SHANNON FAGAN: Playoff positions could take shape following Friday’s action

Believe it or not, after Friday night’s high school football action is over, there will be just two weeks left in the regular season. For some teams, they’ll have just one more regular season game to play before the postseason begins on Nov. 4.

Some of our teams are just barely hanging in there, while three of them have legitimate shots at winning region championships and clinching first-round playoff berths.

As far as picks go, I’d like to put myself in the latter category with those teams gearing up for a run at the postseason. After last week’s 5-1 mark, I improved to 36-9 for the year and I’m looking to finish the regular season strong.

So what’s in store for this week? Will things get clearer, or will the playoff picture become more muddled? Here’s what yours truly thinks will happen.


Decatur Heritage (4-4) at Gaylesville (1-5)

Gaylesville is coming off a bye week after picking up its first win of the season two weeks ago against Woodville. Decatur Heritage defeated Woodville 49-8 last week, and in that game, quarterback Bo Solley tossed four touchdown passes as the Eagles snapped a two-game losing streak.

The Eagles are 2-0 all-time against the Trojans, so I’ll give them the edge here on a night in which the Gaylesville faithful are renaming the field in honor of former coach Roy Knapp.

The pick: Decatur Heritage.


Sand Rock (2-6) at Ider (2-6)

I know it’s been a struggle the past month for the Wildcats. They haven’t tasted victory since Sept. 8, but I believe they’re going to close out the season strong beginning this week at Ider.

The pick: Sand Rock.


Collinsville (5-2) at Whitesburg Christian (4-3)

Collinsville needs the win here to maintain its chances of taking the third playoff spot in Class 2A, Region 7. The Panthers are currently tied with North Sand Mountain for that spot, and those two teams do battle in Higdon on Oct. 21.

Here’s thinking the Panthers aren’t looking ahead and they’ll take care of the task at hand in the first-ever meeting between these two schools.

The pick: Collinsville.


Donoho (4-3) at Spring Garden (7-1)

Like I said with Collinsville, Spring Garden needs this one in order to stay alive for the Class 1A, Region 6 championship. And, like I said with my last pick, I don’t think the Panthers are looking ahead to their showdown with Ragland next week. I like the Panthers to win their sixth game in a row.

The pick: Spring Garden.


Geraldine (5-2) at Piedmont (5-2)

This one’s pretty simple as far as playoff scenarios are concerned for Piedmont. Win this one and they’re region champs. Lose it and it creates a little chaos. Here’s thinking it’s a happy homecoming for Piedmont.

The pick: Piedmont.


Etowah (6-1) at Cherokee County (6-1)

Speaking of chaos, the Warriors would love to create a little of that this week. A win here, coupled with an Oneonta win over Ashville, would potentially create a three-way tie atop Class 4A, Region 6. But if the Blue Devils win, they finish as region champions.

This one is hard for me to pick because both teams have been outstanding to this point. Heck, they’re 9 and 10 in this week’s Alabama Sports Writers Association football rankings.

Etowah’s only loss has been at Class 6A Fort Payne, and the Blue Devils are a senior-laden team (21 seniors). They’ve outscored their opponents 257-58 this season and handled Oneonta on the road 31-7 to close out September. Oneonta handed the Warriors their only loss this season in a close 17-14 setback on Sept. 9.

Okay Warriors, here’s your motivation to prove me wrong once again in what should be another great Foothills Tractor Game of the Week.

The pick: Etowah.

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