Five Class AAAAAA region championships were still up for grabs on Friday, and Heritage-Conyers, Tucker, Mays, Dalton and Johns Creek claimed those titles with victories in their regular-season finales.
Second-ranked Dalton had by far the toughest battle of the five, beating Allatoona 24-22 and avoiding a three-way tie with the Buccaneers and Harrison for first place Region 6. Dalton trailed 16-7 midway through the third quarter before scoring the next 17 points. The victory wasn’t secure until the Catamounts stopped a two-point conversion with 1:31 to play.
Dalton will host Winder-Barrow, the No. 4 seed from Region 8, next weekend. Allatoona will travel to Region 8 runner-up Lanier, and Harrison will host Gainesville, the No. 3 seed from Region 8. Sequoyah grabbed the final Region 6 playoff berth with a 17-14 victory in a winner-take-all game against Sprayberry and will travel to Region 8 champion Dacula.
Here’s a look at how the region-title and playoff races ended up in the other Class AAAAAA regions:
*Region 1: Top-ranked Valdosta had clinched the region title in Week 11, and its 28-24 victory over Houston County knocked the Bears (7-3) out of the playoffs. Northside-Warner Robins finished as the No. 2 seed, and Lee County beat Coffee 31-20 to settle the No. 3 and No. 4 positions.
*Region 2: Glynn Academy had already clinched the region title. Effingham County locked down second place with a 24-7 victory over Richmond Hill, which finished in third place. Bradwell Institute, 0-20 the past two seasons, earned the No. 4 seed and will make its first playoff appearance since 2009.
*Region 3: Heritage won its second region title (first since 2011) when it beat Evans 42-23. The teams both finished 4-1 in the region, but Heritage got the title based on the head-to-head win. Lakeside-Evans could have finished in a three-way tie for first but lost to Grovetown 26-12 and dropped to fourth place behind the Warriors.
*Region 4: Tucker clinched first place with a 31-0 victory over Stephenson, avoiding a three-way tie for first place with the Jaguars and Lovejoy, which was idle and finished with the No. 2 seed. Stephenson gets the No. 3 seed. Jonesboro beat Drew 38-26 on Thursday to grab fourth place.
*Region 5: Mays won the region title with a 42-27 victory over Northgate, which could have forced a three-way tie for first place with a victory. Instead, Northgate finishes in third place behind Mays and Alexander, which beat Douglas County 49-42. Hughes, which had the week off, had already clinched the No. 4 seed.
*Region 7: Johns Creek secured the region title with a 35-7 victory over Dunwoody. The Gladiators finished in a tie for first place with idle Centennial, but Johns Creek got the championship based on its 24-21 victory over the Knights on Sept. 16. Alpharetta secured third place with a 42-35 victory over Chattahoochee, which was eliminated. Cambridge finished in fourth place.
*Region 8: The No. 2 and No. 3 seeds were at stake on Friday, and Lanier got second place and a first-round home game with a 10-3 victory over Gainesville, which must travel to Harrison this week. Region champion Dacula and No. 4 seed Winder-Barrow already had secured their positions, so Dacula’s 43-13 victory over the Bulldoggs didn’t change anything.
Here are the first-round matchups:
(R8 #3) Gainesville at (R6 #2) Harrison
(R2 #4) Bradwell Institute at (R4 #1) Tucker
(R1 #3) Lee County at (R3 #2) Evans
(R7 #4) Cambridge at (R5 #1) Mays
(R6 #3) Allatoona at (R8 #2) Lanier
(R4 #4) Jonesboro at (R2 #1) Glynn Academy
(R3 #3) Grovetown at (R1 #2) Northside-Warner Robins
(R5 #4) Hughes at (R7 #1) Johns Creek
(R4 #3) Stephenson at (R2 #2) Effingham County
(R6 #4) Sequoyah at (R8 #1) Dacula
(R5 #3) Northgate at (R7 #2) Centennial
(R3 #4) Lakeside-Evans at (R1 #1) Valdosta
(R2 #3) Richmond Hill at (R4 #2) Lovejoy
(R8 #4) Winder-Barrow at (R6 #1) Dalton
(R7 #3) Alpharetta at (R5 #2) Alexander
(R1 #4) Coffee at (R3 #1) Heritage-Conyers