A look at the playoff picture in Regions 5-8

Upsets in Class AAA have been rare this year, but results from last week altered the way the playoffs are shaping up. After North Hall’s stunning loss and North Oconee’s setback, the picture has definitely been altered for the teams in the northern part of the state.

Here’s a look at the way the playoffs are shaping up for teams in Region 5-8.

Region 5: No. 2 Cartersville remains the team to beat. The Purple Hurricanes haven’t sniffed a challenge all year. Their closest call was a 20-point win over North Murray. With quarterback Brooks Barden leading the way, the Canes have not scored less than 35 points in a game this year.

Cartersville’s only challenge is expected to be Ringgold (6-1) in the final game of the season. Ringgold may be the best team in the state that hasn’t been ranked this year. The Tigers have lost only to Central Carroll, which will finish second in Region 4.

The other two playoff spots should fall to Adairsville and the winner of the Sonoraville-LFO game on Nov. 8.

Region 6: St. Pius took a big step toward repeating with last week’s impressive win over Cedar Grove. But the Golden Lions still have to play Woodward Academy, Blessed Trinity and Decatur, a difficult road indeed.

Woodward, Cedar Grove and Blessed Trinity each have one region loss apiece, which makes this region very much up for grabs. Woodward (6-2) must only play St. Pius and Cedar Grove. Cedar Grove (6-2) has Woodward and Blessed Trinity. Blessed Trinity (4-3) has McNair, St. Pius and Cedar Grove.

The wild card is Decatur, which has two region losses, but closes with the easiest schedule: Towers and McNair. The Bulldogs hold the tiebreaker over Blessed Trinity, whom they defeated in overtime on Oct. 11.

Region 7: Buford will win the championship if it wins out against Fannin, East Hall and North Hall. The only question is the season-finale at North Hall, a task that didn’t get any easier because of North Hall’s upset loss to White County a week ago.

White County will finish second in the region if it wins out. The Warriors have games remaining against Dawson County, West Hall and Banks County. Dawson and West Hall are both in playoff contention.

The final playoff spot could come down to the final game of the season between Dawson County and West Hall.

Region 8: The winner of this week’s Hart County-Elbert County game should emerge as the region champion. But Hart still has to play North Oconee in the final game of the season. Those three will be in the playoffs and one of them will have to hit the road in the first round.

The fourth playoff spot remains very much up the air, with Jackson County, Morgan County and Oconee County still in the mix. It may come down the final game of the season between Morgan and Jackson.

14 comments Add your comment

HartMan

October 22nd, 2013
9:10 am

The winner of this week’s Hart County-Elbert County game should emerge as region champion???? Don’t you think that is very premature to say? I know you followed that statement by saying Hart still has to play North Oconee, but considering we (Hart) have never beat North Oconee and were dominated every way possible by them last year, I think the real story here is how the region is going to have a potential log jam at the top. I just don’t want you to jinx us!!! From what I understand, North was robbed by the refs last Friday, so if we beat Elbert this week, the real big game then becomes North at Hart! Should be an exciting finish.

Region 7-AAA

October 22nd, 2013
3:46 pm

Looks like ol North Hall will be hitting the road in the first round for the first time since 2002. Ringgold came down to NH back in 09 for the first round and they put up a pretty good fight in the first half but that smashmouth style really started to take a toll on them around midway through the 3rd quarter.

ron

October 23rd, 2013
1:39 am

I’m anxious, it’s getting close to that time.

Region 7-AAA

October 23rd, 2013
3:22 am

I love the playoffs, but at the same time I despise it because it means any ol week my team will play their last game of the season and I’ll be stuck with crap college and NFL ball the rest of the way.

NTH Trojans

October 23rd, 2013
5:53 am

White County is not guaranteed to finish 2nd even if they win the rest of their games. If North Hall pulls off a miracle against Buford, then that creates a 3 way tie at the top, and the tiebreaker rules for that region will determine seeding. Taking nothing away from the win over North Hall last week, but if theses 2 teams played 10 times, WC might win twice. Hats off to the WC coaching staff and players. They game planned and executed to perfection. Someone said that they didn’t understand why Christmas didn’t make adjustments at halftime, he never does. Just ask anyone that follows NH football. That’s why they don’t have a ring yet. They have the talent and support.

Middle Lion backer

October 23rd, 2013
8:09 am

@NTH Trojans “If North Hall pulls off a miracle against Buford” I think what you mean to say is if the Buford bus breaks down NTH Trojans will have a chance to win.
No doubt NH has talent, a pretty good coach and who would not like to see Buford stub their toe but I am a realist Buford will win out. They (Buford) won’t get a challenge until 3rd of playoffs.
Take heart I have been hearing a rumor they will be AAAA next year and maybe AAAAA. The state may have all privates and city schools who take tution up one class.

BT

October 23rd, 2013
11:56 am

Of course BHS will be sued for bullying so they are in a no win situation!!

Region 7-AAA

October 23rd, 2013
2:13 pm

I am also a realist. Buford takes state once again, North Hall won’t be stopping them. North Hall isn’t a bad team at all, just like plenty of programs that play Buford so it’s no reason to be alarmed. It is a very real possibility that there could be a North Hall/Buford state championship game though but that would mean NH getting past Pius in the 4th Round (Yes, I predict Pius to knock off Waco/Peach/White County/etc in their quadrant)

Wolf Dawg

October 23rd, 2013
4:01 pm

There’s no miracle in the works for North Hall… Buford beats the Trojans by 20….

Region 7-AAA

October 24th, 2013
12:54 am

Just 20?? I was thinking more like 35.

Son Of Waco

October 24th, 2013
1:43 am

Cartersville has a Strength Of Schedule of 22.53.. Which is real bad but what is worst is they play in the weakest region in GA.. They play 7 out of their 10 games against their region, so how good are they huh????

Middle Lion backer

October 24th, 2013
6:49 am

@Son of Waco, Cartersville has out scored the non-region (Lack of ) competition 119-7 this year and 90-33 last year so did they get better or the teams they play are terrible ? Darlington is single A for gosh sakes, Cass is AAAA but has losing record this year and was only 500 last year. Rockmart was 500 last year and made the playoffs but play in a terrible region.
So before you get all gaga over the Canes they need to find some better non-region games. It will help the team in the long run. Don’t know why coaches want to play the cupcake schedule? Oh yeah to help their own coaching record.
Kids love leaving school a little early to play a football game Cartersville can find someone North of them in Tennessee or come on down to Atlanta and find plenty of folks.

Gomez3000

October 25th, 2013
12:10 pm

If Decatur wanted to flex some muscle they could be the intown version of Buford. The amount of talent within five miles of the city is astounding. But the Decatur parents are happy where they are at so just competing is fun and fine.

Eddie B

October 29th, 2013
7:46 am

@Son of Waco, the same was asked about Cartersville last season. They beat Thomson (a great team) and lost to Buford in the semi-finals. Canes may be better this year, especially on defense. Hopefully, everyone will underestimate them again this year due to the weakness in the region.