By: Jason Bishop
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
Well, here we go. The last week of the high school football regular season is upon us.
The playoffs will start in two weeks and as always southeast Georgia will be well represented. But who will be playing where?
Brunswick High Pirates: The Pirates will travel to Springfield Friday night to take on the Effingham Rebels in what amounts to a region championship game.
BHS is the last unbeaten team in 6A and comes in at 9-0 on the season and undefeated in the region. Effingham’s only region loss is to Richmond Hill.
If the Pirates knock off the Rebels, BHS will lock up a #1 seed and will most likely be hosting Tucker. However, if Effingham upsets the Pirates, then Effingham would be region champion and BHS would likely host Lovejoy as a #2 seed.
Ware County Gators: The Gators are 7-1 on the season and undefeated in their region. Ware holds wins over Coffee, Veterans and Warner Robins; thus, they have locked up the region no matter the outcome of the Wayne County game Friday night.
The Gators will most likely host Banneker out of region 3-5A in the first round.
MCA Buccaneers: MCA is 4-4-1 on the year and currently holds the #3 seed in 3-1A Public.
The Bucs will head up to Millen Friday night with the #3 seed on the line against Jenkins County. The winner of that game will get the #3 seed and the loser will end up with #4 seed.
A #3 seed means a road trip to Mitchell County, a very winnable game. However, a #4 seed means a date with the Pelham Hornets, a much tougher game.
Glynn Academy Red Terrors: The Red Terrors are 3-5-1 on the season and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in the Rocky Hidalgo era.
Glynn’s only chance to get into the playoffs is to beat Statesboro Friday night at Glynn County Stadium.
If the Red Terrors succeed at knocking off the Blue Devils, they will earn a #4 seed and they would face Langston Hughes, the #1 seed from region 4.
Langston Hughes knocked Glynn out of the playoffs last year in the second round, 35-0.
Camden County Wildcats: The Wildcats have struggled closing games in the second half of the season. Camden has locked up the #4 seed in their region with a 4-6 record.
The Wildcats lost the last 5 games of the season. In fairness, Camden could have very easily won 4 of those games.
The Wildcats will head up to Atlanta to play the #1 seed in region 3, North Cobb.
Camden is a very dangerous #4 seed.
Charlton County Indians: The Indians nipped Lanier County last week by one point, earning the #4 seed from region 2-1A Public.
Charlton will take on Atkinson County Friday Night to close out their regular season, looking for a 7-3 regular season.
After that the Indians will take to the road in the first round of the playoffs to take Montgomery County, the #1 seed from 4-1A Public.
Frederica Academy Knights: The Knights currently are 4-5 on the season and hold the #2 position in GISA 2-3A. Frederica will head up to Dublin Friday night to take on Trinity Christian.
If the Knights win over Trinity, they will finish #2 in the region, however GISA uses a different ranking system than GHSA.
The most likely scenario is the Knights end up with #5 seed and a first round bye in the playoffs.
By: Jason Bishop
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
And here we go. The GHSA football playoffs kick off Friday night and here is a run down of area teams and their matchups in the first round.
Frederica Academy Knights @ Southland Academy Raiders: Southland ended up with the 2 seed in region 3 AAA in GISA. The Raiders upset TiftArea in the final game of the year to earn that seed.
The Knights wore down against Bulloch is the regular season finale and comes into the playoffs having lost 2 straight. The Knights finished the season 4-5, the first losing regular season for the program since 2014. Southland finished 6-4.
Despite having to travel all the way to Americus for this game, I like the Knights to win a close game and advance to the second round of the GISA playoffs.
ECI Bulldogs @ MCA Buccaneers: What a great turn around season for MCA under first year coach Bradley Warren. The Bucs finished the season 5-5, a vast improvement from 2018.
MCA also earned a first-round playoff home game at the Ship and the overall 13 seed out of 24 in GHSA A-Public.
ECI plays in the same region as MCA and lost their cross over game against Savannah Calvary Day. The Bulldogs finished with a 5-5 mark on the season as well. However, three of those losses came to higher division schools…Metter, Vidalia and Dublin. Those losses also came in the first three weeks of the season.
