Keith quarterback Maurice Crumpton (2) runs around the right end during a game against Ellwood Christian Academy earlier this season. Keith will host the St. Jude Pirates on Friday in round one of the playoffs. -- File Photo

Keith hosting St. Jude in first round of AHSAA playoffs

Published 7:04pm Wednesday, November 7, 2012

With the regular season in the books, the Keith High School Bears now turn their attention to the postseason and Friday’s playoff opener.

The Bears (8-2, 6-1, Class 1A-Region 3) will host the St. Jude Pirates (6-4, 5-2, Class 1A-Region 4) on Friday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 1A state playoffs.

While the Bears hosted the Pirates in their jamboree game this past spring, Keith head football coach Harry Crum said he’s not sure if there are many benefits from the two teams’ previous meeting.

“I don’t know if it really has any real benefits other than we have some familiarity with them,” Crum said. “We’ve seen some of the players before, but I know in a regular season game, we haven’t beaten them, so we’ve got a tall tree to climb in that respect.”

Crum said the Bears will have to contend with a tough St. Jude running game come Friday night.

“They play some full house [backfield], they come right at you. They do some toss and lead, and in some respects they try to throw it down the field,” Crum said. “They’ve got a quarterback that weighs about 250 pounds and can throw the seams off the football, so they’ll try to catch you off guard and throw it deep on you. They’ve had success with it because they’ve made the playoffs, so they’re doing things right.”

And in order to have a shot to win, Crum said the Bears have to hit hard on defense.

“We’ve got to hit,” Crum said. “We have to play solid defense and hit like we did in the first half of the season, so if we can do that we’ll have some chance of having some success. We’ve got to hit and go back to that old way of playing Keith football.”

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