Being healthy in the playoffs can provide a team the opportunity to move on from one round to the next.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) football postseason is brutal. Five grueling weeks, dealing with distant trips, changes in the weather and competition you may not know very much of.
At the present time, the Addison Bulldogs look very healthy. A team that was banged up in late September, resulting in back to back losses to Lynn (21-18) and Vinemont (28-22) can be forgotten.
Sportspage got to see the Bulldogs on the gridiron for the first time Friday night. They performed very well in Marion County, running away from Hackleburg 41-16, thanks to four second half touchdowns on four possessions.
It was an evening in which road teams controlled the status for round two of the playoffs.
In the North Region in 1A, Addison was joined by South Lamar and Cherokee as road victors. Cherokee took care of one of Addison's rivals from Winston County, romping over the previous undefeated Lynn Bears 35-14.
Two road wins were recorded by Sulligent and Lamar County in 2A, Sylvania, Randolph County and Colbert Heights in 3A, Wenonah and Briarwood Christian in 5A, Austin and Clay Chalkville in 6A and Hoover in 7A.
That turns out to be a total of 13 winners in 26 games as road teams in the North from the second week of the playoff schedule. That's getting the job done.
Bus rides were enjoyable for teams such as Sulligent, Lamar County, Cherokee, South Lamar, Colbert Heights in traveling more than two hours to get to their respective stadium.
Three teams from the North region saw undefeated seasons end in the round of 16. They were Lynn, Rogers and Hewitt-Trussville.
Hackleburg, West Morgan, Wilson, Mae Jemison and Homewood were 10-1. Now they conclude the 2017 schedule with a second defeat, especially for Hackleburg, West Morgan and Homewood getting defeated on the home turf.
Addison is on the road for the second straight week, playing at South Lamar Friday in the quarterfinal round.
This will be the Bulldogs' first ever venture into the town of Millport in Lamar County. Addison lost to South Lamar 39-0 in the 2000 playoffs, the only meeting between the two programs.
Addison is 1-5 all time vs. the Lamar County school system. The Bulldogs are 1-2 against Sulligent, 0-2 vs. Lamar County and 0-1 with South Lamar.
Lamar County will be very active for the quarterfinal round with three games going on the day after Thanksgiving inside its territory. Beside Addison traveling to South Lamar, Sulligent host defending 2A state champion Fyffe, while Lamar County gets undefeated Lanett to visit the town of Vernon.
Very little playoff football remains in the Tennessee Valley. Undefeated Austin gets Pinson Valley to visit Ogle Stadium in Decatur next week in 6A, Colbert Heights in the Lauderdale County entertains Piedmont, Cherokee will have Pickens County to come into the Northwest corner of the state.
For Addison, it marks the second straight year they are playing on the day after Thanksgiving and on the road once more.
In 2016, the undefeated Bulldogs were eliminated by Pickens County 23-6.
Now comes the challenge for David Smothers' Bulldogs, with a six-game winning streak and playing well and hard on both ends of the ball, to face a team that has less than 30 players on its roster and is playing like a ball club that is an upstart and dangerous.
You never know what is going to transpire from one playoff weekend to the next in the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
We will continue to follow it through the Addison Bulldogs.
Millport awaits Sportspage and WKUL Radio next Friday.
Sportspage photo of Addison-Hackleburg game by Johnny Thornton.