Lassiter was down big and so was Walton. Marietta and South Cobb were in fights for their potential playoff lives and Allatoona was in an early struggle with Villa Rica.
By the end of the night, it was all about nothing.
All five teams won and they did it by being resilient and overcoming adversity.
More often than not in those kinds of games it is the leader of the team that stands up and says we are not going to lose, and that seemed to be the constant theme again on Friday.
Lassiter quarterback Eddie Printz threw for 273 yards and four touchdowns in the second half to bring the Trojans back from a 23-6 second quarter deficit against Milton.
Walton’s Tyren Jones ran for 234 yards and two touchdowns to help the Raiders erase a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against Wheeler.
South Cobb’s Stephon Masha threw for 266 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score to help the Eagles survive at Harrison.
Each year, good teams will have games where things just don’t go according to plan. But it’s those teams that find ways to win those games that succeed once the playoffs come around.
As a bonus, Lassiter’s win earned it the outright lead in Region 5AAAAAA leaving the Trojans needing two wins in their final three games to claim the region title. They have two of those at home – Wheeler and Roswell – with their only remaining road game at Etowah during the final week of the season.
Another team that put itself in good position to win a region title is McEachern. The Indians took the outright lead in Region 4AAAAAA with its convincing 49-27 win over North Cobb last Friday. However, McEachern needs only one win, against either Harrison or Hillgrove, in its last two games to claim the championship. The Indians have a bye week this week.
As of right now, there are only to teams that know they will be in the playoffs as of Nov. 16 – McEachern and Allatoona.
For the Buccaneers, it’s been a quiet season so far, only because the team is sitting on its own island in Region 5AAAAA. Because of its 11-team region, Allatoona was unable to play any Cobb County teams in non-region competition and to this point the Bucs really haven’t been challenged on the field despite moving from Class AAA to Class AAAAA.
That is about to change.
After this week’s game against Hiram, Allatoona will go on the road to face North Paulding and East Paulding, a pair of teams that are averaging 36 and 46 points a game respectively. The Bucs defense allows only 11 points a game, so something will have to give.
Last year Cobb County sent 12 teams to the playoffs, but if the county wants to match the mark it set last year, there is some work that needs to be done.
If the season ended today, 10 schools would see their teams qualify for the postseason. Based on the current region standings, here is a look at the potential playoff matchups. If teams are tied for a playoff spot, a projection is made.
No. 1 McEachern vs. Coffee. An Indians victory in Round 1 would bring the winner of East Coweta and Alcovy to Cantrell Stadium for Round 2. The rest of McEachern’s quarter of the bracket consists of West Forsyth, Mill Creek, Milton and South Gwinnett.
No. 2 South Cobb vs. Colquitt County. An Eagles win would have them either traveling to Langston Hughes or hosting Rockdale County. The remainder of South Cobb’s part of the bracket includes Lassiter, Brookwood, Johns Creek and Collins Hill.
No. 3 Marietta at Camden County. If the Blue Devils could upset the No. 1 team in the state, they would either travel to Lovejoy or host Douglas County. Parkview, Etowah, North Gwinnett and Alpharetta make up the rest of that quarter of the bracket.
No. 4 North Cobb at Lowndes. If the Warriors could upset the third-ranked Vikings, they would travel to either Newton or Newnan for Round 2. Norcross, Lambert, Grayson and Walton make the rest of a power-packed portion of the bracket.
No. 1 Lassiter vs. Brookwood. A Trojans win would bring the winner of Johns Creek and Collins Hill to Frank Fillmann Stadium.
No. 3 Walton at Grayson. If the Raiders could upend the Rams in a state-championship rematch, Walton would either travel to Norcross or it would host Lambert.
No. 2 Allatoona vs. Heritage-Conyers. With a victory, the Buccaneers would either travel to M.L. King or host Sequoyah in Round 2. The remainder of Allatoona’s part of the bracket includes Whitewater, Bainbridge, Effingham County and Lakeside-Evans.
No. 1 Kell vs. Stephenson. A Kell victory would mean either Flowery Branch or Rome would come to Cobb Energy/Corky Kell Stadium for Round 2. Thomas County Central, Creekside, Warner Robins and Richmond Hill complete the Bucs’ portion of the bracket.
No. 3 Pope at Miller Grove. A win would either send the Greyhounds to East Paulding or allow them to host Clarke Central. The rest of Pope’s part of the bracket consists of Ware County, Jones County, Union Grove and Lee County.
No. 6 Walker vs. Landmark Christian. A win by the Wolverines would either send them to Darlington or they would host Athens Christian in Round 2.
Class A will have two state champions this year – one public school and one private school. Determining the playoff teams in each Class A tournament is based on a power matrix based on a team’s record and the success of their opponents