Class 2A blog: Week 9 recap

Bleckley County tops Northeast; Rabun County, Dodge County post shutouts

In a key Region 3 showdown, the No. 4 Bleckley County Royals edged the No. 6 Northeast Raiders 9-6 on Friday in Cochran.

Dave Whitaker covered the game for The Bleckley Progress.

The Royals (8-0, 4-0) are now alone atop the standings, with games remaining against No. 10 Washington County (4-2, 2-1) and Southeast (1-5, 1-3) as the final two tests of the regular season. If they win out, they’re regular season champs for the first time in a history that dates to 1977.

The Royals are off to their best start since their second year of existence, 1978, when they went 10-0 in the regular season but lost their first region playoff game to finish 10-1. The Royals haven’t had a double-digit win season since.

Royals fifth-year coach Von Lassiter has turned the program around, however, increasing the team’s win total every season since 2018. Their quarterfinals finish last year — as a No. 4 seed — was the furthest the team has ever advanced, matching the 2006 Royals.

It’s possible the Raiders (5-2, 2-1) drop from the rankings, but unlikely given the quality of opponent. Having already beaten the No. 10 Washington County Golden Hawks (4-2, 2-1), they’ll need to beat the No. 7 Dodge County Indians (5-2, 2-1) next week, then Jasper County (0-7, 0-3) and Lamar County (4-4, 1-3) to secure the No. 2 seed for a second year in a row.

The Indians beat Lamar County 21-6. The Herald-Gazette has details.

The Golden Hawks beat Southwest 44-0. It was their shutout since beating Southwest 63-0 last year.

Barring a series of improbable events, the four playoff spots from Region 5 will be some order of the region’s four ranked teams.

Here’s how the rest of the top 10 faired:

  • In their long-awaited Region 8 opener, the top-ranked Rabun County Wildcats shutout Banks County on the road 63-0. Blitz has highlights. The Wildcats are 7-1, 1-0. The five-team region’s final playoff spot could come down to Banks County (1-6, 0-2) and Riverside Military (1-4, 0-1).
  • The No. 2 Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane beat Worth County 28-13 for their second Region 1 win of the week. The Albany Herald has details. On Monday, they beat Early County 22-0. The Purple Hurricane (7-1, 3-0) host No. 3 Thomasville (7-1, 3-0) next week for the region title. Worth County (3-5, 0-3) can still claim the No. 4 seed if it can win out against Berrien (3-4, 1-2) and Early County (3-4, 1-2).
  • The No. 3 Thomasville Bulldogs beat Cook 28-13. Tim Morse covered the game for the Thomasville Times-Enterprise. A win over Fitzgerald next week would mean their second region title in three years, and third since 2017 under sixth-year coach Zach Grage.
  • With a 37-6 win over Toombs County in Region 2, the No. 5 Jeff Davis Yellow Jackets are 8-0, 3-0 and are a win next week over Swainsboro (5-2, 2-0) away from winning their first region title since 1997.
  • In Region 5, The No. 9 Haralson County Rebels beat Temple 49-14 to improve to 7-1, 2-0 as they inch closer to the first region title in program history. A scoring log for the game can be found on MaxPreps. The Rebels play Heard County (4-3, 1-0), the only other team with an undefeated region record, next week. Temple (1-5, 0-2) has an outside shot at the playoffs it if can beat Bremen (4-3, 0-1) next week.
  • On bye: No. 8 Putnam County

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