It#039;s win or go home for Butler County#039;s best

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's playoff time again and Butler County has three schools in the playoffs for the first time in three years.

Fort Dale escaped with a 26-20 double-overtime win over Macon-East in the first round of the AISA playoffs Friday and now must face the No. 1 Bessemer Academy Rebels in the semifinals.

Greenville is back in the playoffs after a two-year absence and must face the 2004 Class 4A State Champion Demopolis Tigers, who have moved up to Class 5A this season, in the opening round Friday at Tiger Stadium.

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Georgiana squeaked into the playoffs by putting together an impressive three-game win streak to close out the season and must travel to Northport to take on the 8-2 American Christian Patriots.

Here are this week's picks:

Fort Dale @ Bessemer Academy

The Eagles have squared off with some of the state's best teams this season, but Friday's opponent, the Bessemer Academy Rebels, are as good as they come.

The Rebels have been ranked No. 1 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll for nearly the entire season and have decimated opponents, averaging more than 30 points a game.

Fort Dale showed a lot of pluck and grit during the double-overtime win over Macon-East, but the Eagles will need to play a flawless game to get through the Rebels…

Bessemer 35, Fort Dale 20.

Georgiana @ American Christian

The Georgiana Panthers, for the first time all season, put together a win streak and closed out the 2006 season with three consecutive wins.

Two of those wins, over Keith and Excel, put the Panthers into the AHSAA Class 2A playoffs and the win Friday over Hillcrest-Evergreen was a huge momentum builder as Georgiana heads to Northport this Friday.

American Christian has not missed a step since Chris Smelley graduated on to South Carolina as his brother, Brad, has taken over under center.

The Panther &#8220D” has been Georgiana's bread and butter, and they will need a big showing to pull off the first-round upset…

American Christian 33, Georgiana 21.

Greenville vs. Demopolis

Greenville head coach Bryant Vincent said he would have loved to turn last season's 1-9 record into 9-1 this season, but it just didn't happen Friday as the Tigers fell to Class 6A'a Wetumpka, 34-19.

The Tigers had trouble tackling and sustaining drives, something they will need to correct in a hurry as Demopolis comes to town.

Demopolis has taken the last two games against Greenville by a total of 105-12, something Vincent has repeatedly reminded his team.

It's now win or go home. Will the Tigers be satisfied with just making the playoffs?…

Greenville 27, Demopolis 24.

Last week: 6-3

Overall: 57-28

Austin Phillips is The Greenville Advocate sports editor.

You can contact him by e-mailing or by calling 382-3111 ext. 122.