Friday Night Blitz: Semifinal matchups in AHSAA football playoffs

One day before rivals Alabama and Auburn square off in the Iron Bowl of the Century, a similar matchup with championship implications will kick off at Hoover Met when AHSAA Class 6A No. 1 Hoover hosts Vestavia Hills for a berth in the state title game.

While the Crimson Tide and Tigers continue to be the talk of the Thanksgiving holiday across the state and the country, the undefeated Bucs' game against the Rebels is the premier high school showdown in Alabama this week. Hoover head coach Josh Niblett and his defending state champions will look to knock off record-setting coach Buddy Anderson's squad for the second time this season.

The Bucs handed the Rebels its first loss of the season on Sept. 27 in a hard-fought 17-7 game at the Met. Since the loss, though, Vestavia Hills has gone 8-1, losing only to Mountain Brook, on its way to tonight's semifinal rematch with Hoover. Included in those eight wins was a 21-7 victory over Florence -- a team that gave Niblett and company fits in the quarterfinals and appeared to be on its way to upsetting the top-ranked Bucs before losing a heartbreaking, one-point game 22-21.

Click here for quarterfinal scores and highlights.

Before Saban and Malzahn duke it out on the Plains for an SEC Western Division title Saturday, the football focus in Alabama, for the most part, remains in Birmingham Friday night as Anderson and Niblett prepare for round two at the Met.

John McCarthy (AP Photo)

In the words of UFC head referee John McCarthy, "Let's get it on!"

For more on this game and the 11 other semifinal contests, tune into ABC 33/40 at 6:15 p.m. for Blitz Gameday. Raita and prep sports editor Jeff Sentell will break down all of the games live from the Hoover Met. At 10:20 p.m., watch Friday Night Blitz for scores and highlights from across the state and see who punched tickets to Tuscaloosa for the Super 6.

Jeff Sentell's Blitz Gameday predictions for some of Friday night's biggest semifinal games to be featured on Blitz at 10:20 p.m.

Watch on TV or live online here. Follow @abc3340 on Twitter for live scoring updates from all the games, which you can also find on the ABC 33/40 Sports App for your iOS or Android devices. For Android, click here. For Apple, click here.

Check out all of the semifinal matchups in the AHSAA football playoffs to be played Friday, November 29, 2013:


South Maplesville 31, Brantley 8

North Pickens County 53, Hubbertville 22


South Washington County 28, Sweet Water 14

North Tanner 16, Fyffe 7


South Leeds 19, Straughn 7

North Madison Academy 31, Saks 21


South Charles Henderson 38, UMS-Wright 36

North Oneonta 35, Munford 21


South Spanish Fort 24, Saraland 14

North Muscle Shoals 21, Southside-Gadsden 3


South Auburn 24, McGill-Toolen 21

North Hoover 31, Vestavia Hills 28