The Eagles, at 10-2, advanced to the second round by winning a tough 49-36 game against Okolona last week, while Ackerman cruised past the Broad Street Jaguars 38-0 in the first round last week. West Bolivar and Ackerman faced each other in the third round last year with West Bolivar winning 34-3. In 2009, Ackerman defeated West Bolivar 21-6 to win the 2A North Half Title.
West Bolivar is in the state playoffs for the 28th time, while Ackerman is in the playoffs for the 25 time in its history. West Bolivar has won five state titles in its history, while Ackerman has two state titles.
“It’s going to be a pretty good ball game," West Bolivar head coach Henry Johnson said. "They’ve got a good football team. They are very sound and play hard. They’re a well coached team. We are going to have to match their intensity. We’re going to have to execute well and eliminate mistakes.”
In preparation for Friday’s game, the Eagles have worked hard to correct the mistake made against Okolona. The 36 points West Bolivar gave up was the most the team has yielded since losing to Aberdeen 45-28 on Sept. 14.
“Defensively, we just had some breakdowns and breakdowns on special teams,” Johnson said. “You can’t do that in the playoffs. We went back and tried to correct it. William Lloyd being out in the first half didn’t help us.”
On offense for West Bolivar, senior quarterback Kylan Johnson has completed 69-of-129 passes for 1,221 yards with 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while senior running back Kailo Moore has rushed for a team-leading 821 yards with 14 touchdowns on 89 carries. Senior running back Trevoris Hampton has also had a good year by rushing for 728 yards with a team-high18 touchdowns on 86 carries.
On defense for West Bolivar, senior linebacker William Lloyd (115 tackles) and junior defensive lineman Ladarius Tucker (72 tackles, 4 sacks) have been solid leaders for the Eagles.
For Ackerman on offense, senior quarterback Dakota Brasher has completed 72-of-140 passes for 1,358 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Senior wide receiver Quinton Lane has been his primary target, catching 25 passes for 616 yards with eight touchdowns.
For Ackerman on defense, senior defensive end Alex Foust (71 tackles) have led the Indians.
The winner of the West Bolivar-Ackerman game will take on the winner of the Bruce East Webster game in the third round next week.
Kickoff for Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m.