Class 5A blog: Whitewater’s win highlights busy weekend

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There’s still a bit of work to do, but Whitewater can start looking around for places to hang a region championship banner. The Wildcats overcame a major hurdle on Friday when they defeated five-time defending region champion Starr’s Mill 16-13 in Fayetteville.

Whitewater (7-1, 4-0) has won seven straight games, guaranteed itself a spot in the playoffs, and is the only undefeated team in the region. The Wildcats play Northgate this week and close the season against Harris County. Depending on the outcome of this week’s game between Griffin and Harris County, the title could be decided on the final week of the season.

“It’s incredible,” coach Chad Frazier said. “We’ve had two big wins in the last three weeks and it really just speaks to the character and heart of our kids. They’re not going to quit. They’re going to give everything they’ve got.”

Starr’s Mill (5-3, 3-1) had a 13-7 halftime lead on Friday, but Whitewater’s T.J. Hartley kicked three field goals and the Wildcats intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble. T.J. Hill had a crucial tackle for loss on the Panthers’ last possession and sniffed out the trick play on fourth down that ended the threat.

Region 1: Coffee can finish no worse than third in the league after its 33-13 win over Veterans. David Vaughn kicked four field goals to start the game and Brady Skipper ran for three touchdowns, one a 76-yarder. Skipper also intercepted a pass. The Trojans will play Warner Robins, a 70-14 winner over Wayne County, to decide who gets the second seed and homefield advantage.

Region 3: Woodward Academy whipped Forest Park 48-0 and Creekside dominated Mundy’s Mill 56-7, leading to a possible region championship showdown in the final week.

Region 4: Jones County and Dutchtown moved a step closer to their region-title brawl with wins. Dutchtown beat Woodland 21-8 and Jones County took care of Eagle’s Landing 41-20. Jones and Dutchtown play in season finale.

Region 5: Decatur beat Northview 74-12 and St. Pius took care of King 46-13, as Luke Jacobellis and Alex Possert both ran for two touchdowns. If Decatur can defeat Southwest DeKalb, the Bulldogs will play St. Pius for the region championship on the final week.

Region 6: New Manchester remained unbeaten in the region with a 24-3 win over North Springs The Jaguars will play Villa Rica, the league’s other unbeaten, for the region title next week in Douglasville.

Region 7: Cartersville and Calhoun will play for the region title next week. Cartersville got three touchdown passes from Jake Parker and beat Woodland 49-7 and Calhoun defeated Cass 35-14.

In Region 8: Clarke Central nailed down its third straight region championship by beating Loganville 27-14. The Gladiators got behind 10-0, but Kendrick Curry and Eli Warrington scored on runs to put them ahead 14-10 at the half. Warrington added a 37-yard touchdown catch from Lucian Anderson and Jadayvion Adkins ran for the final score. …. Eastside flattened Jackson County 42-7 to deny Panthers’ coach Rich McWhorter his 300th win and enhance its chances to finish second.

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