Class 6A blog: 4 first-round playoff matchups set, 12 more to go

Dacula's Kyle Efford (18) rushes as Lanier's Ford Reasons (36) hangs on during their game in October.
Dacula's Kyle Efford (18) rushes as Lanier's Ford Reasons (36) hangs on during their game in October.

Credit: John Amis/Special to the AJC

Credit: John Amis/Special to the AJC

Only four of the 16 first-round playoff matchups in Class 6A have been determined heading into the final weekend of the high school football regular season.

All four of those playoff games involve teams from Regions 1 and 4.

Two of the matchups were finalized in Week 11 when Northside-Warner Robins defeated Houston County 26-23 to clinch third place in Region 1. Northside will be on the road for its first-round game against Hughes, which has clinched the runner-up spot in Region 4. The outcome also relegated Houston County to the No. 4 seed in Region 1 and will send the Bears to the Region 4 champion, third-ranked Westlake, in the first round.

Two more first-round matchups were settled Thursday night when Lovejoy beat North Atlanta 39-10. The victory clinched third place in Region 4 for Lovejoy, eliminated North Atlanta from the playoff race, and assured the No. 4 seed for Tucker. Lovejoy will travel to seventh-ranked Valdosta, the No. 2 seed in Region 1. Tucker will travel to top-ranked Lee County, the Region 1 champion.

The other 12 matchups will be determined this weekend.

The most unsettled of those are the ones involving teams from Regions 5 and 8, which are paired up for the first round. In Region 5, Carrollton, Rome, Douglas County and Alexander are separated by only one game, so the seedings are up for grabs. Fifth-place South Paulding remains in the mix as well.

The top two spots in Region 8 will go to Buford and Dacula, which will settle the championship Friday night. Habersham Central, Shiloh, Winder-Barrow and Lanier are battling for the other two playoff berths.

Listed below are the possible first-round matchups in Class 6A. Note that regions handle tiebreakers in various methods, particularly concerning teams that had game cancellations because of COVID-19, so the list includes every team that has even a remote possibility of finishing in a tie for a particular playoff spot.

Most of the Class 6A bracket is likely to be posted on the GHSA’s website Friday night, but it won’t be finalized until after three games on Saturday.

First-round pairings

R4 #3 Lovejoy at R1 #2 Valdosta

R2 #4 Statesboro/Glynn Academy/Brunswick at R3 #1 Evans/Alcovy

R6 #3 Kell/Pope/Sprayberry at R7 #2 River Ridge/Johns Creek/Creekview

R8 #4 Habersham Central/Shiloh/Winder-Barrow/Lanier at R5 #1 Carrollton/Rome/Douglas County/Alexander

R7 #3 Johns Creek/Creekview/Cambridge at R6 #2 Kell/Pope/Sprayberry

R5 #4 Douglas County/Alexander/South Paulding at R8 #1 Buford/Dacula

R1 #3 Northside-Warner Robins at R4 #2 Hughes

R3 #4 Grovetown at R2 #1 Glynn Academy/Richmond Hill

R8 #3 Habersham Central/Shiloh/Winder-Barrow at R5 #2 Carrollton/Rome/Douglas County/Alexander

R6 #4 Kell/Pope/Sprayberry at R7 #1 River Ridge/Johns Creek

R2 #3 Brunswick/Glynn Academy/Statesboro at R3 #2 Evans/Alcovy

R4 #4 Tucker at R1 #1 Lee County

R3 #3 Lakeside-Evans at R2 #2 Richmond Hill/Glynn Academy/Brunswick

R1 #4 Houston County at R4 #1 Westlake

R5 #3 Douglas County/Alexander/South Paulding at R8 #2 Buford/Dacula

R7 #4 Cambridge/Sequoyah at R6 #1 Allatoona

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