There were four winner-take-all showdowns on Friday night.
Region 2: Whitewater won its ninth straight game and its first region title since 2012 by beating Harris County 40-20.
Region 3: Woodward Academy held off Creekside 21-14 to take the title. The outcome wasn’t decided until Woodward’s River Hanson intercepted a pass that had been tipped by teammate Deon King Jr. The War Eagles claimed their sixth region title over the last eight seasons.
Region 4: Jones County overcame a 13-0 deficit and beat Dutchtown 21-13 to win its second straight region title.
Region 5: St. Pius spotted Decatur three points and reeled off 34 straight in a 34-9 win that gave the Golden Lions the title. Luke Jacobellis scored twice and Shug Bentley and Joseph Brewer each ran for a score and James Kirkland posted a 30-yard pick-six.
As usual, there are few first-round games that look promising. There are a few exceptions to the rule. Here are five opening-round games that bear watching:
· Coffee at Creekside: This is a rare first-round game that features two ranked teams: Creekside is No. 2 and Coffee is No. 7
· Eastside at New Manchester: This should be a good contest between a pair of talented teams who have playoff experience and success.
· Blessed Trinity at Southwest DeKalb: Blessed Trinity is forced to hit the road after losing regular-season games to Cartersville and Calhoun. SWD was able to earn a home game by its win over Decatur.
· Union Grove at Starr’s Mill: Starr’s Mill benefited from the tiebreaker and earned the No. 2 seed. Now the Panthers get a chance to avenge a regular-season loss to Union Grove.
· Decatur at Calhoun: No. 6 Calhoun is coming off an idle week (all teams in Region 7 were off last week) and gets a talented Decatur team that was state-ranked until losing its two final regular-season games.
A look at the brackets:
Upper left quadrant: Coffee at Creekside, Cass at St. Pius, Lithia Springs at Apalachee, Ola at Whitewater.
Bottom left quadrant: Jonesboro at Warner Robins, Lithonia at Cartersville, Eastside at New Manchester, Griffin at Jones County.
Top right quadrant: Harris County at Dutchtown, Jackson County at Villa Rica, Blessed Trinity at SW DeKalb, Veterans at Woodward Academy.
Bottom right quadrant: Union Grove at Starr’s Mill, Maynard Jackson at Clarke Central, Decatur at Calhoun, Banneker at Ware County.