Class 4A Blog: Three regions still up for grabs heading into regular season finales

Oct. 23, 2020 - Norcross, Ga: A GHSA football is shown before the Georgia high school football game between Cedar Grove and GAC at Greater Atlanta Christian, Friday, October 23, 2020 in Norcross, Ga.. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
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Oct. 23, 2020 - Norcross, Ga: A GHSA football is shown before the Georgia high school football game between Cedar Grove and GAC at Greater Atlanta Christian, Friday, October 23, 2020 in Norcross, Ga.. JASON GETZ FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

The final week of the regular season will crown the final three region champions. Bainbridge (Region 1), Benedictine (Region 3), Marist (Region 6), Cedartown (Region 7) and Jefferson (Region 8) have already secured No. 1 seeds in the postseason. Today’s blog will go over the remaining three regions in the classification that will crown their respective champions this week.

In Region 2, we will have to wait until Saturday’s game between Troup and Carver-Columbus to see who takes the region crown. No. 3 ranked Carver-Columbus (7-0) holds an edge over Troup’s 6-1 region record, but a Troup victory would give them the tiebreaker. Furthermore, Troup’s only loss in region play came to Hardaway (28-26), which plays LaGrange on Thursday. Carver-Columbus, Troup, Hardaway and LaGrange are the four teams guaranteed to make the playoffs out of Region 2 this season and so these two games are both going to have a direct impact on the final standings.

Region 4 will stage a region championship matchup between Baldwin and Perry. Both teams enter the matchup without losses in region play and so the winner will take the No. 1 seed and the loser is guaranteed the No. 3 seed. Meanwhile West Laurens and Westside-Macon both have 3-2 records and will be playing for the No. 3 and No. 4 seed.

In Region 5, Riverdale sits in the driver’s seat heading into its showdown with Luella for the region title. Riverdale is 4-0 in region play and Luella is 4-1. The Lions’ only loss came to Fayette County (21-0), which Riverdale also defeated 32-0. A Luella win would force a potential three-way tie, while a Riverdale victory will result in the Raiders taking the top seed, Fayette County grabbing the No. 2 seed and Luella falling to No. 3.

Here’s what to watch for with the rest of the playoff picture. The Bracket will pair Region 1 against Region 4, Region 2 against Region 3, Region 5 against Region 8 and Region 6 against Region 7. Here is the region-by-region breakdown with the simplest explanation of where things stand.

Region 1: There are three region matchups on this week’s schedule, but the seeding has already been determined with No. 1 Bainbridge, No. 2 Cairo, No. 3 Thomas County Central and No. 4 Westover.

Region 4: The four playoff teams have already been determined, but the seeding will depend on two matchups this Friday. Perry and Baldwin will play for the No. 1 seed and the loser will get the No. 2 seed. The other matchup to watch is West Laurens and Westside-Macon. The winner will get the No. 3 seed and the No. 4 seed will go to the loser.

Region 2: In Region 2, Carver, Hardaway, Troup and LaGrange have clinched the four playoff spots, but the seeding will not be determined until Saturday. Troup (6-1) will have an opportunity to play Carver (7-0) in a region championship showdown on Saturday. LaGrange (5-2) will take on Hardaway (6-1). LaGrange has losses to Carver-Columbus and Troup, while Hardaway has defeated Troup and lost to Carver.

Region 3: Region 3 got shaken up because of Savannah public schools opting to play a district-only schedule, but the seeding is already settled heading into Week 12. This left Benedictine with a completely non-region schedule and the Cadets were deemed the region champs. This puts Benedictine as the No. 1 seed. Islands (6-0, 2-0) is the No. 2 seed, New Hampstead (5-1, 1-1) is the No. 3 seed and Jenkins (3-3, 0-2) is the No. 4 seed.

Region 5: In Region 5, Riverdale, Fayette County and Luella are guaranteed the top 3 seeds. The No. 4 seed will come down to either Mt. Zion-Jonesboro, McDonough or Hampton. Mt. Zion can clinch the No. 4 seed with a win over McDonough this Friday. McDonough would need a win over Mt. Zion and a Hampton loss to North Clayton to sneak in at No. 4. As for Hampton, they would need a win over North Clayton and a Mt. Zion loss. As for the top 3 seeds. Riverdale can clinch the top seed with a win over Luella. A Luella win would potentially lead to a log-jam with Riverdale, Luella and Fayette County all finishing their region records with one loss.

Region 8: Jefferson is the No. 1 seed in Region 8, but the rest of the seeds are yet to be determined—although Flowery Branch and North Oconee are guaranteed to occupy the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. The cancellation of North Oconee vs. Jefferson last week muddies the waters, because North Oconee now only has one loss on its region schedule (Flowery Branch). Flowery Branch can close out the No. 2 seed with a win over East Hall on Friday. As for the No. 4 seed. That will come down to either Madison County or Cedar Shoals. Madison County plays Jefferson on Friday and is 2-3 in the region with a loss to Cedar Shoals. Cedar Shoals is 1-3 in the region with its three losses coming to the top 3 seeds (Jefferson, Flowery Branch, North Oconee) and will play Chestatee this week. A win over Chestatee would result in the Jaguars clinching the No. 4 seed.

Region 6: Marist is the No. 1 seed, Hapeville Charter is the No. 2 seed and Stephenson is the No. 3 seed. The No. 4 seed will go to either Miller Grove or Arabia Mountain. Both teams stand at 2-3 heading into this weekend, but Arabia Mountain holds the edge with a win over Miller Grove. Now, Miller Grove will play Hapeville Charter, while Arabia Mountain plays a non-region contest against Rockdale County this week.

Region 7: Region 7 is Class 4A’s most complicated region heading into Week 12. Cedartown is the No. 1 seed, but the rest of the region remains to be seen. Currently, Heritage-Catoosa is 2-2 in the region and four teams are currently 1-2 (Northwest Whitfield, Central-Carroll, Pickens, Ridgeland). Heritage-Catoosa, which has lost to Ridgeland and Northwest Whitfield is set to play Cedartown. Pickens, which beat Ridgeland, but lost to Cedartown and Heritage-Catoosa will face Northwest Whitfield, which beat Heritage-Catoosa, but lost to Central-Carroll and Cedartown. As for Central-Carroll, the Lions were going to close out the season against Ridgeland, but that game was cancelled due to Covid. Central-Carroll has a win over Northwest Whitfield and losses to Heritage and Cedartown, while Ridgeland has a win over Heritage-Catoosa and losses to Cedartown and Pickens. Further complicating things is that Central and Pickens had their game cancelled and never got an opportunity to play. This region will definitely require Friday’s results to be called in terms of seeding and we may even have to go into tie-breaker scenarios to solve it.