Scenarios abound as regular season comes to and end
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
November 03, 2013 12:54 AM | 1409 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The playoff hopefuls participating in Friday’s region play-in games are keeping it simple as far as scenarios are concerned — win and they are in.

For some teams, it’s much more complicated.

There are many potential combinations, particularly in a convoluted Region 5AAAAAA where coaches would rather apply more focus on winning their next game than their possible postseason fate.

“I don’t know, I haven’t looked at our playoff potential,” said Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo, whose team is in a three-way tie for second behind Lassiter with Etowah and Milton. “I’m just focusing on Roswell. I was told that we were in, but I haven’t checked for myself.”

After beating Etowah 28-5 Friday, Walton (5-4, 4-2) is secure for one of the playoff spots, and Lassiter (6-3, 5-1) can do no worse than be the No. 2 seed.

The Trojans need to beat Etowah (7-2, 4-2) at home this week to clinch the region title. A Lassiter loss would make Etowah (7-2, 4-2) the region champion.

“The easiest thing for us to do is win and not have to worry about it,” Trojans coach Jep Irwin said.

It’s also possible that Lassiter, Etowah, Milton and Walton could end in a four-way tie.

If so, the tiebreaker would be determined by which teams have the best head-to-head record in games against one another. Etowah would win the title, with Lassiter the No. 2, followed by Milton and Walton.

While Etowah is bidding for the region championship, there’s a scenario where it can get eliminated.

If Etowah loses to Lassiter on Friday, Cherokee beats Wheeler and both Walton and Milton lose, there would be a four-way tie for second place with Etowah, Milton, Walton and Cherokee sporting identical 4-3 region records. Based on the same head-to-head model, Etowah would be on the outside looking in. Milton would be the No. 2 seed behind Lassiter, followed by Walton and Cherokee.

Region 4AAAAAA isn’t as complicated.

North Cobb (7-2, 6-1) needs a win over Campbell this week to secure a region title.

If the Warriors prevail, McEachern (8-1, 6-1) and Hillgrove (8-1, 6-1) would be facing off to determine the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. And Marietta (7-2, 5-2) would battle Harrison (5-4, 4-3) for the fourth playoff spot.

But if Campbell upsets North Cobb, it could turn things upside-down.

That would mean the winner of the McEachern-Hillgrove game would be due to the region title.

If Marietta wins and forges a three-way tie with North Cobb and the loser of the McEachern-Hillgrove game, those three teams would still be tied after the head-to-head tiebreaker and it would then revert to winning percentages in games against Class AAAAAA opponents.

That would leave the loser of McEachern-Hillgrove as the No. 2, Marietta No. 3 and North Cobb No. 4 because of its early-season loss to Walton.

In Region 5AAAAA, Allatoona (7-2, 7-2) will host East Paulding for the No. 3 seed, behind North Paulding and South Paulding.

With the northern half of Region 7AAAAA hosting the play-in games this season, the southern half’s top seed, Kell (9-0), will go on the road to face Cambridge (3-6). Riverwood (6-3) will go to Northview (5-4), Pope (3-6) is at Sequoyah (7-2) and Sprayberry (2-7) is playing at Creekview (7-2), the champion of the northern subregion.

The teams of Region 6A (B) will be playing host after traveling to their play-in games a year ago.

After finishing second to Mount Pisgah Christian, Mount Paran Christian (7-2) will host Trion (5-3) and Whitefield Academy (4-5) will host Darlington (7-2).

With Walker (4-5) finishing as the sixth team in the subregion, it will see its season end one games shy of the typical 10-game allotment. With Southwest Atlanta Christian suspending its football program just prior to the season, the other half of Region 6A only has five teams, leaving Walker without an opponent to match up with.

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