Here’s what to look for this weekend in Class AAAAA:
- Northside-Warner Robins (2-AAAAA) and Ware County (3-AAAAA) can clinch region titles with victories on Friday. Ware County has the easier task. The Gators will claim their 10th region championship if they beat Bradwell Institute (3-5), but even if they lose they can win the region by beating Effingham County (5-3) in the season finale. Northside must beat city rival Warner Robins, which is 7-1 overall and tied for second place in the region. Warner Robins would take the title with victories in its final two games.
- Thomas County Central (1-AAAAA) and Tucker (6-AAAAA) will win region titles if they win out, but they also can clinch this week if they get help. Thomas County Central is off this week, but the Yellow Jackets will be region champions if Harris County loses to Hardaway. TCC and Harris County meet on Nov. 8, and Harris County could force a three-way tie by winning its final two games. Tucker will win its 15th region title overall and eighth in 13 years this week if the Tigers beat M.L. King and Stephenson beats Mays.
- M.L. King, the defending 6-AAAAA, is in a precarious situation heading into this week’s game against Tucker. If the Lions lose, there is a realistic possibility could end up in a three-way tie with Mays and Arabia Mountain for the region’s final two playoff berths that would be settled by a point-differential tiebreaker. For that tie to happen, Mays would have to lose its final two games against Stephenson (7-1) and Tucker (8-0), and Arabia Mountain would need to beat Dunwoody (2-6) and Lakeside-DeKalb (1-7).
- Gainesville will try to avenge one of the state’s biggest upsets from 2012 when it meets Loganville in a final tune-up for the Flowery Branch game on Nov. 8 that will decide the 8-AAAAA title. Gainesville led 41-20 at halftime last season but was held to 50 yards and committed four turnovers in the second half as the Red Devils rallied for a 46-41 victory. Loganville scored the winning touchdown with less than 30 seconds to play. Loganville finished the season 4-6, while Gainesville went on to win the state championship.
- The Region 5-AAAAA title won’t be decided this week, but the picture will be a lot clearer after North Paulding meets Allatoona on Friday. North Paulding and Allatoona are tied with South Paulding for first place. North Paulding, which beat South Paulding earlier this season, can claim its first region title with victories against Allatoona and Villa Rica (4-4). An Allatoona victory likely gives the region title to South Paulding, which beat Allatoona and closes the season against Paulding County (2-7) and Lithia Springs (0-8).