Spencer, others looking to nail down playoff spots

Most of the remaining showdown games for first place will take place next week, but there remains a busy schedule for teams trying to ensure that they are one of the four teams that will represent their region in the state playoffs, which begin on Nov. 13.

Here’s a look at some of the top games this weekend:

Credit: Stan Awtrey

Credit: Stan Awtrey

Credit: Stan Awtrey

Credit: Stan Awtrey

Spencer (5-3) vs. Kendrick (3-5) at Columbus Memorial (Saturday):

Spencer has been the Upset Kings from Region 2-AAA, having already taken down giants Jackson and Westside Macon. The Greenwave has made strides under first-year coach Pierre Coffey and are in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Quarterback Khalil Thomas and versatile receiver Jermaine Hernandez are two of 22 seniors trying to help the team to its first winning season since 1977. Spencer has won four straight, the first time that’s been done since 1993, and will finish no worse than fourth in the league if it can finish the season with wins over fellow Columbus schools Kendrick and Jordan. It won't be easy as Kendrick has dominated the series. The Cherokees lead 37-6 and have won the last five meetings, including 14-0 last year. Spencer's last win in the series came in 2007, which ended a 13-game losing streak to Kendrick.

Pierce County (6-2) at Dodge County (8-0): This game, which will determine the Region 1-AAA Division A title, should be a classic game of Pierce County's gunslinging offense against Dodge County's brickwall defense. A year ago Pierce won it 55-36 and would no doubt prefer another similar game. Last week No. 7 Dodge County survived a challenge from Cook, with Camron Young scoring twice in the 21-14 win. But Pierce County turned the ball over six times in a 55-42 loss to Appling County and lost the chance to make this game for the subregion marbles. The series is tied 1-1.

Peach County (7-2) at Westside Macon (6-2): Peach County will be the No. 2 team in Region 2-AAA if it wins, while a Westside victory could create a three-way tie for second place. Both have already lost to Jackson. Peach warmed up by ripping through Jordan 44-18,  its 11th straight win over the Red Jackets. Westside was beaten 22-16 by Spencer, which thrust the Greenwave into the picture.  Peach County leads the series 3-2 over Westside and won last year's game 46-16, which clinched the Region 2 championship.

Jefferson (8-0) at Oconee County (6-1): Jefferson must avoid the temptation to overlook this game in favor of next week's season finale with Hart County. Oconee's offense has plenty of firepower behind quarterback Zeb Noland. The question will be whether the Warriors can handle Jefferson's experienced offensive line and tailback Colby Wood, who has rushed for 1,513 yards and 21 touchdowns. Jefferson leads the series 10-7. Both teams have already qualified for the playoffs.  The teams played last year for the first time since 1987 and the Dragons won 28-16 en route to claiming the Region 8 title.

East Hall (4-4) at Fannin County (4-4): East Hall could nail down the No. 2 spot in Region 7-AAA with a victory, while Fannin County needs a win in order to control its own playoff destiny. East Hall has won three straight and scored an impressive 34-27 win over Franklin County last week when it totalled 450 yards and came back from a 13-0 deficit. Fannin County will try to bounce back from a 40-37 double-overtime loss to West Hall. East Hall leads the series 7-4 and won last year's game 38-20.



Douglass (5-4) vs. Therrell (3-5) at Grady Stadium:

A Douglass victory would put the Astros in the region play-in game and give them a shot at the playoffs for the first time since 2007, the last season it had a winning record. It won’t be easy against a Therrell team that was good enough to upset Westminster in September. Therrell leads the series 8-7 and has won the last two games, including 22-14 in 2014.

Murray County (4-4) at Ringgold (4-4): These are two of the three clubs tied for the fourth playoff spot in Region 6-AAA. Ringgold quarterback Devin Lancaster threw four touchdown passes in last week's 40-7 win over Coahulla Creek. Murray County was overpowered 70-13 by Calhoun and needs to win to have a shot at securing its first playoff spot since 2005. Murray County leads the series 28-20, but Ringgold won last year 43-0 to break an eight-game losing streak to the Indians.