Local playoff picture coming into focus

By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent

With most teams facing two more region games, the local high school football playoff races are starting to heat up.

So here’s a glimpse at the regions containing Etowah County teams.

We’re only looking at the remaining region games, not the Week 10 matchups. However, those games could come into play in case of a three-way tie. So stay tuned for that as the playoffs start coming together.

Class 6A, Region 7

Gadsden City really helped itself by beating second-ranked Clay-Chalkville. A loss might have made a postseason berth all but impossible to gain.

Right now, the Titans are tied for fourth place with Pell City. If things remain the same, the Panthers would earn that fourth seed, as they defeated Gadsden City.

The Titans still must play Grissom and Huntsville. Meanwhile, Pell City face Lee-Huntsville and Oxford. This situation is a draw, as Grissom is winless and Lee has only one region victory. Huntsville and Oxford, along with Clay, comprise the top three teams in the region. So to have a shot at a playoff berth, the Titans must win out and hope that Pell City loses at least one game.

Class 5A, Region 7

Southside and Etowah may have never played a bigger game against each other than in tonight’s contest at Bar-ney Hood Stadium.

Should the Panthers prevail, they most likely will win the region. However, a Blue Devils victory probably forces a three-way tie with Scottsboro, which plays a weak Columbia team this week.

“I think that if we win, we’re (region) champs,” Southside coach Ron Daugherty said. “This is what you play for – a game with this type of repercussions is great for both communities.”

Southside will go to Brewer in Week 9, while Etowah travels to Boaz and Scottsboro visits Fort Payne.

“I’m glad that Etowah is playing in a meaningful game this late in the season,” Blue Devils coach Drew Noles said.

We’ll check out the three-way tie scenarios next week, if Etowah beats Southside.

Class 4A, Region 5

Hokes Bluff has no chance at making the postseason. All the Eagles can do this week is play spoiler for Anniston, which is on the bubble.

Class 4A, Region 6

With an undefeated 5-0 region mark, Oneonta is king of the hill right now. Right behind, with one loss, is Guntersville.

Sardis, St. Clair County and Locust Fork are tied for third place, with Fairview one game behind.

Sardis visits Fairview this week, then ends region play against Oneonta on Oct. 25.

“It’s pretty much the same for us and Fairview,” Sardis coach Gene Hill said. “We’ve both got to win this one to have a chance at the playoffs.”

St. Clair plays Oneonta this week, then goes head to head against Locust Fork. The Hornets’ next foe is Guntersville.

This four-team race for the third and fourth slots can still go n any direction, according to who beats who.

Class 3A, Region 5

Glencoe is in the middle of a thick playoff race.

Piedmont and Saks are destined to be the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, but the third and fourth spots are up for grabs between Weaver, Glencoe, White Plains and Cleveland.

“We deserve to be in the race,” Glencoe coach Lee Ozmint said. “It’s based on what you do, not what you deserve. The key word there is “do.” If we do what we should, we’ll have a chance to be in the playoffs.”

The Yellow Jackets still have to play Susan Moore and Ashville. Weaver still has Ashville and Piedmont.

White Plains will next play Cleveland, then Susan Moore. And Cleveland still has to play Saks after the White Plains game.

Class 2A, Region 7

Gaston is tied with Sand Rock for fifth place, but the Bulldogs are only one game behind Section and Westbrook.

Gaston must play Ider and West End, while Sand Rock still has West End and Ider on its schedule.

“If we win out, we’ve got a good shot at making the playoffs,” Gaston coach Swane Morris said. “I like our chances if it comes down to a three-way tie.”

Westbrook plays Section this week, then faces North Sand Mountain. After playing Westbrook, Section will face Fyffe.

“If we want to be in the playoffs, we need to win this week,” Westbrook coach Tony Osborne said. “It’s a good playoff race, though. This region is so tough that the teams that make the playoffs have survived some good games.”

West End is out of playoff contention.

Class 1A, Region 7

Coosa Christian is out of contention.

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