Class 2A blog: South Atlanta controls its region title destiny

If the South Atlanta Hornets win the remainder of their Region 6 games, they will win their first region championship in a program history that dates back to 1994. The Hornets stand to be the beneficiaries of a decision that was made by Region 6 in August, when DeKalb County Schools postponed its fall sports until October.

Region 6 has nine football playing schools, including Columbia, McNair and Towers from DeKalb Schools. With DeKalb Schools wiping out September, it meant not all Region 6 teams would have time in the regular season to play all eight league games. Therefore, the decision was made by the region to only count each team’s final six region games of the season toward the region standings that determine playoff seeding.

Given that decision, if the Hornets win out, they will be 6-0 in their final six region games, while the Lovett Lions and Pace Academy Knights would finish 5-1 should they win out. That would give the Hornets the Region 6 title, with the Knights taking the No. 2 seed because they beat the Lions, who would take the No. 3 seed.

What the final six games for each team doesn’t take into account, however, is that Lovett beat South Atlanta 37-12 on Oct. 2. That’s because, for the Hornets, the Lovett game wasn’t part of their final six region games — it was their second of eight league games — so the loss doesn’t count toward the standings. For the Lions, the South Atlanta game was within their final six games, so that win counts toward their standings.

In a normal season, all region games would count toward the region standings. So, if Lovett were to beat South Atlanta, South Atlanta were to beat Pace Academy and Pace Academy were to beat Lovett — which is exactly what happened this season — there would be a three-way tie for first place atop the region standings, with all three teams at 7-1. In that case, mini-games would have determined the tiebreak.

If the Hornets were to lose one of their remaining region games and they finish 5-1 along with Lovett and Pace Academy, there’s no clear way to determine who wins that tiebreaker given that Lovett wasn’t one of South Atlanta’s final six games. Tiebreaker mini-games are out of the question for this season amid COVID-19 concerns, Region 6 secretary Myss Johnson-Jelks said.

She also said that, within the next week or so, Region 6 will meet to further discuss hypothetical three-way tiebreakers.

The Hornets' remaining games are against McNair (0-4, 0-4), KIPP (1-2, 2-2) and Columbia (3-1, 3-1).

Now, onto the rankings!

There was no change to the order of the top 8, but Lovett moved up one spot to No. 9, taking the place of the Early County, which was throttled in Region 1 play for the second week in a row.

For the Week 8 Friday night recap, go here.

Replacing the Bobcats in the polls are the Putnam County War Eagles, who are ranked for the first time since 2001 and are 7-0 for the first time since 1994.

Here’s a full look at the rankings, with last week’s ranking and current record in parenthesis:

1. (1) Callaway (4-0)

2. (2) Fitzgerald (7-0)

3. (3) Rabun County (6-1)

4. (4) Bleckley County (6-1)

5. (5) Haralson County (5-0)

6. (6) Thomasville (4-3)

7. (7) Toombs County (5-1)

8. (8) Cook (5-2)

9. (10) Lovett (4-2)

10. (NR) Putnam County (7-0)

Out: No. 9 Early County

Coming out later this week is Episode 8 of The Class 2A Blogcast. Topics include a deeper look into the Region 6 scenario described above, the Falcons getting back on the losing track for draft position and look at transferring during the pandemic-riddled 2020 football season, which is the topic of my weekly feature that runs online Thursdays and in print Fridays.

You can listen and subscribe to the Class 2A Blogcast on Apple, Spotify or iHeartRadio among other platforms. Thanks for listening!

In brief:

