2022 Alabama Kickoff Classic matchups announced

AHSAA Kickoff Classic
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The Alabama High School Athletic Association will start the 2022 season with two nationally-ranked teams squaring-off in the 16th annual AHSAA Kickoff Classic at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.

On August 19, Hoover will battle Auburn in the second game of the two-game event. Last season, Hoover finished No. 31 in the High School Football America 100 national rankings, powered by NFL Play Football. Auburn finished 2021 ranked No. 102 in our national rankings.

Related: 2021 High School Football America national rankings

According to a news release from the AHSAA, this will be the fifth appearance by Hoover in the Kickoff Classic. The Bucs are a perfect 4-0, coming into 2022.

The last time Hoover played in the AHSAA Kickoff Classic, the Bucs beat Central-Phenix City in 2019. Hoover also won in 2006, 2009 and 2016. On Thursday, the Bucs, who advanced to the Class 7A state semifinals last year, to announce the hiring of their new coach to replace Josh Niblett, who resigned at the end of the last season to take the head coaching job at Gainesville High in Georgia.

Auburn  (12-1) reached the Class 7A semifinals in 2021 under Keith Etheredge, who owns a career head coaching record of 160-54 in 16 seasons as a head coach with stops at Leeds, Pell City, T.R. Miller, Oxford and Auburn.

Auburn is making its second appearance in the Kickoff Classic. The Tigers beat Spain Park 30-3 in the 2010 Kickoff Classic.
In the last 14 years, Auburn’s program has gone 135-37 overall, 73-15 in region play and 22-14 in 14 playoff appearances. Auburn lost to Thompson in the 7A finals 29-28 in 2020. Last year, the Tigers lost in the state semifinals to Central (Phenix City).

In the Classic’s opener on Thursday, August 18, Chelsea will battle Helena.

According to the AHSAA news release, Helena (9-2) finished 6-0 to win the Class 6A, Region 3 title last season. The Huskies, under Richie Busby, opened the season 9-0 before falling to UMS-Wright in a non-region game week 10 and then losing a 32-29 nailbiter in the first game of the Class 6A state playoffs. Helena will be competing again in Class 6A in 2022.

Chelsea (4-7) also reached the Class 6A playoffs last season under the direction of head coach Dustin Goodwin. The Hornets move into Class 7A, Region 3 in 2022 in what will be the school’s most challenging season in school history with the likes of defending 7A state champion Thompson, Hoover, Oak Mountain, Hewitt-Trussville, Vestavia Hills, Spain Park and Tuscaloosa County as region opponents.

Goodwin’s team lost four tough games to start the 2021 season – including close losses t Briarwood Christian (42-35) and Homewood (37-35) before rallying to clinch a berth in the Class 6A state playoffs with four straight region wins. The Hornets fell in the first round 30-20 to Oxford.

AHSAA Kickoff Classic Results

Handley 55, Guntersville 21
Dothan 42, Bob Jones 32


Pike Road 63, Montgomery Catholic 34
Prattville 40, Wetumpka 10

Hoover 17, Central-Phenix City 14
Carver-Montgomery 18, Jeff Davis 13

Clarke County 20, Sweet Water 14
Thompson 38, James Clemens 7

Hewitt-Trussville 49, Pell City 10
Maplesville 20, Fyffe 7

Andalusia 34, Brooks 13
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 42, Demopolis 7
Hoover 23, Central-Phenix City 7

Bob Jones 37, Carver-Montgomery 30
Gordo 28, Glencoe 21
Madison Academy 19, Leeds 14

Spanish Fort 42, Stanhope Elmore 14
Opelika 20, Carver-Montgomery 16
Dadeville 14, Piedmont 8

Benjamin Russell 28, Walker 14
Straughn 35, Walter Wellborn 26
Bob Jones 23, Enterprise 20

Spanish Fort 33, Muscle Shoals 22
Central of Clay County 25, Beauregard 13
McGill-Toolen 27, Northridge 0

Hueytown 36, Thomasville 27
Hamilton 38, Sweet Water 35
Daphne 24, Clay-Chalkville 21

Opelika 34, Greenville 6
Auburn 30, Spain Park 3
Jackson 30, Trinity 8                                     

Prattville 37, Carver-Montgomery 0
T.R. Miller 27, Leeds 7
Hoover 32, Oxford 27

Prattville vs. Oxford, canceled due to inclement weather

Prattville 36, North Gwinnett (Georgia) 3

Hoover 38, UMS-Wright 0
Clay-County 41, Addison 6

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.