The remaining No. 1 seeds in Class AAA will be up for grabs this week in Regions 2, 7 and 6, while teams in the other five regions fight for what’s left behind programs that already have clinched region titles.
The top game has No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian (8-1, 5-0) against Dawson County (7-2, 5-0).
“We are excited,” Greater Atlanta Christian coach Tim Hardy said. “I really like the way the schedule is laid out. It’s kind of a round-robin kind of thing. To have the two teams in the region who are undefeated playing for the region championship, that’s just fun.”
Quarterback Josh Rose has led the potent Spartans offense this season by completing 61 of 107 passes for 904 yards and 12 touchdowns. Sophomore Jackson Hardy has passed for nine touchdowns on 29-of-44 passing for 483 yards.
Last season, GAC beat Dawson County 42-7, and it will take everything the Tigers have to make it a game this season. The Tigers are led by Coey Watson, who has passed for 14 touchdowns and 1,442 yards on 95-of-146 completions.
“We are ready to get out there tomorrow night and get after it,” Hardy said. “Coach (Sid) Maxwell and his staff does a really good job, and I have a lot of respect for him and his players and just how hard they play. We are looking forward to the opportunity. The thing I like about our team is that we try to get better each week, and I think it is up to them to find out how to beat us. We are hungry to play at a high level each week.”
It’s clear that GAC, the 2016 state runner-up, will make a deep playoff run again this season. There is no denying that everyone already is projecting GAC, Cedar Grove and Peach County as being three of the final four teams in December. The three have breezed through region competition and have hit their strides heading into the playoffs.
Or have they? Prophetic words from coach Hardy implies that GAC has more in the tank.
“We don’t feel like we have played our best game yet, and we are working toward that,” he said.
Other region-deciding games include:
— In Region 6-North/South, No. 4 Calhoun (8-1, 4-0) is the clear favorite for the No. 1 seed from the sub-divided region. The Yellow Jackets, who are coming of a 48-0 victory against No. 8 Bremen, have won 16 consecutive region titles and will travel to Murray County on Friday.
— In Region 2, Liberty County (6-3, 4-0) will host Pierce County (4-4, 3-1) to decide the 2-AAA title. Pierce must win to force a tie at the top, which would cause an interesting tie-breaking scenario to occur. Blame it on bad weather.
The way Region 2’s tiebreaker works is as follows: In the event of a tie, the region winner will be decided by their winning percentage vs. Class AAA teams or higher. Which means, for the most part, Liberty must win to take the region because Pierce’s game against Class AAAAAA No. 10 Richmond Hill on Sept. 8 was cancelled due to weather. So if Liberty loses, the Bears will have a better winning percentage against equal or higher-classed teams and will take the region. Last season, Liberty won 56-46 to take the 2-AAA title.
Here are the teams that have clinched No. 1 seeds:
— Region 1: Crisp County (7-1, 3-0)
— Region 3: Jenkins (9-0, 6-0)
— Region 4: Peach County (8-1, 5-0)
— Region 5: Cedar Grove (9-0, 6-0)
— Region 8: Morgan County (8-1, 4-0)