We know one thing for certain: there will be one less undefeated team in Class A Saturday morning - and there could be as many as three teams suffering their first loss of 2004. In the next-to-last-week of the regular season, the Region 2 and Region 6 titles will essentially be decided, and Region 3 may become a bit clearer (or muddier).
In Region 1, Clinch County will be region champ, and Miller County and Turner County are in the playoffs. Next Friday's Miller-Turner game will decide #2 and #3. We won't even hazard a guess at the #4 team.
Randolph-Clay and Pacelli are both undefeated now, but one will be a bit disappointed come Saturday after Friday night's game in Columbus. Both have been whipping up on other Region 2 teams, but this week is the game that matters the most. The R-C Red Devils have averaged winning by 41 points, while the Vikings have bested that mark by about a touchdown, 48 points. Will it be the "new" Red Devils, formerly of Class AA, or the private school boys? It should be a great game, and yes, we're pulling for the Red Devils. Brookstone will probably finish third with Terrell County a likely fourth.
Portal is another undefeated team that will be sorely tested this week when the Panthers travel south to Darien to play McIntosh County Academy. Portal and MCA are both in the playoffs somewhere, along with Savannah Country Day, Portal's opponent next week. Region 3 is hot the final two weeks of the regular season.
In Region 4, Johnson County dives into The Cobra Pit in Jeffersonville to decide the 4-A second and third seeds behind #1 Hawkinsville. Twiggs County aims to protect its high rating with a win. Wilkinson County and Telfair County will decide the fourth seed in their game this week.
Region 5 sees Landmark Christian defending its region title against Whitefield Academy, with the big game still next week against Eagles Landing Christian Academy. The fourth seed will be determined next week when Mt. Zion battles Our Lady of Mercy, with the winner to play at Lincolnton the following week.
In Region 6, the big one is here. Like last week's Lincoln County vs. Washington game, this war will be hot for rivalry reasons, with the region stakes just adding to the fire. Unblemished Bremen travels to Bowdon to decide 6-A, and it won't be a friendly discussion. Trion still looks to be third with Gordon Lee fourth.
In Region 7, Aquinas hosts Washington-Wilkes to settle the second seed. In most years, everyone would give this to the Tigers in a walk-over. But this isn't most years. Aquinas is clearly on the upswing with their new coach and new attitude. They have the bodies and the spirit. The Tigers have to quickly recover from last week's loss in Lincolnton, or the Irish will be celebrating a home playoff game in two weeks. The W-W fans can't possibly conceive of losing to Aquinas. This should be a great game fo both schools. Lincoln County needs a win over GMC or Warren County to win 7-A.
In Region 8, Athens Academy must be extremely careful not to be ambushed by those Social Circle Redskins this week as the Spartans eye next week's showdown with Commerce. Commerce has an easy game with Towns County, and should give AA a great battle October 29.
Yes, the favored teams keep adjusting a bit, as there seems to be some upset each week. But then, that's what keeps Class A interesting -- the games must be played on the field to know the results.