Creekside beats Stephenson again; Northside, Kell rally to win; playoff matchups set

Defending state champion Creekside won its second consecutive region title, beating Stephenson 34-27 in the 6-AAAAA championship game and claiming a No. 1 seed in the state playoffs, which begin next week.

It was Creekside’s second victory this season against the Jaguars, and this time the Seminoles didn’t have to rally to do it as they took an early 14-0 lead and never trailed. In a 28-14 victory against Stephenson on Sept. 19, Creekside scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.

Region 6 also determined its No. 3 and No. 4 seeds for the state playoffs with play-in games. As expected, the Atlanta schools beat the DeKalb schools to claim those berths. Mays beat Miller Grove 29-6 to earn the No. 3 seed, and Carver-Atlanta beat Southwest DeKalb 18-7 to lock up the No. 4 spot.

Here are some of the other big stories in Class AAAAA from Week 12:

- Willie Jordan’s 3-yard touchdown run and Justin Alonso’s extra point with 49.9 seconds to play gave Northside-Warner Robins a 34-33 victory against Houston County and clinched the championship in Region 2. Northside trailed by 13 points in the fourth quarter. The Eagles have won 12 region titles in 17 years. Houston County, which finished as the region runner-up, is 0-17 all-time against Northside and has never won a region title. Jones County and Warner Robins got the other playoff berths from the region.

- Northside wasn’t the only team to win a region title in dramatic fashion. Kell’s Bryson Armstrong caught a 3-yard touchdown pass with seven seconds remaining to give the Longhorns a 16-14 victory over Dalton in the Region 7 championship game. It was the third time this season the Longhorns scored in the closing seconds to win a game. Kell (10-0) is a region champ for the third consecutive year. The other two playoff berths from Region 7 went to Creekview and Sequoyah, who pulled off mild upsets in the play-in games.

- Stockbridge routed Drew 53-26 in the Region 4 championship game. Artemus Mitchell rushed for 220 yards and scored three touchdowns in the third quarter as the Tigers pulled away. The victory gave Stockbridge its second region title and its first in Class AAAAA. The Tigers won Region 4-AAAA in 2012. The other two playoff berths from Region 4 went to Mundy’s Mill and Starr’s Mill, who finished second and third behind Drew in subregion A.

- Three teams that already had clinched region titles – Ware County (Region 3), Allatoona (Region 5) and Lanier (Region 8) – won easily on Friday to finish the season 10-0. Ware County beat Brunswick 48-19, Allatoona beat Chapel Hill 42-6 and Lanier routed Apalachee 55-17. On the other end of the scale, Hardaway, Bradwell Institute, Forest Park, Chapel Hill, Clarkston, Banneker, Woodland-Cartersville and Cedar Shoals finished 0-10.

Playoff pairings

Here are the matchups for next weekend’s first-round games:

Mays at South Paulding

Starr’s Mill at Ware County

Jones County at Carver-Columbus

Winder-Barrow at Kell

Alexander at Stephenson

Brunswick at Stockbridge

LaGrange at Houston County

Sequoyah at Lanier

Glynn Academy at Drew

New Manchester at Creekside

Salem at Dalton

Northside-Columbus at Northside-Warner Robins

Mundy’s Mill at Coffee

Carver-Atlanta at Kell

Creekview at Gainesville

Warner Robins at Harris County