Playoff scenarios for final weekend of regular season

Allatoona’s Xavier Rucker (9) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during a GHSA High School Football game between Kell and Allatoona at Allatoona High School in Acworth, GA., on Friday, August 25, 2023. (Photo/Jenn Finch)

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Allatoona’s Xavier Rucker (9) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during a GHSA High School Football game between Kell and Allatoona at Allatoona High School in Acworth, GA., on Friday, August 25, 2023. (Photo/Jenn Finch)

Six of the eight Class 6A region championships and 26 of the 32 playoff berths have already been clinched heading into the final weekend of the high school football regular season.

Thomas County Central, Woodward Academy, Marist, Douglas County, Rome and Gainesville clinched region titles with victories last week. The championships in Region 2 (Effingham County, Brunswick or Glynn Academy) and Region 7 (Roswell, Blessed Trinity or Alpharetta) will be decided Friday night.

Here’s a look at the playoff scenarios in each region:

Region 1

Thomas County Lee County clinched its second consecutive region title with a 31-24 victory last week against Lee County, which will be the region runner-up. Houston County and Northside-Warner Robins have clinched the other two spots. Houston County will be the No. 3 seed if it beats Veterans or Northside loses to Thomas County Central. If neither happens, Northside will take third place. Tift County could finish in a tie with Northside, Houston County or both but lost to both and would lose out in a tiebreaker.

Region 2

Effingham County is the region’s only remaining unbeaten team and can clinch its first region title since 1995 with a victory this week. Standing in the Rebels’ way, however, is defending region champion Brunswick. A victory by Brunswick likely produces a three-way tie for first place that also would include Glynn Academy. Effingham County will still win the title on tiebreakers if it loses by no more than 19 points. Brunswick is a seven-point favorite, according to the computer Maxwell Ratings. Fourth place will go to the Evans-South Effingham winner.

Region 3

Woodward Academy, Mundy’s Mill, Jonesboro and Lovejoy will be the region’s four playoff teams. Woodward Academy has won two consecutive Region 3 titles and eight region championships in the past 10 years. Mundy’s Mill is the No. 2 seed, earning a home playoff game for the first time since 2013. The Jonesboro-Lovejoy game Friday night will determine the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. Jonesboro is the only one of the group that failed to make the playoffs last season.

Region 4

Marist clinched its fourth consecutive region title, and second straight in 4-6A, last week. The North Atlanta-Dunwoody game will settle second and third place. Dunwoody will be in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. St. Pius will take the fourth spot if it beats last place South Cobb, which is winless for the season (St. Pius is a 34-point favorite). Riverwood gets the spot if it beats Marist and St. Pius loses. If Riverwood and St. Pius both lose, they’ll be tied for fourth place with South Cobb.

Region 5

Douglas County is a region champion for the first time since 2002. Defending state champion Hughes has clinched second place, and East Paulding will be the No. 3 seed. South Paulding can clinch fourth place outright, but it would have to beat Douglas County, which is favored by 41 points. A loss would drop South Paulding into a tie for fourth with the winner of the Newnan-New Manchester winner. South Paulding lost to Newnan and beat New Manchester.

Region 6

Rome, Sequoyah and Creekview have clinched the top three spots, in that order. Rome has won three consecutive region titles and six in nine seasons. Sequoyah was the No. 3 seed last year, and Creekview missed the playoffs. Fourth place will go to the winner of the Allatoona-River Ridge game. A loss would leave Allatoona, which opened in 2008, out of the playoffs for the first time since it began playing a region schedule in 2010. River Ridge, which opened in 2009, is seeking consecutive playoff berths for the first time in school history.

Region 7

Roswell, Alpharetta and Blessed Trinity have clinched the top three spots, but the order of finish remains unsettled. Defending champion Roswell is the only remaining unbeaten team, and a victory against Alpharetta would clinch the region championship, with Blessed Trinity finishing in second place and Alpharetta taking third. If Alpharetta wins, it will create a three-way tie for first place, assuming Blessed Trinity beats 41-point underdog Lassiter. The Sprayberry-Pope winner will be the fourth playoff team.

Region 8

Gainesville has clinched the region championship for the second consecutive season. Lanier and North Forsyth will be the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, respectively. Habersham Central can secure fourth place with a victory over Shiloh. A win by Shiloh would create a tie for fourth that would include Shiloh, Habersham and Jackson County, unless Jackson County were to upset Gainesville (Jackson County is a 42-point underdog). In the case of a Shiloh win, Jackson County would get the spot with a victory.

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