Can Lovett beat GAC?

For the No. 8 Lovett Lions, it's simple: Beat the No. 2 GAC Spartans, and win Region 6.

This is the last game of the season for Lovett, and a win would cap an incredible turnaround from an 0-4 start. The Lions are coming off a win over previously undefeated - and then No. 3-ranked - region foe Wesleyan, a victory that catapulted them from the unranked.

While the objective - beating GAC - is simple, the task will be extremely difficult. There may not be a better metro-Atlanta Class AA team than GAC. The Spartans put themselves to the test right off the bat, opening their season in Savannah against No. 1 Benedictine in a rematch of last year's state championship. The Spartans lost in double overtime and haven't come close to losing since.

It was easy to see the possibility of Lovett beating Wesleyan, seeing as how the Wolves had never beaten the Lions heading into last week.

But Lovett beating GAC isn't as easy to envision. The all-time series is nearly even, with the Lions holding a 6-5 advantage dating back to 1999. The Spartans won 14-7 last year, which ended a dominant six-game win streak by the Lions.

This week's Maxwell Projections have GAC beating Lovett by 25 points. That projection is absurd. This game is guaranteed to be a lot closer. Granted, the Maxwell Projections are strictly formulaic and free from bias, and are also greatly reliable. But in this particular instance, the projections don't do justice to the Lions and the resiliency they've displayed while turning their season around.

Again, this game will be close.

But let's say the projections are correct, and GAC does win. The Spartans still will not have clinched a Region 6 title, because unlike the Lions, the Spartans have another game to play. And that's against No. 10 Wesleyan. So say Wesleyan beats GAC next week.

That would give the Wolves the Region 6 title, of course, assuming Wesleyan beats last-place Holy Innocents this week.

The guess here is that GAC wins this week at home over the Lions.

But the game will be close, as it should be.

Historical reference: GHSFHA.org.