Tucker, Alpharetta, Dacula roll to region titles

Six of the eight Class AAAAAA region titles were still on the line heading into the final weekend of the regular season.

In three of the six title chases, the favored teams won easily. Those would be Tucker (Region 4), Alpharetta (Region 7) and Dacula (Region 8).

Lee County beat Coffee in a winner-take-all battle of Top 5 teams to claim the Region 1 crown, and Evans held off Heritage-Conyers to avoid a three-way tie for first place in Region 3.

Region 2, however, was where the action really happened. Brunswick was at the top of the standings at 3-1 and played Osborne in a non-region game. Glynn Academy and Richmond Hill, both 2-1, were hoping to create a three-way tie for first place by winning their regular-season finales. Fourth-place Effingham County had other ideas, knocking off Richmond Hill and leaving Glynn Academy and Brunswick in a tie for first place. The region title went to Glynn Academy by virtue of its head-to-head victory against the Pirates earlier this year.

Six of the 32 playoff berths also remained unclaimed going into the final weekend. Those spots were taken by Valdosta (Region 1), Drew (Region 4), Hughes and Alexander (Region 5), Sequoyah (Region 6) and Pope (Region 7).

Here’s a look at the games on Friday that decided the final order of the playoff berths in each Class AAAAAA region.

*Region 1: Lee County clinched the region championships with a 23-7 victory over Coffee, which will be the No. 2 seed. Coffee would have won the title with a victory. Valdosta beat Houston County 51-20 and will be the No. 4 seed behind Northside-Warner Robins, which had the week off. Houston County was the odd man out in this five-team region for the second consecutive season.

*Region 2: Glynn Academy claimed the region title with a 45-14 victory over Bradwell Institute. Brunswick settled for the No. 2 seed and will make its first playoff appearance since 2014. Richmond Hill could’ve clinched the region title with a victory against Brunswick last week, but the Wildcats fell to the No. 4 seed after a 40-26 loss to Effingham County, which finished as the No. 3.

*Region 3: Evans secured the region title with a 42-35 victory over Heritage, avenging a loss to the Patriots that cost Evans the No. 1 seed last season. It’s the first region title for the Knights since 2008. The loss dropped Heritage into third place and will send the Patriots to Stephenson next week. Grovetown beat Lakeside-Evans 24-7 to earn the No. 2 seed. Lakeside finished in fourth place.

*Region 4: Tucker had no trouble with rival Stephenson, winning 38-0 in a game that decided the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. Lovejoy was off after clinching third place last week. The No. 4 seed went to Drew, which beat Jonesboro 27-19 in a game it had to win to make the playoffs. M.L. King beat Mt. Zion-Jonesboro to finish in a tie for fourth place with Drew but lost to the Titans 19-12 on Sept. 29.

*Region 5: The two crucial games were No. 1 seed Mays’ 41-7 victory over Northgate and No. 2 seed Douglas County’s 17-16 win over Alexander. The losses dropped Northgate and Alexander into a three-way tie for third place with Hughes, which was off. Hughes got the No. 3 seed through a point-differential tiebreaker, and Alexander got the No. 4 seed based on its victory over Northgate.

*Region 6: Harrison had already clinched the region title, so its 21-19 loss to fifth-place Creekview didn’t change anything. Allatoona beat Dalton 38-3 in a game that decided the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. Sequoyah beat Sprayberry 38-28 to earn fourth place. Sequoyah needed either a win against Sprayberry or a Creekview loss to Harrison to get in, so the Chiefs’ victory made Creekview’s upset moot.

*Region 7: Alpharetta won its fourth region title in seven years with a 41-14 victory over Chattahoochee, which could have forced a three-way tie for first place with Alpharetta and Centennial with a victory. Instead, the Cougars will be the No. 3 seed and Centennial the No. 2. Pope beat Northview 47-22 and won the tiebreaker to finish in fourth place, its first trip to the playoffs since 2012.

*Region 8: Dacula won its second consecutive region title, and third in four years, with a 47-14 victory over Winder-Barrow, which would’ve won its first region title with a victory. Lanier beat Gainesville 27-14, leaving both teams in a three-way tie for second place with Winder-Barrow that will be broken over the weekend. Habersham Central and Apalachee already had been eliminated.


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