Westminster, Jenkins and Morgan County clinched No. 1 seeds in their respective regions Friday night, and the rest will wait until the final game of the regular season next week to determine who will have the best path through the playoff brackets.
For Westminster, No. 1 seeds are not uncommon, but the same can’t be said for the other two, especially Jenkins. The Savannah program from Region 3-AAA defeated Windsor Forest 55-28 to clinch its first region title since 1966.
Morgan County defeated Franklin County 38-13 to move to 7-2 overall, 4-0 in Region 8. Morgan would’ve faced Jackson County next week for the crown, but Jackson County was upset 21-14 by last-place East Jackson, giving the championship to Morgan. It is the Bulldogs’ first region championship since 2003 and third since 1980.
Westminster of Region 5, ranked No. 3 in the AJC top-10 poll, defeated Towers 44-14 to move to 7-2, 6-0 and will face the No. 4 team from Region 7.
Some of the other big games Friday set up even bigger games next week:
— No. 2 Peach County (8-1, 5-0) defeated Pike County 45-7 to set up a Region 4 title game against Jackson (7-2, 5-0). Jackson (7-2, 5-0) took care of a winless Kendrick program, 50-14. Peach coach Chad Campbell said during the week that his team was treating every game at the end of the regular season like a playoff game. The Trojans passed the first test against Pike County with ease. “I think everybody’s looking forward to next week, but not us,” Campbell told the Macon Telegraph. “We’ve got to keep taking care of business. We didn’t take care of business last year, and it got us.” Jackson defeated the Trojans 3-2 last season to win the region title and the No. 1 seed.
— In a game that probably determined the No. 3 and 4 seeds from Region 5, No. 8 Lovett ran past No. 9 Pace 35-3, leaving Pace with a probable matchup against No. 1-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian in the first round of the playoffs. GAC first needs to take care of business and beat Dawson County (7-1, 5-0) next week in Dawsonville. Pace was the Class AA champion a year ago.
— Morgan County (7-2, 4-0) beat Franklin County 38-13.
The other top-10 teams also had big nights:
— No. 4 Calhoun (7-2) defeated Bremen 46-21. Calhoun will play a cross-over game next week against the No. 4 team from the other subregion of Region 6. If Calhoun wins that game, as expected, the Yellow Jackets will be the region champion.
— No. 5 Crisp County (9-0) stayed unbeaten with a 42-6 victory against Worth County on Thursday. Crisp County can win its first region title (1-AAA) since 1995 with a victory over Worth County next week.
— No. 5 Cedar Grove (6-2), the No. 2 seed from Region 5, defeated Johnson-Gainesville 64-0. That was Cedar Grove’s third straight shutout.
— No. 7 Liberty County (8-1) defeated Brantley County 49-14. Liberty can win its first-ever region title in a showdown next week with Pierce County.
— No. 10 Pierce County (7-2) defeated Appling County 38-28. The Pierce-Liberty game in Blackshear next week could be the best on the AAA calendar.