Simple math dooms Houston County
Valdosta head coach Alan Rodemaker grew confident at halftime with a tweak in the defensive game plan against Houston County. The Wildcats would double-team receivers Amari Colbert and Eli Watson, rush four with the occasional blitz, and hope no inside receivers got loose. It worked, and kept Houston County and quarterback Jake Fromm in check, ending the Bears’ season at 7-3.
A first for Southwest
Southwest won’t get the top seed from Region 3-2A by virtue of its loss to Washington County. But Dublin’s 27-26 upset of the Golden Hawks gives the Patriots a share of a region title for the first time in the program’s 47-year history. Southwest hosts Brooks County on Friday at Henderson Stadium.
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As has been noted
The quality of Region 1-6A has been well documented — a 5-5 Coffee team that took fourth lost to the other three playoff teams by a total of 19 points — and that a quality team would stay home. That is 7-3 Houston County, the only 7-3 team that is done. Meanwhile, the Class 6A playoffs include 3-7 Lakeside-Evans, 4-6 Jonesboro and 3-5-1 Bradwell Institute. Region 8-6A’s six teams finished a combined 30-30-1, to an overall mark of 36-14 for 1-6A.
Westside finishes strong
Westside head coach Spoon Risper knew his team had a front-loaded schedule heading into the 2016 season. The Seminoles opened 2-4, with all four losses coming against teams that went on to finish in the top two in their respective regions. But Westside took care of things late in the season, closing with four straight wins to enter the playoffs with a 6-4 record. The Seminoles open postseason play Friday at Pierce County.
Closing on a positive note
Northeast will miss the postseason with a 2-8 record, but the Raiders finished the season Friday with a 27-6 victory at East Laurens. The Raiders’ other victory came against Bleckley County.
Late night in Region 4-1A
Macon County was ready. Manchester was ready. The refs were not. The refs never showed, courtesy of some sort of miscommunication, so a crew got done the Greenville-Crawford County game and headed to Manchester, aided by a running clock in the first game. So, the Region 4-1A championship game between Macon County and Manchester didn’t start until 10 p.m. on Friday. Once things started, however, it was all Macon County, as the Bulldogs rolled to a 54-13 victory. Macon County head coach Dexter Copeland got home in Warner Robins around 4 a.m. or so. The Bulldogs likely will be the No. 1 seed for the Class 1A public playoffs.
Region champions are moved to the top of the rankings in Class 1A when it comes to seeding the playoffs, giving them first-round byes. In addition to Macon County (4-1A) and Tattnall Square (7-1A), the other region champions in Class 1A are Pelham (1-1A), Clinch County (2-1A), Calvary Day (3-1A, won via coin flip over ECI), Eagle’s Landing Christian (5-1A), Fellowship Christian (6-1A) and Prince Avenue Christian (8-1A).
Not official, but...
The GHSA is expected to post official power ratings late Sunday, and the brackets are expected to be finalized by 4 p.m. on Monday. But Georgia Varsity Sports Vent poster CheerTigerDad, whose unofficial power ratings usually line up with what the GHSA has, published numbers Saturday morning that did not include the half-dozen or so games being played around the state Saturday. His preliminary numbers indicate the following first-round matchups for Middle Georgia teams (again, these matchups are unofficial):
Class 1A private: No. 21 Savannah Country Day at No. 12 Stratford, No. 17 FPD at No. 16 Aquinas (No. 5 Tattnall, with a bye, would host the Savannah Country Day-Stratford winner).
Class 1A public: No. 24 Marion County at No. 9 Twiggs County, No. 23 Trion at No. 10 Taylor County, No. 21 Irwin County at No. 12 Dooly County (No. 1 Macon County, with a bye, would host the Terrell County-Turner County winner).
Time for a statement
Some regions in Class 5A, including Region 1, will have some reputation building to do. Regions 1 and 2 have only one team each above .500, and the playoffs feature at least seven teams — 4-6 Lithonia played Saturday against No. 9 Arabia Mountain — with losing records. Top-ranked Stockbridge hosts 1-9 South Effingham.