The final weekend of the regular season promises plenty of drama.
Only three regions have already determined their champion. That means plenty will be on the line as the five remaining leagues decide who will be their No. 1 seeds when the playoffs begin next week. Those top seeds are quite valuable, as they ensure a home-field advantage for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The No. 2 seed in six of the eight regions is also at stake. These runners-up are guaranteed at least one home game.
Of the 53 programs eligible for the playoffs, 32 will qualify for postseason. At least three schools with losing records will play an 11th game.
Here’s a look at how things shake down going into the final weekend:
Region 1: No. 8 Veterans (8-1) and No. 4 Warner Robins (8-1) will play for the region title on Friday. The loser will be the No. 2 seed. Bainbridge (6-3) will be the No. 3 seed if it beats Thomas County Central (5-4), making Harris County (5-5) the No. 4 seed. If Thomas County beats Bainbridge there will be a three-way tie for third place
Region 2: In the same scenario for the third straight year, the winner of Friday’s game between No. 7 Wayne County (7-1) and No. 9 Ware County (6-3) will win the region, with the loser the runner-up. Statesboro (4-4) will finish third if it defeats New Hampstead (3-6), leaving South Effingham (6-4) as the No. 4 seed. If New Hampstead wins, there will be a three-way tie for third place.
Region 3: Starr’s Mill (6-3) will win the region championship if it beats rival Fayette County (2-7) on Friday. If Starr’s Mill wins, the game between Riverdale (7-2) and Griffin (8-1) will determine second place, with the loser placing third. If Starr’s Mill loses, the Riverdale-Griffin winner will be the region champion and the loser would drop to third place. Whitewater (2-7) will be the No. 4 seed if it defeats McIntosh (2-7), but Jonesboro (5-5) will be the No. 4 seed if McIntosh wins.
Region 4: No. 3 Jones County (9-0) has clinched first place, regardless of the outcome of Friday’s game against Stockbridge (7-2). No. 5 Dutchtown (8-1) will be the No. 2 seed. From there it gets a little fuzzy. Stockbridge is guaranteed third place if it beats Jones County, but would drop into a possible three-way tie for third with Ola (6-3) (which plays Eagle’s Landing) and Union Grove (6-3). Ola plays Eagle’s Landing (2-7) and Union Grove finishes with Woodland (1-8). Under that three-way scenario, a mini-game would be held on Monday.
Region 5: Southwest DeKalb (8-1) will play Columbia (4-5) for the region title on Friday, with the loser finishing second. Lithonia (3-6) and Arabia Mountain (2-7) will play to determine the other two playoff spots, with the winner placing third and the loser finishing fourth.
Region 6: Riverwood (9-0) has already clinched first place and won the first region championship in school history. Decatur (7-2) and Carver (6-3) play on Friday, with the winner finishing second and the loser finishing no worse than third. Maynard Jackson (5-4) will make the playoffs if it upsets Riverwood, otherwise the Jaguars will finish in a tie for fourth place and be at the mercy of a tiebreaker. A Jackson loss would leave the team tied with the Banneker-Grady winner and possibly Lithia Springs, which finishes against North Springs.
Region 7: The top four participant have been determined: No. 2 Carrollton (9-0), No. 6 Rome (8-2), No. 10 Kell (7-2) and Hiram (5-4). They will start the playoffs in that order unless Woodland (1-8) finds a way to upset Kell and Hiram knocks off Carrollton, a sequence that would enable Hiram to be the No. 3 seed and drop Kell to No. 4.
Region 8: No. 1 Buford (9-0) hosts Clarke Central (6-3) on Friday to determine first place, with the loser taking second. Cedar Shoals (6-3) will finish third if it beats winless Walnut Grove and Loganville (2-7) will place fourth if it defeats Johnson of Gainesville (4-5). Johnson would finish fourth if it beats Loganville.
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