Barring an upset of Region 4-AAA Div. A third-place Ola (3-5 overall, 2-2 subregion) over first-place Henry County (7-1, 4-0), fourth-place Spalding (5-3, 2-2) will be playing second-place Mary Persons (5-3, 3-1) for the right to finish second and host a week No. 10 crossover region playoff game next week against either Peach County (6-2, 3-1), Northeast Macon (6-2, 3-1) or Perry (5-3, 3-1) - pending action tonight on both sides of the region.
Of course a loss would put Spalding, which has already clinched a week No. 10 crossover berth, on the road against one of those three teams.
Spalding clinched a week No. 10 region crossover playoff berth by virtue of its 14-0 win last week at arch-rival Jackson. The win broke a two-game losing streak for the Jags. Mary Persons had a six-game win streak snapped at home in a 41-35 overtime loss to first-place Henry County.
Historically, SHS has struggled against the Bulldogs. Mary Persons leads the all-time series 3-0. Spalding has been outscored by a combined margin of 72-20 in those meetings, though SHS’s closest chance for a victory came in a 19-18 loss last year at Dan Pitts Field in Forsyth.
Both teams are much improved this season. Expect another close game tonight with home field advantage being the deciding factor- Jags 17-14.
Griffin (8-1), which plays Upson-Lee (6-3) in a Region 4-AAAA crossover playoff game next week for the right to go to Class AAAA state playoffs Nov. 16-17, is off this week. The Bears will be looking to make it seven trips in a row to state and 11 in the last 12 seasons.
The Knights had been to the state playoffs six consecutive seasons before having the string snapped 36-32 in a week No. 10 crossover playoff game last year at Griffin where Bobby Rainey ran for 278 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Bears to a comefrom-behind win.
But getting back to the subject at hand, lets get past this week. Elsewhere in the area tonight:
n Griffin Christian (0-9 overall, 0-6 GISA Class A North) at David Emanuel Academy (3-5, 3-4): It has been a long season for GCHS. Will this be the week they sneak up on someone and post that elusive first W of the ’07 campaign? - Crusaders 21-20.
n Heard County (5-3, 4-2) at Pike County (3-5 overall, 2-4 Region 5-AA): Seventh-place Pike County is aiming to keep its slim playoff hopes alive. Of course, third-place Heard County is aiming to better its playoff standing with a win and edge closer to a host role in the Class AA state playoffs. Pike has more to lose. Go with the- Pirates 28-26.
n Manchester (2-6, 2-4) at Lamar County (1-7 overall, 0-6 Region 5-AA): Last-place Lamar County has nothing to lose and a seven-game losing streak to break.
Manchester, however, will be coming into the game on a high after its 28-14 victory last week at home against Pike County. Still, Summers Field is a tough place to play- Trojans 21-20.
Sullivan is the sports editor at the Griffin Daily News.