  • In Monday night action, Pepperell beat Gordon Central 50-14 in a Region 7 contest to move to 2-4, 1-1. Gordon Central drops to 1-4, 0-1. The game was pushed back due to COVID-19 cases impacting Gordon Central, which played the game minus at least 12 players, writes Daniel Bell for the Rome News-Tribune.
  • No. 1 Callaway (4-0) and No. 5 Haralson County (5-0) were supposed to play last Friday in a pivotal Region 5 contest, but COVID-19 concerns pushed the game to this Tuesday, and the game has now been moved again to Nov. 10. Here’s Callaway’s updated schedule for the season.
  • Putnam County coach Shaun Pope was recently featured in GHSF Daily’s “4 questions with...
  • Chattooga Indians freshman receiver Nic Hester’s prep career is off to a notable start.
  • Dodge County running back Daylon Gordon won Recruit Georgia’s Week 8 top play honors.
  • Fitzgerald’s players of the game for their 42-7 win over then-No. 9 Early County are Todkevious Wallace (special teams), Dequavion Harper (defense), Jakwon Bishop (offense) and Chance Gamble (overall).
  • Bleckley County’s players of the game for their 30-0 win over Lamar County are Jaden Mobley (offense), the entire defense and Caden Maxwell (special teams).
  • Union County’s game against Rabun Gap has been moved to Nov. 5 “due to lack of available referees”. Kickoff for the Thursday game is set for 6:30 p.m.
  • Here’s highlights from Blitz of the Union County Panthers' 19-7 win over the Banks County Leopards in Region 8. Logan Helcher’s 66-yard touchdown run was Blitz’s play of the week. The Panthers are 3-2, 1-0 and the Leopards drop to 1-6, 0-1.
  • Auburn true freshman and Callaway alum Tank Bigsby was named SEC player of the week, rushing for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries, and finishing with 198 all-purpose yards against Ole Miss. Check out this play.
  • Four Callaway alums were playing in the Auburn-Ole Miss game.
  • Here’s highlights of Model’s 27-0 win over Dade County, courtesy of Matt Green. The Blue Devils are 4-2, 2-0 in Region 7 and play Fannin County (5-0, 2-0) next.
  • The Temple Tigers are 5-2, 2-0 in Region 5 following their 34-28 win over the Heard County Braves, a team they were 0-10 against dating back to 2003. The Braves, who were ranked No. 6 as recently as Oct. 2, fall to 4-3, 0-1.
  • Vidalia quarterback Bryce Davis had a big game in the Indians' decisive Region 2 win over Jeff Davis, 42-18, where the Indians scored 35 unanswered points. The Indians are 3-2, 1-0 and Jeff Davis is 5-1, 1-1.
  • WTOC’s Jake Wallace interviewed Vidalia coach Jason Cameron ahead of the Jeff Davis game for the WTOC Sports Podcast.
  • Chattooga’s Lashaun Lester had a mosnter game with 210 yards and three scores on 17 carries in the Indians' 25-6 win over Coosa. Region 7AA Sports has highlights. The Indians are 2-3, 1-0 in Region 7.
  • Bacon County’s Terriyon Moore set a program record for touchdowns in a season, pulling down his 12th on Friday in a losing effort against Toombs County. Also in the same game, quarterback Mason Mikell set a program record for touchdowns in a season, tossing his 16th. The Red Raiders are 4-3, 0-2 in Region 2.
  • Rabun County junior Gunner Stockton threw his 100th touchdown pass in a 42-6 win over Columbia Academy (Tenn.) on Friday. The Wildcats are 6-1 as they enter Region 8 play this week against Banks County (1-6, 0-1).
  • The Westside Patriots closed their 17-6 win over Butler in Region 4 with a Jermichael Ambroise forced fumble and touchdown return. The Patriots are 4-3, 3-1 and seeking their first playoff appearance since 2014.
  • The Dodge County Indians, playing at home for the first time since beating 1A Public’s then-No. 3 Dublin 33-20 on Sept. 11, shut out Monticello 58-0 to move to 2-3, 1-1. Avery Braxton has highlights for WMAZ.
  • WJBF has highlights of Region 4 action.
  • This week’s GHSF Daily top performances from 2A are Bacon County receiver Terriyon Moore (five receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns); Chattooga receiver-defensive back Nic Hester (six receptions, two interceptions, recovered a fumble and a kickoff); Cook defensive lineman Andre Jackson (three tackles for losses and a sack); Dodge County running back Daylon Gordon (248 yards on 10 carries); Fitzgerald athlete Chance Gamble ( a rushing touchdown, two touchdown receptions and a touchdown pass); Lovett linebacker Stevie Bracey (9.5 tackles); Rabun County receiver Adriel Clark (four receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown); Toombs County running back Derrick Mincey (121 rushing yards and three touchdowns); Washington quarterback Moyne Jones (12-of-21 passing for 233 yards, five touchdowns and 37 rushing yards); Lines of distinction: Thomasville (offensive line of Jackson Hodge, Ayden Aque, Caden Shokat, Jacob Tyson and Jaiwan Anderson paved the way for a season-high 394 rushing yards and five touchdowns and allowed no sacks on 28 passing attempts)

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