Most playoff races down to final week
Eastside in, four others still alive

CONYERS - One is in, one is out and four are still alive.

That's the playoff status of the six local high school football teams heading into their regular season finales.

Right now, here's what we know: Eastside has a berth in Region 8-AAA, Rockdale is out in Region 8-AAAA and the other four squads all must win in their regular season finales to have a chance at securing a spot.

Region 8-AAAA

For Salem and Heritage, the road to the postseason is pretty simple. They both must win - Salem hosts Apalachee and Heritage entertains Cedar Shoals - and then they'll need a little help.

The Seminoles need Cedar Shoals to beat Heritage. If that happens, Salem is the No. 3 seed and Apalachee takes the No. 4 seed.

The Patriots need Salem to defeat Apalachee. If that happens, Heritage is the No. 4 seed and Habersham Central is the No. 3 seed.

There are two other scenarios.

Apalachee can wrap up the No. 3 seed with a victory over Salem.

If Heritage and Apalachee win, then Habersham Central is the No. 4 seed.

If Cedar Shoals and Apalachee win, then Cedar Shoals gets the No. 4 seed.

Loganville wraps up the No. 1 seed with a victory at Winder-Barrow. Clarke Central is the No. 2 seed if Loganville wins or the No. 1 seed if Loganville loses.

Region 8-AAA

Eastside will wrap up the Region 8-AAA title and the No. 1 seed from the region in the postseason with a win over Franklin County on Friday night at Homer Sharp Stadium.

It would be the first region football championship in Eastside school history.

The Eagles, Stephens County and Hart County have clinched berths and will take the top three spots. Eastside could fall to third with a loss to Franklin, depending on the outcomes of Stephens County's and Hart County's games.

Oconee County needs a victory over Morgan County to clinch the No. 4 spot.

Region 4-AAAA

Alcovy is still in the hunt for a 4-AAAA playoff berth, and there are a bunch of different scenarios.

The bottom line is the Tigers have to beat Griffin in their regular season finale Thursday night at Sharp to give themselves the best shot at a playoff berth. After that, Alcovy will have to wait on the scores from around the region.

If Alcovy wins and North Clayton beats Dutchtown, then Alcovy is in the playoffs.

But it's possible that 4-AAAA could have as many as five teams tied at 5-3 for three playoff spots or three teams tied at 4-4 for just one spot after Friday's games.

There is only one thing set in stone in 4-AAAA entering this week - North Clayton is the region champion.

The other key games Friday are Dutchtown at North Clayton and Jonesboro at Stockbridge.

Mount Zion, at 5-3, finished its season Friday and was upset by Ola 27-26, which opened the door for several more scenarios.

Region 2-AAAAA

Newton is in the same boat as county rival Alcovy heading into the final week.

The Rams must win their game Friday against Luella in Locust Grove to have a shot at the postseason.

If that happens, two scenarios will hand the No. 4 seed to Newton - losses by Douglass or Redan and a win by Redan and a loss by Douglass.

According to Newton coach Nick Collins, if Newton, Douglass and Redan all win, then the Rams will lose out to the Astros for the final spot.

The other key games in 2-AAAAA are Stephenson at Douglass in Lakewood Stadium, M.L. King at Union Grove and Redan at Greenbrier.

With a win, Stephenson clinches the 2-AAAAA title. The winner of M.L. King-Union Grove clinches second and the loser takes third.

Jeff Gillespie can be reached at jeff.gillespie@rockdalecitizen.com.