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4 Dallas County schools make state football playoffs

Eighth-ranked Morgan Academy returns to the AISA State Football playoffs.

The Senators (7-2) host Hooper Academy (5-4) in a AISA first-round playoff game at 7 p.m.  Friday night at Morgan Stadium.

Playing at home has benefitted the Senators this season, winning all five contests by lopsided margins. “I’m really glad that we get to play at home,” Senators coach Danny Raines said. “Our fans do a wonderful job supporting our kids. We have a great home atmosphere. There’s nothing like these Friday nights.”

Carroll at Selma: The Saints (6-3) have made the state playoffs in back to back years for the first time in school history, hosting Carroll (3-6).

Selma coach Willie Gandy said he’s excited for the Saints to play at Memorial Stadium. Because of the coronavirus, Selma only played one home game this season.

“It’s very important to host a playoff game,” Gandy said. “No traveling involved, fans don’t have to travel and give our students that can’t travel a chance to come to the game.”

The Saints will bring a high-powered offense into the contest, as receiver Dion Nelson and running back JeVonte Stubbs have scored over a combined 35 touchdowns.

Gandy said the bye week  helped the Saints prepare in what could be a deep postseason run.

“I feel good about having two full weeks to get ready for Carroll,” Gandy said. “It gave us time to get some guys healthy.”

Fruitdale at Keith: The Bears (7-2) entertain Fruitdale (7-2) in round one of the Class 1A state playoffs at J.V. Caldwell Stadium in Orrville.

Keith coach Anthony Lumpkin expects a tough contest against the Indians (7-2).

Quarterback Terrell Lumpkin, running back DeCarlos Moore and Keyshawn Tolbert are among the standouts for Keith this season.

Southside at Sloccomb: The Panthers (6-4) travels to Slocomb (9-1) in the Class 3A state playoffs. Southside won a three-way tiebreaker to reach the playoffs, but Panthers coach Charles Moody wants more. “We don’t just want to go to the playoffs, we want to make some noise as well,” Moody said.

Quarterback Christopher Thomas, receivers Mariyon Johnson and Tae Spears and running back KeAndre Williams lead a high-powered Panthers offense.