This is will be a tall order for the Bucs. Look for ECI to advance and pull away late, but the future is bright in Darien.
Brantley County Herons @ Peach County Trojans: Brantley makes the playoffs for the first time since in forever. The Herons grabbed the four seed from region 2-3A.
Unfortunately, awaiting the Herons in the first round is powerhouse Peach County. Peach went 9-1 in the regular season and won region 4-3A. Brantley finished 5-5 under Coach Geoff Cannon.
Aside from Brantley having to travel to Fort Valley for this game, the Herons went 1-3 on the road this season. I do not see the Herons escaping the Trojans.
Central Chargers @ Pierce County Bears: Pierce had a tremendous season under first year coach Ryan Herring. The Bears finished 10-0 and blew out most everyone they played. Pierce earned the number one seed in region 2-3A.
Central, from Macon, finished with a losing record of 3-7 and earned the 4 seed from region 4-3A.
I do not look for this game to be close at any point. Pierce will win handily and earn their way to the second round.
Ola Mustangs @ Ware County Gators: The Ware County Gators had an up and down season but played well in the region portion of their schedule to earn the number one seed in region 2-5A. They did so by blowing the #2 seed from the region, Wayne County in the season finale.
The Gators will welcome the Ola Mustangs to the Swamp in Waycross.
Ola went 7-3 on the regular season and that was only good enough for the 4 seed out of region 4-5A. It is not often you see a 7-3 four seed.
The Gators finished 7-3 themselves on the season. I see potential for an upset written all over this game, but I will take Ware at home in tough fought first round win.
Stockbridge Tigers @ Wayne County Yellow Jackets: Wayne earned the number 2 seed in region 2-5A but should still be licking its’ wounds after getting throttled by Ware County last week.
The Yellow Jackets will as well host a team from region 4-5A in Stockbridge. The Tigers finished 7-3 and are the 3 seed from that region.
Wayne finished the season with a 7-2 record, they lost a game in the regular season due to the hurricane.
I think Stockbridge is very good and they will be a tough test for the Yellow Jackets. I will take Stockbridge to move on.
Tucker Tigers @ Glynn Academy Red Terrors: Tucker will take the trip to Glynn County Stadium to play Glynn. The Red Terrors had a roller coaster year and finished 5-4 on the season, which was good for the 2 seed from region 2-6A.
Tucker finished 6-4 and lost to Stephenson in the final game of the year to lose the region championship for region 4-6A. With that loss, it took Tucker all the way from potential champs to the 3 seed.
Both of these teams have had a down year compared to where the bar is normally at for these programs.
Tucker’s region was a little tougher than Glynn’s region and the Tigers lost a tight game to region champ Stephenson last week. I will take the Tucker Tigers to move into the second round in a very good game.
Brunswick High Pirates @ Morrow Mustangs: Brunswick High made the playoffs for the first time in a couple of years as the 3 seed from region 2-6A.
The Pirates finished the season 5-5 and have had 2 weeks to prepare for the playoffs and get healthy.
Morrow dumptrucked MLK 39-13 last week to earn the 2 seed from region 4-6A. Once Stephenson beat Tucker for the region, the Mustangs were able to move up to the 2 seed as they beat Tucker head to head in the regular season.
Morrow finished 6-4 on the regular season.
This may end up being a break for the Pirates, getting Morrow instead of Tucker. We will see, but I am picking the Pirates to win their first playoff game in the Sean Pender era against Morrow.
Camden County Wildcats @ Marietta Blue Devils: Camden had a great season finishing 8-2 on the season. The only 2 losses came at the hands of region foes Colquitt and Lowndes, both powerhouses.
Those losses pushed Camden to the 3 seed in region 1-7A.
The Wildcats will head up to Atlanta to take on the Marietta Blue Devils. Marietta finished the season 8-2 and those losses came at the hands of powerhouses Grayson and McEachern.
The Blue Devils are the 2 seed from region 3-7A. What a great first round game. I will take Camden to take down Marietta on the road but in a close defensive struggle.