Last meeting: Muscle Shoals won 35-0 on Sept. 20.
Series history: Athens leads 17-9.
News Courier Prediction: Muscle Shoals 14, Athens 10
Tanner (10-1) at Montgomery Academy (11-1)
McLemore Field, Montgomery
Preview: After scoring three fourth-quarter touchdowns to stay alive in the 2A playoffs, defending 2A champion Tanner travels south for a quarterfinal game against Montgomery Academy. Tanner played two its most challenging games of the season in back-to-back weeks during the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The other three teams from Tanner’s region — Lexington, Red Bay and Sheffield — were eliminated in the first round, all by at least three touchdowns. The biggest blowout was Ranburne’s 49-12 defeat of Sheffield, who then lost to Montgomery Academy 54-37 last week.
Although the Eagles are averaging just over five touchdowns per game for the season, they have put up 45 points on average through the first two rounds of the playoffs. On the flip side, Montgomery Academy gives up about three touchdowns per game for the year. That bodes well for Tanner, which is scoring a shade under six TDs per game in 2013.
Tanner has given up more than two touchdowns twice this season. Last week was the first time the Rattlers were held under 30 points since a season opening loss to Madison Academy.
Montgomery Academy has not won a third-round playoff game since 2002. The Eagles finished second in 2A Region 5, behind No. 2 ranked Lanett (11-0).
Series history: These teams have never met.
News Courier Prediction: Tanner 34, Montgomery Academy 28