Six of the seven Cherokee County area high school football teams are alive for playoff berths. Five of those six know they’ve already qualified. It’s now just a matter of who and where they’ll play when the playoffs begin on Nov. 2.
The following is a breakdown of potential scenarios.
Class 3A, Region 5
Top-ranked Piedmont (8-0) has clinched the Region 5 championship after its 41-7 victory over Saks (6-2) last Friday. The Bulldogs will host the fourth team to come out of Region 6, which will be the winner of Friday’s New Hope (5-3) at J.B. Pennington (3-5) game. Saks will also host in the first round, and its opponent will be Region 6, No. 3 qualifier Sylvania (6-2).
Class 2A, Region 7
The Sand Rock Wildcats (4-4) are in a must-win situation Friday night when they host Ider (5-3). A win would give the Wildcats the fourth and final playoff spot from Region 7, and a rematch at top-ranked Tanner (8-0) would be on the horizon. Tanner defeated Sand Rock in last year’s opening round, 31-13.
Class 1A, Region 7
This is where things are somewhat muddled, but many positions will fall into place following Friday’s action.
Fifth-ranked Cedar Bluff (7-0), ninth-ranked Collinsville (7-1) and Spring Garden (7-1) will be the top three qualifiers from Region 7. Cedar Bluff travels to Spring Garden on Friday, while Collinsville hosts Valley Head (5-3).
As it stands now, Cedar Bluff is the top team from Region 7 and would host Region 8’s fourth qualifier: Shoals Christian (5-3), Phillips of Bear Creek (5-3) or R.A. Hubbard (5-3). Phillips plays at Shoals Christian on Friday while R.A. Hubbard takes on Decatur Heritage (4-4).
Collinsville, by virtue of its victory over Spring Garden, currently holds the second spot from Region 7 and would host Shoals Christian, Phillips or R.A. Hubbard. Spring Garden would have to travel to Shoals Christian, Phillips or R.A. Hubbard.
Gaylesville (3-5) could tie Donoho (4-4) and Valley Head for the final playoff spot in Region 7 if the Trojans defeat Donoho and Valley Head loses at Collinsville on Friday.
If that scenario happened, Gaylesville, Donoho and Valley Head would all have identical 4-4 region records and their playoff fates would come down to the results of their final regular-season games next week.