Southwest has one more small step to take in order to qualify for the GHSA Class 2A state playoffs.
By virtue of Friday’s 26-21 win against Bleckley County by the Patriots and Washington County losing 26-14 to Dubin, a three-way tie for third place exists between Bleckley, Southwest and Washington County in the GHSA Region 3-2A standings.
The three teams will settle the region’s final two postseason spots and determine which team doesn’t make the playoffs during a mini-playoff between the teams at 6 p.m. on Monday at West Laurens. Each mini playoff will consist of two five-minute halves.
“We always talk about controlling your own destiny, and that’s where we are now,” Southwest head coach Joseph Dupree said. “I think we’ve come out on the good side with the draw having two chances to make the playoffs for us. It’s not ideal, but we’ll take any chance that we can get.”
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Southwest (5-4) and Washington County (4-6) will play first for third place with the loser playing Bleckley County (6-4) for fourth.
The fourth-place team would travel to Screven County in the first round of the playoffs with the third seed playing at Jefferson County.
Southwest lost to Washington County 34-14 earlier this year. The Golden Hawks, meanwhile, lost 42-28 to Bleckley in the earlier meeting between the two teams.
If the Northside (7-3) aims to make a push into the playoffs, the Eagles will likely have to do so on the road. Northside travels to region 2 runner-up Brunswick in the first round with the winner likely going on the road to face last year’s runner-up Tucker.
Warner Robins will carry its unbeaten record into the postseason, hosting South Effingham in the first round. With a win, the Demons (10-0) would face the winner of Whitewater and Eagle’s Landing while possible quarterfinal matchups would include Carrollton and Arabia Mountain.
Jones County (9-1) head coach Justin Rogers will see some familiar sights across the sideline in the Greyhounds first-round game against Griffin. Rogers was an assistant at Griffin before becoming the head coach at Jones County. A Greyhounds first-round win would either mean traveling to Wayne County or hosting Thomas County Central in the second round.
The postseason pedigrees couldn’t be more different for Mary Persons and Howard, but both will indeed be starting the postseason on Friday.
Howard (6-4) is in the playoffs for the first time in school history and will travel to region 1-4A champion Americus-Sumter. Mary Persons (8-2) has drawn Carver of Columbus in the first round and would host the winner of Eastside or Baldwin in round two. Awaiting Mary Persons’ portion of the bracket in the quarterfinals would be two-time defending state champion Cartersville and its all-everything quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the same team that eliminated the Bulldogs from the playoffs last year.
Both of the area’s 3A postseason playoff teams will open the postseason at home. Peach and Westside (7-3) will face the respective third and fourth place teams from region 3, located in the Savannah area, which has not yet broken the tie for its final postseason spots.
The Seminoles would face Liberty in the second round and potentially travel to Calhoun in the quarterfinals. Peach (9-1) would have the benefit of being at home in at least the first two rounds. The Trojans would play either Pierce County or Monroe in the second round with possible quarterfinal opponents including Morgan County or Westminster.
Stratford, FPD, Tattnall Square and Mount de Sales will each be in the playoffs. Brackets will be set on Monday following the final power ratings which are used in the 1A classifications.