Playoff races go down to wire
Thu. October 24, 2013 at 10:36 p.m. | By Nick Johnston Sports Writer
The Westbrook Christian Warriors need a win Friday night to clinch a home playoff game. (Photo by Eric T. Wright | Gadsden Times | File)
Heading into Week 9 play, several region races are decided — but some questions remain.
We actually may not know how everything shakes out in some regions until non-region games are played in Week 10.
Let’s dive right in:
Class 6A, Region 7
Clay-Chalkville pretty much has the region race in the bag. The Cougars just need to beat struggling Lee-Huntsville (1-5) Friday night to secure the title.
Oxford, like Clay-Chalkville, is 5-1 in the region and plays Pell City on Friday night. Pell City, Huntsville and Gadsden City all are 4-2 and fighting for the other two playoff spots.
For Gadsden City to get in the playoffs, it needs to beat Huntsville on the road Friday night. The Titans could get as high as the No. 3 seed with a win and a Pell City loss.
Class 5A, Region 7
Southside (6-0) clinched the region title with last week’s win over Etowah.
Scottsboro, Etowah and Fort Payne are the other playoff teams, it’s just a matter of seeding. All three could end up 5-2 if Fort Payne beats Scottsboro on Friday night and Etowah gets a win over Boaz — meaning a tie-breaker that won’t be decided until after Week 10.
If Scottsboro beats Fort Payne and Etowah beats Boaz, Scottsboro will be No. 2, Etowah No. 3 and Fort Payne No. 4.
Class 4A, Region 6
Oneonta is the region champ and Guntersville is the runner-up.
That leaves Sardis, St. Clair County, Locust Fork and Fairview all at 3-3 and tied for third.
The only way Sardis gets in the postseason is if it upsets No. 5 Oneonta and Locust Fork beats St. Clair County on Friday night .
Class 4A, Region 5
Other than Munford already clinching the region championship, there’s still a lot to be settled here between Lincoln, Jacksonville, Cleburne County, Alexandria and Anniston.
The only two teams in The Gadsden Times’ coverage area from this region — Hokes Bluff and Cherokee County — will not be going to the playoffs.
Class 3A, Region 6
New Hope, Geraldine and Plainview are tied for first at 5-1 and have clinched playoff spots. They each will be heavy favorites in their games Friday night , meaning there will be a tie atop the region standings.
There’s also a good chance J.B. Pennington, Pisgah and Sylvania will be tied for fourth after games are played Friday night.
Chances are, this playoff race will not be settled until after Week 10 games.
Class 3A, Region 5
No. 3 Saks clinched the region title last week with a win over No. 7 Piedmont, after the Wildcats entered as the 3A, seventh-ranked team against the second-ranked Bulldogs.
Assuming Piedmont beats Weaver Friday night, the Bulldogs would get the No. 2 spot.
Glencoe and Cleveland currently are tied for fourth at 3-3. Glencoe will be the favorite Friday night against Ashville, while Cleveland will be a heavy underdog against Saks.
To put it simply, if Glencoe wins, the Yellow Jackets will make their fifth straight playoff appearance. Even if there is a tie between Weaver, Glencoe and Cleveland at 4-3, Weaver would get the tie-breaker since it beat both Glencoe and Cleveland earlier in the season. Then it comes down to a head-to-head tie-breaker, which Glencoe owns with its victory over Cleveland two weeks ago.
Class 2A, Region 7
This probably is the most interesting region in the area.
No. 5 Fyffe has the region crown locked up, but there’s a crowd battling for the Nos. 2-4 spots.
Westbrook Christian and North Sand Mountain currently are tied for second at 4-2 and play each other Friday night. The winner will secure the No. 2 spot and a home playoff game.
Sand Rock, Gaston and Section each are tied for fourth at 3-3. Sand Rock and Gaston will be favored in their games Friday night against Ider and West End, respectively, and likely will finish with 4-3 marks. Section will be a heavy underdog against Fyffe.
Assuming Section falls to Fyffe, and North Sand Mountain loses to Westbrook, there would be a three-way tie between NSM, Sand Rock and Gaston at 4-3. NSM would get the tie-breaker since it beat both Sand Rock and Gaston. Sand Rock would get the head-to-head tie-breaker over Gaston, leaving the Bulldogs out of the postseason.
If NSM beats Westbrook, that would mean a three-way tie between Westbrook, Sand Rock and Gaston. In this scenario, Sand Rock would get the No. 3 spot in a tie-breaker by virtue of its non-region wins. Gaston owns the head-to-head tie-breaker over Westbrook, so the Bulldogs would sneak into the fourth spot and the Warriors would be left out.
Class 1A, Region 7
Valley Head, Donoho, Collinsville and Gaylesville are the playoff teams.
Valley Head is 7-0 and needs a win over Collinsville (6-1) Friday night to take the region crown. However, If Collinsville wins — and Donoho beats Gayelsville on Friday night — there will be a three-way tie atop the region standings. That tie would not be settled until after Week 10 games.
However, if Gaylesville beats Donoho, then the winner of the Valley Head-Collinsville showdown will be the region champ.