Class 2A blog: In brief — Standings, tiebreakers heading into final week

Potential 4-way tie for first in Region 5; numerous scenarios in Region 6

The final week of the regular season is upon us, so we’ll take a look at each region and see how the playoff picture is shaping up. But first, let’s take a look at this week’s rankings.

Last week’s ranking and current record are in parenthesis

1. (1) Fitzgerald (9-0)

2. (3) Rabun County (9-1)

3. (4) Thomasville (6-4)

4. (5) Lovett (7-2)

5. (6) Jefferson County (6-2)

6. (7) Early County (6-2)

7. (8) Fannin County (7-0)

8. (NR) Haralson County (7-1)

9. (2) Callaway (5-1)

10. (NR) Dodge County (5-3)

Out: No. 9 Northeast, No. 10 Pace Academy

The Callaway Cavaliers played two games this week — on just three days rest — losing 36-29 to unranked Haralson County on Tuesday and then beating Temple 41-20 on Saturday. Kevin Eckleberry of The LaGrange Daily News has a game story for the Haralson County game here and the Temple game can be watched in its entirety on the Facebook page of Graddick Sports.

The Cavs' tough schedule mattered not to the pollsters, who dropped them from No. 2 down to No. 9. If they can’t beat Heard County on Friday, they could drop from the polls after being ranked No. 1 for most of the season.

With Callaway’s slide, last week’s Nos. 3-8 — Rabun County, Thomasville, Lovett, Jefferson County, Early County and Fannin County, respectively — each move up a spot. The Pace Academy Knights, who canceled their Friday game against Washington due to a COVID-19 case within the program, drop out of the polls, as do the Northeast Raiders, though they won 42-6 over Monticello on Friday.

The Haralson County Rebels return to the top 10 at No. 8, and the Dodge County Indians make their season debut at No. 10 in the midst of a four-game win streak that saw them beat Northeast and win Region 3.

Before we get into the region standings, the latest edition of The Class 2A Blogcast will be released later this week. The main topic is based on my final weekly feature of the season, “Home for the holidays” which talks about this season’s late start leading to the playoffs beginning the week of Thanksgiving and ending the week of Christmas. You can listen and subscribe to The Class 2A Blogcast on Apple, Spotify or iHeartRadio among other platforms. Thanks for listening!

OK, here’s where each region stands heading into the final week of the season:

Region 1

Playoff picture: 1. Swainsboro (4-0), 2. Thomasville (4-1), 3. Early County (3-2), 4. Cook (2-2)

What’s left: Nothing. The top four is set and this will be the seeding heading into the playoffs. Swainsboro and Cook played one less game because their matchup was canceled and won’t be made up.

Region 2

Playoff picture: 1. Vidalia (4-0), 2. Jeff Davis (4-1), 3. Toombs County (2-2), 4. Swainsboro (2-2)

What’s left: Vidalia has clinched the region; Jeff Davis has locked up the No. 2 seed; Toombs County can clinch the No. 3 seed with a win over East Laurens (0-4) or a Swainsboro loss; Swainsboro takes the No. 3 seed with a win over Vidalia and a Toombs County loss.

Region 3

Playoff picture: 1. Dodge County (4-1), 2. Northeast (4-1), 3. Washington County (3-2), 4. Bleckley County (3-2)

What’s left: Nothing. Dodge County clinched the region when Southwest canceled this week’s finale; the top four is set and this will be the seeding heading into the playoffs.

Region 4

Playoff picture: 1. Jefferson County (6-0), 2. Putnam County (5-1), 3. Westside (4-2), 4. Laney (4-2), 5. Oglethorpe County (3-3)

What’s left: Jefferson County at Putnam County are locked into their spots at No. 1 and 2; if Westside beats Oglethorpe County, the standings remain unchanged. If Laney were to somehow beat Jefferson County and Westside lost, Laney would be No. 3 and Oglethorpe County would be No. 4. However, if Oglethorpe County wins and Laney loses, then Oglethorpe County, Westside and Laney will all be 4-3. In that event, the region’s plus-minus 15 point differential tiebreaker is applied to the games played between the teams involved in the tie. If Oglethorpe County beats Westside by 10 or more, Oglethorpe County is the No. 3 seed and Westside is the No. 4. If Oglethorpe County wins by less than 10, it is the No. 4 and Westside is No. 3.

