High School Football
More than bragging rights on the line Friday
by Chris Goltermann
The last week of the regular season in high school football can be an exciting time in Coweta County. But this fall, there seems to be even more importance attached to it when it comes to area lineups.
Despite its clutch overtime victory over Westlake last week, Newnan still is trying to lock down a possible home-field advantage for the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs. It’ll have to come through a victory on Friday against rival East Coweta at Drake Stadium, with the Indians still having as much a chance to leapfrog the Cougars in the battle for second place in Region 3-AAAAAA despite suffering a disappointing loss to Douglas County.
At least the Cougars are guaranteed a trip to the playoffs, though.
East Coweta, Northgate, Heritage School and Trinity will all need a victory this week just to clinch a berth in the postseason, with the Indians as well as Heritage and Trinity having to accomplish the feat against their county rivals.
So bragging rights may simply be a bonus to getting the job done this week.
Here’s what the final season boils down to in each region:
This week’s Games:
East Coweta (4-5, 2-2) at Newnan (6-3, 3-1)
Langston Hughes (8-1, 4-0) at Westlake (5-4, 2-2)
Tri-Cities (0-4, 0-8-1) at Douglas County (1-3, 3-6)
In Playoffs: Langston Hughes, Newnan
Out of Playoffs: Tri-Cities
Newnan: Neat and simple. A victory over East Coweta clinches home-field advantage. The Cougars can finish no worse than third place barring a loss, however, following wins over contenders Westlake and Douglas County.
East Coweta: Here’s where it can get messy. The best-case scenario for the Indians is a victory, which would clinch second place with three region wins and tiebreakers over Westlake and Newnan.
A loss, however, could create havoc, especially if Douglas County defeats winless Tri-Cities. East Coweta would need a Westlake loss against Hughes to avoid elimination in such a case to create a three-way tiebreaker since all three teams went 1-1 head-to-head during the season.
Should Westlake and Douglas County win this week and East Coweta lose to Newnan, the Indians will be out of the playoffs by way of last week’s loss to the Tigers.
This week’s Games:
No. 4, B-subregion Northgate (4-5) at No. 1, A-subregion Mundy’s Mill (5-4)
No. 3, B-subregion Whitewater (6-3) at No. 2, A-subregion Union Grove (5-4)
No. 3, A-subregion Drew (4-5) at No. 2, B-subregion McIntosh (7-2)
No. 4, A-subregion Ola (2-7) at No. 1, B-subregion Creekside (9-0)
What to Know: Things are a bit more simpler in 4-AAAAA after last week’s games cleared up the schedule for the region’s “Play-In” format for the final week of the regular season.
Each of the four winners in the above games will clinch state playoff berths from the region in Class AAAAA, with seeding to be determined by record and other tiebreakers.
Interestingly enough, three of this week’s four games are also rematches from either last year’s play-in round or ones played during the regular season.
A year ago, Northgate defeated Mundy’s Mill 15-3 at Twelve Oaks Stadium on a Saturday to advance to the postseason after the Vikings were third in 4B-AAAAA and Mundy’s Mill finished second in the A-subregion.
Northgate was able to hold on to fourth place in the B-subregion by way of its previous victory over Starr’s Mill to give the Vikings a head-to-head tiebreaker.
Two other rematches come from games played this year on Sept. 20 during a crossover week between subregion teams. Whitewater defeated Union Grove 36-19 while McIntosh held off Drew 48-40 in a shootout that was played in Henry County.
In 13 games between opposing subregions this season, 4B-AAAAA’s five teams (Creekside, Northgate, McIntosh, Whitewater, Starr’s Mill) posted a 12-1 record against the six schools that make up 4A-AAAAA.
GISA Region 2-AAA
This week’s Games
Trinity Christian (1-3, 5-4) at The Heritage School (1-3, 3-6)
Stratford Academy (4-0, 7-2) at Westminster Augusta (0-4, 6-4)
Tattnall Square (3-1, 7-2) at Mount de Sales (3-1, 3-6)
What to know: Second, third and fourth place will be determined by two games this week with either Trinity Christian or Heritage School destined to be the odd team out.
Friday’s winner between the Lions and Hawks will finish fourth in 2-AAA and will travel to play 1-AAA champion Westfield (8-1, 4-0) in Perry in the first round of the GISA state playoffs.
The loser will have its season come to an end. Heritage has defeated Trinity in each of the first two football meetings between schools since the Lions moved to GISA play in 2011.
This week’s winner between Tattnall Square and Mount de Sales will finish second and the loser will take third with tiebreakers over both Trinity Christian and Heritage in head-to-head matchups during the regular season.
Stratford clinched a region championship with a 28-14 win over Mount de Sales last week. Trinity, meanwhile, eliminated Westminster from postseason contention with a 33-14 victory at home.
(Editor’s Note: Tickets for Friday’s East Coweta-Newnan football game at Drake Stadium will be on sale at Redneck Gourmet for $7 starting on Monday.)