The 2004 Class A playoff picture will become a bit clearer after this Friday's action when several teams can lock in playoff spots, although exact seeding will take two more weeks.
In Region 1, Miller County needs a winner over Lanier County to guarantee the Pirates a good playoff slot. Atkinson County and Seminole County will battle way way way down south in a critical 1-A game. Future region champ and #2-ranked Clinch County will hand Turner County another loss this week.
Undefeateds Randolph-Clay and Pacelli will warm-up for their October 22 Region 2 showdown when they wallop Stewart-Quitman and Schley County this week. Brookstone and Terrell will meet in another playoff-decider.
Portal will be 8-0 after this Friday, but the road is steep uphill for the Panthers the final two weeks in Region 3. We've heard from a school board member down there that their new defensive coordinator is doing a "bang-up" job. Knowing that he was brought up on a hard-hitting Red Devil defense in high school, we're not the least bit surprised. Portal's defense has allowed only 35 points in 7 games with 4 shutouts. McIntosh County Academy and Savannah Country Day meet this Friday in Savannah in another critical game. Has McIntosh recovered from its double-overtime game last week?
Hawkinsville will still win Region 4. Early in the season many thought Dooly County , the Devils' victim this week, would improve over last year's strong effort. But Dooly will finish at 5-5 at best. Johnson County hosts Wilkinson County in a game that may decide the 3rd & 4th spots in 4-A. Twiggs County will run all over Wilcox County.
Eagles Landing Christan and Whitefield Academy have easy games this week in Region 5 while Landmark Christian has the week off.
In Region 6, Bremen will coast over Mill Creek while thinking ahead to road trips to Bowdon and Trion. Bowdon is at Temple and Trion is at Gordon Lee in Chickamauga.
In Region 7, Aquinas will improve its record to an amazing 7-1 when they whip GMC Friday night in Augusta. Warren County will beat always-scrappy Glascock County and Hancock Central should beat new school Dutchtown in non-region contests.
Region 8 has the second of its three showdowns when Commerce visits Jefferson. These two Jackson County schools can't stand each other, and the region race just stokes that fire. A win by the Tigers sets up their game with Athens Academy as the 8-A championship. A Jefferson win could position 8-A for either a 3-way tie for first, or AA as the clear #1 with Jefferson #2 and Commerce #3. And, as the Tigers will tell you, AA and Jefferson better watch out for Social Circle.
Keep in mind that the above are just our current thoughts. As our poor record in Shadow's Class A contest shows, our prognosticator brain cells haven't been functioning too well at times this season. (Missed 5 last week -- ouch!!)