Region 3-1A: Branford at Hilliard

Branford at Hilliard

7:30 p.m.

Series: Red Flashes lead 10-5.

Last Meeting: Hilliard won 26-14 at home on Oct. 4.

Playoff history: Branford is making its sixth playoff appearance. The Buccaneers are 2-5 with no state championships and one finals appearance (1974). Hilliard is making its 11th playoff appearance. The Red Flashes are 2-10 with no state championships and no finals appearances.

Last playoff appearance: Branford lost 39-6 to Dixie County in a Region 3-1A quarterfinal last season; Hilliard lost 34-21 to Hamilton County in a regional semifinal in 2014.

Notes: The Red Flashes’ first playoff appearance in five years is powered by its rushing attack which is led by Tywuan Lee, who has rushed for more than 770 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season. Cody Bright and DJ Coston have also churned out nearly 700 yards combined on the ground. Coston is also Hilliard’s top receiving threat, while quarterback Lyle Bennett has thrown for 968 yards and 14 scores with 7 interceptions. Seth O’Neal is Hilliard’s top defender with 63 tackles, 9 TFL, and four sacks. The Red Flashes have 41.5 sacks as a team with Nathan Wilson leading the way with seven, while Tanner Morgan has six and both Tristin Moody and Carson Newkirk having 5.5. Lee has four of Hilliard’s 10 interceptions and O’Neal has recovered six fumbles. Branford enters the playoffs with a balanced offensive attack, one that averaged nearly 166 yards rushing per game and a little more than 182 yards per game through the air. That balanced attack has helped the Bucs close the regular season on a three-game winning streak since their first trip to Hilliard — which was also their worst offensive output of the season with just 213 total yards. Seth Heiderman has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,657 yards and 17 touchdowns, while Dakota Hamm leads the team with 695 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 71 carries. Colton Leibold has caught 38 passes for 784 yards and 10 scores. Junior Cress leads the Bucs with 42 tackles, while Bodhi White has 38, including four for a loss and three sacks, tied for the team high with Jeremy Byrd. Branford also has 10 interceptions, led by Clay Williams’ four.