For the first time ever, high school football will be played in the month of December in the City of Gulf Shores when the Eufaula Tigers square off with the Dolphins at Mickey Miller Blackwell …
For the first time ever, high school football will be played in the month of December in the City of Gulf Shores when the Eufaula Tigers square off with the Dolphins at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium on Friday in the Class 5A State Semifinal.
The winner will play for the Blue Map trophy on Thursday, Dec. 7, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa as part of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Super 7 Championships.
Playoff-bound for only the fifth time in its 24-year program history, Gulf Shores has now set a single-season scoring record in what serves as its longest season of all-time. Last week’s 35-14 win over Headland put the Dolphins’ total at 510 total points to set a new standard by 26 points.
According to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society, Gulf Shores was joined by B.T. Washington and Westminster Christian from Class 4A in winning their program’s first third-round game last week. All three of those teams will be joined by Geraldine (Class 3A) and Coosa Christian (Class 1A0 in seeking their first fourth-round victory this week.
Saraland (Class 6A) and Coosa Christian will join the Dolphins in hosting their first semifinal games this Friday. Gulf Coast Media will have representatives on hand at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex so follow @GCMSportsAL for immediate updates from the sidelines and stay tuned to gulfcoastmedia.com/sports for full coverage.
Below are more details on the Class 5A South Finals with historical information pulled from AHSFHS.
Class 5A R-2, No. 1 Eufaula Tigers (10-3) at R-1, No. 1 Gulf Shores Dolphins (13-0)
Headland, Charles Henderson and Faith Academy serve as common opponents of the last two teams standing in 5A’s south region.
Both Eufaula and Gulf Shores earned victories over Headland and Faith Academy, but the Tigers lost to Charles Henderson (51-31) for their lone region loss. The Dolphins took down the Trojans (41-0) in the second round at home.
After a 20-17 win over Demopolis last week, Eufaula will be making its first road trip in the fourth round since 1999 when the Tigers traveled to Mobile and lost 19-16 to the Williamson Lions. They also beat the Thompson Warriors 23-12 in 1981 to register a 1-1 record on the road in the semifinals.
Overall, it will mark Eufaula’s sixth appearance in the fourth round where the Tigers own a 3-2 record. Eufaula’s most recent semifinal berth in 2006 resulted in a 28-6 win over the UMS-Wright Bulldogs at home which also landed on Dec. 1.
The Tigers are in their 41st postseason and 25th consecutive with a 40-38 playoff record where they won state titles in 1978 and 1981. The Birmingham News also crowned Eufaula’s 1952 team that went 10-0 as the Class A, District 1 State Champions.
During the regular season, the Tigers fell to non-region foes in Class 6A (Pike Road, 48-30) and Class 7A (Enterprise, 63-14). Eufaula enters Friday’s contest having outscored all opponents 457-361 for an average of 35.2-27.8 per game.
The Tigers similarly had their bye week in the latter half of the season and remained open on Week 9 where Gulf Shores had its bye the week prior.
Eufaula logged a 4-3 record in away games this season where they were outscored 245-177 for an average of 35.0-25.3 per game. So far through three postseason contests, the Tigers have outscored playoff opponents 126-50 (40.0-16.7).
The Dolphins went undefeated at home during the regular season for the third time in program history. Across the AHSAA, Gulf Shores has allowed the 13th-fewest points per game at 9.5 points against over 13 games. Only Central Clay County’s 7.3 points against per game over 11 games ranked better in Class 5A.
On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins have scored at least 35 points in their last eight straight games. Sept. 15’s 17-0 shutout of UMS-Wright served as Gulf Shores’ only game where it didn’t score at least 30 points.
The Dolphins’ scoring differential of 386, for an average margin of victory at 29.7 points, sat just outside the state’s top 20 entering the semifinal stage. Those marks also serve as program-bests.