Region 5

Playoff picture: 1. Heard County (2-1), 2. Haralson County (2-1), 3. Callaway (2-1), 4. Bremen (1-2)

What’s left: Heard County can clinch the region championship with a win over Callaway. Haralson County takes the region with a win over Bremen and a Heard County loss. If Callaway and Bremen win, there’s a four-way tie for first place at 2-2 between Bremen, Callaway, Haralson County and Heard County. In that event, the region would fall back on its tiebreaker system, which awards points based on the win total and classification of the non-region opponents each 5-2A team beats. Callaway, currently with 60 points, would be region champions and the Nos. 2-4 seeds would depend on how each team’s non-region opponents fare in their final games. Heard County currently has 32 points but could add between 2-4 additional points; Haralson County has 29 points but can add between 1-8 points and Bremen, with 22 points, could add between 1-7 points. Heard County could do no worse than the No. 3 seed, and Bremen could do no better than the No. 3 seed. Haralson County could move to No. 2, stay at No. 3 or drop to No. 4.

Region 6

Playoff picture: 1. South Atlanta (5-0), 2. Washington (5-0), 3. Lovett (5-1), 4. Pace Academy (4-1)

What’s left: As explained in Thursday’s blog, the region has adopted a modified schedule and point system that accounts for COVID-19 cancelations. If South Atlanta beats Columbia (2-2) on Friday, or if Columbia cancels due to COVID-19, South Atlanta wins the region, and if Washington beats Towers (1-4) on Thursday, it takes the No. 2 seed and the top four remain unchanged from the current standings. If South Atlanta loses and Washington wins, Washington is region champion and a coin toss would determine who gets the No. 2 seed between South Atlanta and Lovett. If South Atlanta wins but Washington loses, Lovett is the No. 2 seed and Washington is No. 3. If South Atlanta and Washington lose, a coin toss would decide the region champion between Lovett and South Atlanta. If South Atlanta cancels due to COVID-19 and Washington wins, Lovett and Washington coin toss for region champion and South Atlanta takes the No. 3 seed. If both Washington and South Atlanta cancel due to COVID-19, Lovett is region champion, South Atlanta is the No. 2 seed and Washington is the No. 3. If Towers cancels due to COVID-19, Washington will lock into the No. 3 seed. Pace Academy is locked into the No. 4 seed regardless of what happens.

CORRECTION (7:44 p.m., Nov. 19) — If Columbia wins and Pace Academy loses to KIPP or the Pace Academy-KIPP game is canceled due to COVID-19 — regardless of which team cancels — Columbia will take the No. 4 seed.

Region 7

Playoff picture: 1. Fannin County (4-0), 2. Pepperell (4-1), 3. Model (2-2), 4T. Chattooga (2-3), 4T. Gordon Central (2-3)

What’s left: The top two are set; Model plays Chattooga on Tuesday and Gordon Central on Saturday. If Model beats Chattooga and Gordon Central, Model is the No. 3 seed and Chattooga is the No. 4. If Model beats Chattooga but loses to Gordon Central, Gordon Central is the No. 3 seed and Model is No. 4. If Model loses to Chattooga but beats Gordon Central, Model is the No. 4 seed and Chattooga is No. 3. If Model loses to Chattooga and Gordon Central, Chattooga is No. 3 and Gordon Central is No. 4.

Region 8

Playoff picture: 1) Rabun County (3-0), 2) Elbert County (1-1), 3) Union County (1-2), 4) Banks County (0-2)

What’s left: Rabun County has clinched the region; Elbert County can lock up the No. 2 seed with a win over Banks County and the region standings would remain the same. However, if Banks County wins, there will be a three-way tie at 1-2 between Banks County, Elbert County and Union County. In that event, the region’s 14-point plus-minus differential tiebreaker would be applied to the games played between the teams involved in the tie. Banks County would need to beat Elbert County by at least 14 to take the No. 2 seed, otherwise Elbert County takes the No. 2 seed. If Banks County wins by more than 9 points but less than 14, it takes the No. 3 seed and Union County takes No. 4. If Banks wins by less than eight points, the region standings stay as they currently are.

