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SHANNON FAGAN: Still lots to be determined before playoff picture comes into focus

Believe it or not, the football season is past the midway point for most area teams now, meaning the playoffs are just around the corner.
I spent part of Wednesday afternoon breaking down potential first-round playoff pairings, but there’s still a lot of football left to be played before that comes into sharp focus.
Speaking of focus, things have been getting a little clearer for me on the picking front, but it’s still not quite at perfection yet. I went 5-1 last week to bring my overall record to 25-8 for the season.
Let’s see if my focus is sharp in Week 5.

Woodville (2-3) at Gaylesville (0-5)
Gaylesville was so close to clinching its first win of the season last week at Victory Christian, but fell just short. Thursday night is homecoming for the Trojans, and I think that might provide the push they need to finally get in the win column.
The pick: Gaylesville.

No. 3 Piedmont (3-2) at Westbrook Christian (4-1)
Piedmont almost completed another comeback for the ages last week against Anniston, but ran out of time. Nonetheless, it was still an impressive fourth-quarter performance led by senior quarterback Jack Hayes.
I don’t think the Bulldogs suffer a letdown from last week’s heartbreaker. You’ve got to go all the way back to 2018 to find the last time Piedmont has lost back-to-back games. I look for the Bulldogs to rebound in a big way against the Warriors.
The pick: Piedmont.

Talladega County Central (0-5) at No. 7 Spring Garden (5-1)
Here are two teams on totally different paths. Spring Garden looks to stay in the region championship hunt, while TCC begins to turn its attention toward basketball season. This one could get ugly in a hurry.
The pick: Spring Garden.

Cedar Bluff (3-3) at No. 6 Valley Head (5-0)
It’s no secret that quarterback Eian Bain is the focal point of Valley Head’s offense. In a 56-30 win at Ider last week, Bain just touched the ball four times. All of them went for touchdowns for more than 30 yards.
I look for a pretty-much rested Bain to give Cedar Bluff’s defense all it can handle in this one.
The pick: Valley Head.

Collinsville (4-1) at No. 1 Fyffe (5-0)
The Panthers have been a bit of a surprise team in the WEIS coverage area this season, and a win here would really shake things up in Class 2A, Region 7.
But Fyffe is Fyffe.
I look for Collinsville to fight valiantly, but it won’t be enough against the Red Devils.
The pick: Fyffe.

North Sand Mountain (2-3) at Sand Rock (2-3)
This is a must-win for the Wildcats if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. Sand Rock has lost its last two games and has fallen behind early in both those contests. I think a good start would bode well for the Wildcats, but the Bison appear to have gotten on track.
After starting the season with three straight losses, they’ve won their last two games at Ider and against Whitesburg Christian to get back in the playoff hunt. And they were off last week.
I think that bye week will prove to be crucial for the Bison in the Foothills Tractor Game of The Week.
The pick: North Sand Mountain.

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