The following is a reprint of an article written by Ehsan Kasim of the Gadsden Times on November 16th
The quarterfinals of the Alabama high school football playoffs have arrived. Eleven Gadsden area teams qualified for the postseason: three advanced to the second round and just two are still standing.
Here's a look at the two games in the area for the quarterfinals, along with predictions for each.
Game of the week
Winfield (12-0) at Piedmont (9-2)
When: 7 p.m., Friday
The Bulldogs are set to host their second straight Class 3A home playoff game after disposing of Lauderdale County 31-0 last week. The Pirates, who won Region 6, are coming off a 56-27 victory over Ohatchee.
Piedmont has made the semifinals each of the last six seasons, while Winfield is seeking to make its first trip to the round since 2016.
The Bulldogs' defense led the way last week in the victory over Lauderdale County, recording their first shutout since Week 2.
Piedmont's Omarion Foster collected two interceptions and Landon Smart picked up two sacks in limiting the Tigers to 31 rushing yards on 26 attempts.
Jack Hayes had three passing touchdowns and 161 yards passing. He also led the team with 11 rushes for 68 yards. Austin Estes finished with five receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
In Winfield's victory over Ohatchee, Aidan Quinn completed 9 of 14 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Joseph Cox rushed for 72 yards and a TD, while Ja'borri McGhee had three touchdowns (one rushing, two receiving) to go along with four catches for 85 yards.
Drew Cook ran for 68 yards and a score while recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Piedmont defeated Winfield 38-0 in the quarterfinals in 2013 in the only meeting between the schools.
Prediction: Piedmont 31, Winfield 22
Saks (11-1) at Fyffe (10-1)
When: 7 p.m., Friday
The Red Devils continue their quest of a fourth straight state title with a home date in the Class 3A quarterfinals against the Wildcats.
Fyffe defeated J.B. Pennington 43-14 to advance, while Saks defeated Oakman 36-22.
The last time the Red Devils did not reach the quarterfinals: 2012.
The two teams have never played each other. Saks lost 38-20 to Piedmont in the quarterfinals a season ago and hasn't reached the semifinals since 2017.
Logan Anderson rushed 14 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over J.B. Pennington, while Kyle Dukes finished with 139 yards on 14 carries, adding two touchdowns.
J.B. Pennington scored both touchdowns late in the game, with Fyffe backups in.
Saks quarterback Sean Parnell rushed for 108 yards, passed for 183 and accounted for all five touchdowns last week for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats trailed 14-6 after one quarter, but scored all 16 points in the second quarter to lead 22-14 at halftime and never trailed again.
Prediction: Fyffe 38, Saks 21