In brief:

  • As GHSF Daily noted, Haralson County’s win over No. 2 Callaway was the Rebels' first win over a top-five opponent in program history. Included in the win was a performance by Rebels quarterback Clay Hyatt that earned him GHSF Daily’s top performer of the week honors.
  • ICYMI: South Atlanta was recently profiled by yours truly.
  • Cancelations are taking place in Florida’s state playoffs, so brace yourself for the likelihood that it will also happen in Georgia.
  • Northeast quarterback Travion Solomon earned Macon Touchdown Club’s back of the week honors by completing 11 of 13 passes for 266 yards and five touchdowns and rushing twice for 52 yards and another score.
  • Recruit Georgia has named Callaway’s Jalin Shepherd and Toombs County’s DJ Mincey as finalists for its top play of the week.
  • Former Callaway receiver Terry Godwin made his NFL debut Sunday for the Jaguars.
  • Another former Callaway receiver, Braylon Sanders, is working his way toward the NFL as well making plays like this for Ole Miss. That catch was part of a career night for Sanders.
  • Here’s a shot of the Dodge County Indians posing after their Region 3-clinching win.
  • There’s a lot of football left to be played, as demonstrated in the scenarios listed above, but here’s one projection of how the playoff matchups will look, via Region 7 AA Sports.
  • Here’s a 90-yard pick-six from Jarvis Parks in Callaway’s win over Temple on Saturday. And check out this punishing 53-yard touchdown run by his teammate Charlie Dixon.
  • Callaway sophomore Sam Williams, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound tight end, has been selected to participate in the Georgia Elite Classic games, which take place Dec. 18-20 in Rome.
  • Callaway is part of the community devastated by the loss of Trae Cole, the LaGrange player killed last week in a car wreck. The Cavs are honoring Cole with a decal on their helmets and anyone can contribute to the GoFundMe account for Cole’s family.
  • Michael Baron covered Pepperel’s 28-13 win over Chattooga for the Rome News-Tribune, which clinched the No. 2 seed for the Dragons.
  • Ryne Dennis of the Athens Banner-Herald has game coverage of Laney’s 12-7 win over Oglethorpe County in a crucial Region 4 game.
  • WTVY profiled Early County ahead of its playoff-clinching win Friday.
  • Dade County had a cupcake celebration for Magic Morgan’s birthday.
  • Dade County senior kicker Chandler Bailey has a doppelgänger, apparently.
  • This week’s GHSF Daily top performances from 2A are Haralson County quarterback-linebacker Clay Hyatt (178 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries, a 26-yard touchdown reception on a fake field goal, six tackles); Rabun County quarterback Gunner Stockton (22-of-25 passing for 380 yards and six touchdowns, 120 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries); Chattooga defensive back-receiver Rowan Burdick (eight tackles, a recovered fumble, a blocked a field goal and 129 of 131 snaps played); Dade County linebacker-running back Cody Williams (20 solo tackles, two for losses, forced three fumbles and three receptions for 22 yards); *Haralson County defensive end Riley Bell (11 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble); Heard County linebacker Tyler Lasseter (two sacks and 16 tackles, three for losses); Thomasville quarterback Ronnie Baker (9-of-12 passing for 229 yards and six touchdowns and 23 yards – all in the first half); Thomasville receiver-defensive back Joe Williams (three receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns, a blocked a punt and six tackles, also playing just the first half); Vidalia QB Bryce Davis (173 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, 94 passing yards and a 36.8 yards per punt average); Washington County running back Malyk Walker (216 rushing yards on 21 carries); Lines of distinction: Dodge County’s offensive line of Clay Lee, Chanler Neill, Jarred Frost, Cameron Gooch, Lane Poole and Davis Marchant cleared paths for two 100-yard rushers - Daylon Gordon (216) and Mikhail Carr (100); Early County’s offensive line of Ryan Bright, Jennings Allred, Garrett Roland, Jaquan Wright, Darreonta Jackson and Larry McKinnie cleared the path for Ladarious Cesar’s 256-yard rushing effort and 460 total rushing yards)

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