Notable results from Week 11: Playoff hopes still alive for Houston (7-2), St. Pius (1-8)

FootballGHSF Daily’s Chip Saye ranks the most surprising and notable stories that emerged from the games of Week 11:

1. Houston County still alive: Houston County, projected as a 17-point underdog by the computer Maxwell Ratings, pulled off the upset of the week when it beat then-No. 2 Northside (Warner Robins) in a must-win Region 1-AAAAAA game. But the Bears aren’t out of the woods yet. Houston County, which spent much of the season ranked No. 1 before going 0-2 to start region play, must win again this week against current No. 1 Valdosta or it will miss the playoffs.

2. Cherokee defies the odds: Cherokee was tabbed to finish in fifth in six-team Region 4-AAAAAAA by the Maxwell Ratings’ preseason projections, and that looked about right when it went 2-3 in non-region play. But the Warriors won their first four region games, including 31-28 against Lassiter last week in a game they trailed 28-7. Now Cherokee can capture the region title if it can win again this week. The task won’t be an easy one – the Warriors face top-ranked Roswell.

3. Two might be enough: St. Pius went into last week’s game against North Oconee with an 0-8 record (0-3 in region play). Now, after a 42-7 victory, the Golden Lions are one win away from going to the playoffs at 2-8. St. Pius is tied with Madison County (6-3) for fourth place in Region 8-AAAA. Those teams play each other this week, and the winner will get the fourth berth behind Jefferson, Stephens County and Oconee County. St. Pius hasn’t missed the playoffs since 2005.

4. From 0-5 to potential champion: Washington-Wilkes started the season 0-5 overall (0-1 in Region 7-A Div. B), but the Tigers responded with four consecutive victories and have a chance to win a title, despite their 4-5 record, when they host Tattnall Square in the region championship game this week. Washington-Wilkes clinched the subregion title Friday when it beat Warren County and Aquinas beat Lincoln County. Tattnall Square won 38-0 when the teams met Sept. 23 in Macon.

5. Long time coming: Jenkins ended a 50-year region-championship drought when it beat Windsor Forest 55-28 to clinch the 3-AAA title. It was Jenkins’ first region title since the 1966 team went 9-2, and the first for any Savannah-Chatham County team since Savannah in 1993. Glynn Academy, the runner-up in Class AAAAA last season, clinched the 2-AAAAAA title, its first since 1972. Morgan County earned its first region title since 2003 when it clinched 8-AAA.

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