SHANNON FAGAN: Making improvement with my picks

I’ve got to be honest with you. Last week’s slate of area high school football games scared me to death.

There were a lot of matchups that were tough to pick for various reasons, and I was already hovering around the .500 mark to begin the season.

But, as luck would have it, I managed to go 6-1 last week to give my overall record some breathing room. I’m 11-4 on the year now, with the lone loss being Wadley’s 9-0 upset of Spring Garden.

This week isn’t any easier to pick either. How will the Panthers rebound on the road? Can Cherokee County and Collinsville go on the road into tough environments and get a ‘W’ against ranked opponents? And then there’s the rivalry game between Cedar Bluff and Gaylesville tomorrow night.

Like I said, it’s a little tricky.


No. 8 Spring Garden (2-1) at Victory Christian (2-1)

It was an uncharacteristic night for the Panthers last week against Wadley. Turnovers and penalties gave Spring Garden fits in its loss to Wadley, but if I know Jason Howard as well as I think I do, that’s going to be corrected this week.

I look for the Panthers to take out some frustration from last week and rebound with a big win over Victory Christian.

The pick: Spring Garden.


Plainview (0-2) at No. 1 Piedmont (1-1)

Speaking of rebounds, Piedmont posted a big one last week behind quarterback Jack Hayes. He completed 20-of-29 passes, including his 500th career completion, for 419 yards and five touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Bulldogs to a 40-7 win over Sylvania.

I look for Hayes and company to keep things rolling against Plainview.

The pick: Piedmont.


Sand Rock (1-2) at Section (0-3)

Here are two teams coming off region losses, so this one is almost a must-win to stay in the playoff hunt. I’ve heard the Lions are a bit banged up, and Sand Rock traditionally has a lot of success in the overall series, so I’m going with the Wildcats to even their record.

The pick: Sand Rock.


Collinsville (2-0) at No. 7 Pisgah (2-0)

Both of these teams have been solid so far this season. Collinsville has the versatile Keaton DeBoard, while Pisgah has a pretty solid quarterback in Mason Holcomb. He accounted for four touchdowns against Sand Rock last week.

This is the first time the Eagles are playing at home this season, and I think that might be the edge they need to win a close game with the Panthers.

The pick: Pisgah.


No. 8 Cherokee County (3-0) at No. 5 Oneonta (3-0)

This Cherokee County Warrior team looks like its hungry for a deep playoff run. The Warriors have already knocked off one powerhouse in the Piedmont Bulldogs, and now they can take down another top-5 team in the Redskins tomorrow night to take early control of the region.

If the Warrior defense can corral junior running back Fluff Bothwell, I like their chances. Here’s thinking they can do just that.

The pick: Cherokee County.


Cedar Bluff (2-1) at Gaylesville (0-2)

Kade Browning and Bucky Leek have made quite the combo for the Tigers this season. I look for the duo to continue providing the 1-2 punch Cedar Bluff needs against the Trojans in the Foothills Tractor Game of the Week tomorrow night.

The pick: Cedar Bluff.

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