Class 6A blog: Lee County closing in on fifth consecutive region title

Lee County wide receiver Jevelle Furgerson (8) scores a touchdown during the second half of his Class 6A state high school football final December 29, 2020 in Atlanta. (PHOTO/Daniel Varnado)
Caption
Lee County wide receiver Jevelle Furgerson (8) scores a touchdown during the second half of his Class 6A state high school football final December 29, 2020 in Atlanta. (PHOTO/Daniel Varnado)

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Second-ranked Lee County can become the first Class 6A team to clinch a region title this season when it hosts Northside-Warner Robins on Friday in a Region 1 game in Week 10 of the high school football season.

The Trojans are seeking their fifth consecutive region title, but the chase for this one took an unusual turn before the season when Valdosta was banned from the playoffs for alleged recruiting violations in 2020. Valdosta’s games in the four-team region won’t affect the standings this year, leaving the other three teams with just two official region games.

Lee County already got one win, beating Houston County 29-9 last week. A victory this week would wrap up the sweep.

Northside defeated Valdosta 13-10 last week on a 23-yard field goal by Ashton Paredes with five seconds remaining. The Eagles improved to 6-2 overall and moved back into the top 10 for the first time since early September.

If Northside beats Lee County, the Eagles can win the region title with a victory against Houston County next week. However, if Northside beat Lee County but loses to Houston County, they’ll finish in a three-way tie.

Here are five more Class 6A games this week that will have a major impact on the races for region titles and playoff berths. All games are Friday unless noted, and all are subject to change:

*Allatoona at Kell: Allatoona, the defending champion, and Kell were projected to finish first and second in Region 6 by the preseason Maxwell Ratings, but the season hasn’t played out that way. Allatoona is one of three teams with one loss in region play (along with Kennesaw Mountain and Pope), and Kell and Lassiter are close behind with two losses each. Regardless of the outcome against Allatoona, Kell’s playoff fate likely comes down to the regular-season finale at Lassiter.

*Cambridge at Riverwood: Cambridge moved into sole possession of first place in Region 7 with a victory over Johns Creek last week. To hold onto it, the Bears will have to beat a Riverwood team that’s now tied with Johns Creek for second place, one game back. Cambridge is likely to earn the first region title in school history if it wins this week. A Riverwood win likely creates a three-way tie for first place.

*Glynn Academy at Richmond Hill: These have been the strongest programs in Region 2 over the past five seasons, but now they are fighting for the playoff lives, entering Friday’s game tied for fourth place. The loser will need to win its remaining game and get some help to avoid missing the playoffs. Brunswick leads the region, and Statesboro and Effingham County are tied for second place

*Lovejoy at Hughes: These are the two remaining unbeaten teams in Region 4 play, so the winner will have sole possession of first place. Both teams are seeking their first region title since 2013. Third-ranked Hughes would all but wrap up the title with a victory. If Lovejoy wins, it will still have some work to do – namely beating No. 5 Westlake next week to avoid a three-way tie for first place.

*Rome at Alexander: Rome and Alexander are among the five teams that are tied for first place in Region 5 heading into Friday night’s games (Carrollton, Douglas County and South Paulding are the others). Alexander has the most difficult schedule of those five schools, so a loss would be particularly costly. Rome was the No. 2 seed from the region and Alexander was the No. 3 last season.

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