John McClellan high school picks: Critical region games this week with Pepperell over Chattooga; Coosa beats Gordon Central; Rockmart over Model; wins for Darlington, Cartersville, Calhoun.

John McClellan high school picks: Critical region games this week with Pepperell over Chattooga; Coosa beats Gordon Central; Rockmart over Model; wins for Darlington, Cartersville, Calhoun.

Chick-fil-A Sports Report
Mount Berry Mall, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Riverside Parkway, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

By John McClellan
For Hometown Headlines

The 2018 high school football regular season, which began in the August heat, ends this week. Many teams already have earned region championships and post-season berths, while other schools are fighting this week either to keep their seasons going or for home field advantage in the playoffs. Here is a breakdown of the current playoff scenarios in Northwest Georgia: 

Region 7-AAAAA

Rome, who wrapped up a 10-0 regular season Friday night, is the region champion. Kell and Carrollton have clinched playoff berths and—barring major upsets—will finish second and third. The winner of this week’s game between East Paulding and Villa Rica will finish in fourth place.

Region 5-AAAA

The winner of this week’s game between Cartersville and Troup will win the region championship with the loser finishing second. Sandy Creek has clinched third place in the region. The winner of this week’s Cedartown-Chapel Hill game will finish fourth.

Region 6-AAAA

            Pickens is the region champion and Ridgeland is second regardless of what happens this week. The winner of this week’s Northwest Whitfield-Heritage game finishes third and the loser finishes fourth.

Region 6-AAA

The winner of this week’s game between Calhoun and Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe will be the region champion with the loser finishing second. Haralson County will finish third. North Murray will finish fourth with a win Friday night over Sonoraville. A Sonoraville upset, combined with an almost certain Ringgold win over Coahulla Creek, will throw the region into a three-way tie for the final playoff position among North Murray, Ringgold, and Sonoraville. The fifth-place team in Region 6-AAA likely will earn the single wild card playoff spot in Class AAAbecause of there being only four teams in Region 1-AAA and the last place team in that region having a power rating lower than teams in other regions.

Region 7-AA

            Rockmart has clinched the region championship. The winner of this week’s game between Chattooga and Pepperell will finish second with the loser taking third. The winner of this week’s Coosa-Gordon Central game will finish fourth.

Region 5-AA

            Bremen, Callaway, and Heard County have clinched the top three playoff spots with the order of finish dependent on the outcome of this week’s Heard County-Bremen game. The winner of this week’s Jordan-Spencer game will finish fourth.

Region 6-A

Fellowship Christian will play at Mt. Zion Friday night for the region championship. Everything else in Class A is dependent on the final power rankings with the top 24 private schools and top 24 public schools making the playoffs. Darlington (currently eighth in the private school power rankings), Christian Heritage (13th), Mt. Paran Christian (14th), and Whitefield Academy (18th) appear to be safely in the playoffs on the private school side with Pinecrest Academy (25th) and St. Francis (26th) on the bubble. Trion (14th in the public school power rankings) appears to be safely in the postseason.


Chattooga (7-2, 5-1) at Pepperell (6-3, 5-1)

  • Series History: Pepperell leads 20-13
  • Last Meeting: Pepperell defeated Chattooga 38-7 on November 3, 2017
  • The Chattooga Indians turned in their most complete performance of the 2018 season with a 41-0 win over Dade County. The Pepperell Dragons earned their first shutout of the year in a 28-0 defeat of Armuchee. The winner of this game earns a home field game in the first round of the state playoffs with the loser going on the road. Pepperell wins by 6.

Coosa (3-6, 3-3) at Gordon Central (3-6, 2-4)

  • Series History: Tied 3-3
  • Last Meeting: Coosa defeated Gordon Central 44-0 on November 3, 2017
  • The Coosa Eagles took advantage of a Model turnover and broke open a close game in the second half to defeat the Blue Devils 30-14 on Thursday night. The Gordon Central Warriors saw their two-game winning streak come to an end following a 54-11 loss to Rockmart. The winner of this game will earn the final playoff spot from Region 7-AA and a game next Friday at Number 1 ranked Hapeville Charter. Coosa wins by 19.

Whitefield Academy (6-3) at Darlington (7-2)

  • Series History: Tied 1-1
  • Last Meeting: Whitefield Academy defeated Darlington 7-0 on November 3, 2017
  • The Whitefield Academy Wolfpack came within two points of knocking off unbeaten Fellowship Christian before going down to a 44-42 defeat. The Darlington Tigers, whose only prior loss was to subregion champion Mt. Zion, fell 35-21 to surprisingly strong North Cobb Christian. Both teams should make the Class A Private School playoffs with power ratings on the line in this crossover game. Darlington wins by 4.

Class AA Number 2 Rockmart (9-0, 6-0) at Model (2-7, 2-4)

  • Series History: Rockmart leads 25-8-1
  • Last Meeting: Rockmart defeated Model 42-10 on November 3, 2017
  • The Rockmart Yellow Jackets moved a step closer to completing their first undefeated regular season since their 10-0 record under Steve Cordle in 1989. The Model Blue Devils saw their postseason hopes come to an end on a rainy Thursday night in a 30-14 loss to Coosa. The Yellow Jackets are one of the favorites in the Class AA state championship race.Rockmart wins by more than 30.

