It’s almost the end of October, which means the regular season is nearly over.
The playoffs are on the horizon, so I thought it would be fun to take a quick peek at the postseason.
First off, I found it interesting that the coaches from Region 7-AAAAAA voted to change the tie-breaker last week.
The previous rule was if three teams with the same region record were tied and head-to-head record couldn’t break the tie, a coin flip would determine the winner.
The Region 7 coaches voted last week to adopt the GHSA tiebreaker, which would be a 10-minute mini-game on the Monday after the regular season and not a coin flip. Basically, they want it to be decided on the football field and not by the luck of a coin.
We might see that situation play out in a few weeks. There’s a chance Collins Hill, Peachtree Ridge and Mill Creek could end the year tied with the same region record. Two of those teams will make the playoffs and it’s a shame one of them will miss it. But if it comes down to a tie, at least they can decide it on the field.
On the other side of the county, all we know is Archer is the top team in Region 8-AAAAAA. The Tigers can clinch the program’s first region crown by winning one of their last two games. It’s quite a turnaround for a program that missed the playoffs last season. You have to go back 20 years for the last time a school won the region after missing the postseason the year before.
South Gwinnett won the Region 8 title in 1993 and went on to play for the state championship that year. They were 7-3 the previous year and didn’t qualify for the playoffs.
The rest of the region, well, no one knows for sure. It looks like Brookwood, Dacula and Grayson will make the playoffs, but South Gwinnett, Central Gwinnett and Shiloh are still lurking.
As far as the playoff bracket for Class AAAAAA, the No. 2 seed from Region 7 will have a pretty good draw. Region 3 (Langston Hughes) and Region 6 (Alpharetta) have the No. 1 seeds in that quadrant and those are typically not very good regions.
The No. 1 seed from Region 7 will possibly have a tough draw with last year’s state runner-up Lovejoy in that quadrant.
The No. 1 seed from Region 8 could face the Region 1 champion (Colquitt County/Camden County) in the quarterfinals.
There’s still three weeks left in the regular season, but that’s a sneak peek to the playoffs next month.
IMPRESSIONS FROM FRIDAY
Shiloh pulls off shocker
I honestly thought I would go to my grave before Shiloh ever beat Parkview again. I really did. After 20 years, it just seemed like my alma mater would never get a win over Parkview.
The Generals built a 20-7 halftime lead on Friday and held on to beat Parkview 23-21 on a last-minute field goal. It was the first time Shiloh beat Parkview since 1991. I was in the fifth grade the last time that happened. Players on both teams weren’t even born. George H.W. Bush was President of the U.S. You get the picture, it was a really long time ago.
What’s even more impressive is Shiloh got the victory without its best player — running back Charles Shavers, who was injured.
The win bumped Shiloh to 4-4 on the year. The Generals are a win away from snapping nine straight years of a losing record. Two wins will give them their first winning season since 2003.
New Brown delivers
When Brookwood lost starting running back Josh Brown at the beginning of the year with an injury, I thought they would just plug in another RB and be fine.
Brookwood is a factory for producing running backs over the last 20 years, but it took some time to find Brown’s replacement.
Now as the regular season is winding down, it appears Brookwood just had to shake the Brown family tree to find its next standout running back. Brown’s younger brother Jesse Brown has taken on the starting job and flourished.
The sophomore rushed for 264 yards on 41 carries in the Broncos’ win over Central Gwinnett on Friday. That put Brown over 800 yards rushing for the season. If he stays on pace, he’ll rush for 1,000 yards this season and put himself among the other standout players to carry the ball for Brookwood.
I saw South Gwinnett fall to Shiloh 21-14 at the beginning of the season and the Comets just looked lethargic. They had penalties, turnovers, no big plays, they just seemed kind of blah.
It was a totally different team on Friday against Grayson. The Comets actually had some life to them.
I don’t know if this team will make the playoffs this year, but I do think they will be very good in the next few years. Just looking at their roster and starters, they are playing a lot of freshmen, sophomores and juniors. This is a South Gwinnett team that has grown up a lot in the last month and could still slip its way in the playoffs.
WHAT’S ON TAP
• Collins Hill at North Gwinnett
Two of Region 7-AAAAAA’s top teams meet in the Battle of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. The Eagles can clinch a playoff spot if they upset the state’s No. 1 ranked team. The Bulldogs won the last five meetings against the Eagles.
• Peachtree Ridge at Norcross
The winner of this game can clinch home field in the first round of the state playoffs. Since starting the year 1-2, defending state champion Norcross has won five straight games.
• South Gwinnett at Archer
Archer can clinch the program’s first region title win a win over the Comets, a team they have never beaten. South is still in the playoff hunt, but needs to win out.
• Shiloh at Dacula
Dacula’s only win a last season was over Shiloh. The Falcons need another victory to help them get in the playoffs. The Generals are coming off a surprising win over Parkview last week to stay in the playoff race.