Here’s what to look for this weekend in Class AAAAA:
- M.L. King was the first of the four high-profile teams in 6-AAAAA to suffer a region loss, but the Lions still have a shot at winning their fourth consecutive region championship. M.L. King, which is tied with Stephenson and Mays for second place in the region, one game behind top-ranked Tucker, plays Stephenson on Friday, followed by games against Tucker and Miller Grove. Winning all three games likely gives the championship to the Lions. However, M.L. King could finish as low as fourth place if it loses to Stephenson and Tucker, which is perhaps just as likely as winning all three. The Lions lost to Mays 36-28 on Sept. 14.
- At the other end of the 6-AAAAA playoff picture, Arabia Mountain still has a chance to earn a berth. If the Rams can win their final three games against Southwest DeKalb (2-5), Dunwoody (1-6) and Lakeside-DeKalb (1-6) and Mays loses two of its final three – most likely against Stephenson and Tucker – then they will be in the playoffs for the first time in the program’s five-year history. Arabia Mountain’s next victory will set the school record for wins in a season with five.
- Loganville is overshadowed in Region 8-AAAAA by powers Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Clarke Central and Heritage-Conyers, but the Red Devils have a chance to sneak away with a playoff berth as early as Friday. Loganville will clinch a spot if it beats Heritage and Salem loses to Apalachee. Regardless of the Salem result, however, Loganville will be in the driver’s seat if it takes care of Heritage.
- Defending Region 5-AAAAA champion East Paulding is in a bit of a must-win situation this week when it faces South Paulding. If Rome wins its final three games against Lithia Springs (0-7), Villa Rica (4-3) and Woodland-Cartersville (2-6), then East Paulding would need to win all of its remaining games to make the playoffs. East Paulding’s remaining schedule includes South Paulding (6-1), Lithia Springs (0-7) and Allatoona (6-1).
- Other games with major playoff implications include Creekside vs. McIntosh, which essentially will determine the 4-AAAAA Div. B champion, and Harris County vs. Lee County, where a Harris County victory likely sets up a showdown with Thomas County Central on the final weekend of the season for the 1-AAAAA championship.