodville has won the last two meetings in a series that is tied 2-2.
Appalachian (1-7, 1-4) has lost its last four games with its lone win coming against Coosa Christian 56-15 on Sept. 18. But the Eagles have suffered losses by 25, 36, 18 and 26 points to West End, Valley Head, Sumiton Christian and Cedar Bluff since that victory.
Appalachian features a pass-heavy offense led by quarterback Chase Payne, who has passed for more than 1,000 yards on the season. His top receivers are Garrett Helms, Collin Chappell and Aiden Driggers. Bryant Seawright and Payne had combined for nearly 1,000 yards rushing, but Vann said the run game serves to compliment that Eagles’ passing attack.
“They like to spin it — they’re pretty good at throwing that thing around,” Vann said. “Secondary’s got to be ready.”