NICK JOHNSTON: Boaz vs. Southside highlights Week 7 games

Southside's Dantley Coker gets tackled by Boaz's Tyler Martin during the teams' last meeting at Barney Hood Stadium in Southside on October 08, 2010. (Photo by Dave Hyatt | Gadsden Times | File )

All the clichés fit for Week 7 of the high school football season.

“It’s down to the nitty-gritty,” you could say. Or, “this is where the rubber meets the road.”

Clichés aside, it’s a big week for area teams as they make a push for playoff spots in their respective regions — especially Class 5A, Region 7.

Fort Payne is the class of the region, and the Wildcats likely will have little trouble running the table the rest of the way. That leaves Southside, Etowah, Boaz and Arab fighting for the final three playoff spots. And it just so happens that Southside hosts Boaz on Friday night in The Gadsden Times’ Game of the Week, while Etowah travels to Arab.

Both Southside and Boaz are coming off losses, with the Panthers falling on the road to Arab and the Pirates getting knocked off by Fort Payne.

While a win would be big for either team, Southside likely is feeling more pressure. A loss would drop the Panthers to 2-3 in the region and put them in a position of needing to beat Etowah next week and Brewer in Week 9 to have a shot at reaching the postseason. But there are plenty of variables in this region race, and we could be headed toward a logjam for the Nos. 2-4 positions at the end of the season. Southside has not beaten Boaz since 2004, and unfortunately for the Panthers, I don’t see that streak being snapped Friday night. These teams are fairly equal, but the Pirates leave Barney Hood Stadium with a 28-20 win.

As for Etowah at Arab on Friday night, the Blue Devils have won four straight with their most impressive victory coming against 4A Lincoln. Arab has won three straight since falling to Fort Payne in Week 3. This one’s a toss-up, but I think the Blue Devils will come out on top. Etowah 34, Arab 28.

6A, No. 2 Clay Chalkville sends Gadsden City to its third straight loss, 40-14. Gaston falls to No. 3 Fyffe 45, Bulldogs 13; Glencoe snaps its two-game skid and beats Cleveland 35-14; Coosa Christian falls to Shades Mountain Christian 29-21; Muford gets past Hokes Bluff 30-20; Westbrook Christian beats Sand Rock 35-34; Sardis tops St. Clair County 40-35; and West End falls to Section 45-14.

In other games: Albertville 21, Lee-Huntsville 20; Ashville 30, White Plains 20; Cedar Bluff 40, Donoho 20; Anniston 38, Cherokee County 14; Collinsville 35, Spring Garden 21; Guntersville 42, Crossville 12; Locust Fork 48, Douglas 25; Fort Payne 52, Columbia 7; Gaylesville 55, Woodville 6; Geraldine 44, Holly Pond 6; Piedmont 42, Susan Moore 0; Plainview 23, New Hope 14; Sylvania 21, Pisgah 14.

Times Sports Writer Nick Johnston can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GT_NickJohnston.