Armuchee (1-8, 0-5) at Dade County (1-8, 0-5)

  • Series History: Dade County leads 15-5
  • Last Meeting: Dade County defeated Armuchee 28-14 on November 3, 2017
  • The Armuchee Indians, whose lone win came in the season opener over Murray County, were unable to get on the scoreboard in a 28-0 loss at home to Pepperell. The Dade County Wolverines, whose only win came by one point over Gordon Central in late September, fell to 1-8 following a 41-0 loss to Chattooga. Armuchee wins by 2.

Unity Christian School (5-4) at Peachtree Academy (9-0)

  • Series History: Peachtree Academy leads 2-1
  • Last Meeting: Peachtree Academy defeated UCS 47-6 on September 14, 2018
  • The UCS Lions closed out the regular season Friday night with a dominating 42-12 win over Hearts Academy and ended the year tied for second place in Region 2 of the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic association’s 8-man division. The Lions then won out Monday night in a mini-playoff over Horizon Christian Academy and Victory Baptist School to earn a spot in the GICAA state playoffs. The Peachtree Academy Panthers closed out an undefeated regular season on Friday night with a 60-0 win over Young Americans Christian school on their way to the Region 3 championship.Only one team—Kings Way Christian School—came within 40 points of the Panthers in 2018. Peachtree Academy wins by 14.

Class AAAA Number 3 Troup (9-0, 5-0) at Class AAAA Number 5 Cartersville (9-0, 5-0)

  • Series History: Cartersville leads 4-0
  • Last Meeting: Cartersville defeated Troup 52-13 on November 3, 2017
  • The Troup Tigers, who have won nine regular season games for the first time since 2003, remained unbeaten following a 49-27 win over Central of Carrollton. The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes, who have the longest undefeated streak in regular season games in the state, were off Friday night after a 51-0 shutout of Chapel Hill. This battle of unbeaten teams is for the Region 5-AAAA championship. Cartersville wins by 14.

Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (7-2, 6-1) at Class AAA Number 1 Calhoun (9-0, 7-0) 

  • Series History: Calhoun leads 15-6-1
  • Last Meeting: Calhoun defeated L-FO 48-0 on November 4, 2016
  • The L-FO Warriors, who earned their first playoff berth since 2009, are 7-2 following a 19-9 win over North Murray. The Calhoun Yellow Jackets, who have not lost a region game since October 19, 2001, moved a step closer to their 18th straight region championship with a 41-6 win over once-beaten Haralson County. This game is for the Region 6-AAA title. Calhoun wins by more than 30.

Cedartown (4-5, 2-3) at Chapel Hill (6-3, 2-3)

  • Series History: Tied 1-1
  • Last Meeting: Cedartown defeated Chapel Hill 47-14 on November 3, 2017
  • The Cedartown Bulldogs, whose five losses have come by a total of 21 points, led much of the night before falling to Sandy Creek 31-28. The Chapel Hill Panthers increased their record to 6-3 after defeating LaGrange 37-3. The winner of this game will take the fourth playoff slot from Region 5-AAAA. Cedartown wins by 14.

Pinecrest Academy (4-5) at Trion (6-3)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • The Pinecrest Academy Paladins dropped another close game in a 14-7 loss to Mt. Paran Christian. The Trion Bulldogs increased their record to 6-3 following a 35-13 defeat of winless Bowdon. The Bulldogs appear to be a certain post season team in the Class A Public School playoffs, while Pinecrest sits on the bubble in the Class A Private School playoff race. Trion wins by 14.

North Murray (5-4, 4-3) at Sonoraville (4-5, 3-4)

  • Series History: Sonoraville leads 5-2
  • Last Meeting: North Murray defeated Sonoraville 42-28 on November 3, 2017
  • The North Murray Mountaineers enter this game on a two-game losing streak after a 19-9 defeat by Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe. The Sonoraville Phoenix jumped out to a 19-0 lead and held on for a 19-8 win over Coahulla Creek. A North Murray win will give the Mountaineers fourth place in Region 6-AAA. North Murray wins by 12.

Woodland (4-5, 2-5) at Class AAAAA Number 10 Kell (7-2, 5-2) 

  • Series History: Kell leads 2-0
  • Last Meeting: Kell defeated Woodland 21-12 on October 27, 2017
  • The Woodland Wildcats went down to defeat for the fifth straight week in a 24-7 loss to East Paulding in a game that was close for much of the night. The Kell Longhorns held their opponent scoreless for the first time this season in a 30-0 shutout of Hiram. The Longhorns, whose only losses came to Rome and East Paulding in back-to-back weeks in early September, are in the Class AAAAA playoffs. Kell wins by more than 30.

Paulding County (0-9, 0-7) at Cass (1-8, 0-7)

  • Series History: Paulding County leads 16-4-1
  • Last Meeting: Paulding County defeated Cass 38-20 on October 20, 2017
  • The Paulding County Patriots, who are trying to avoid their first winless season since 1972, lost 56-0 to Carrollton. The Cass Colonels, who were off Friday night, fell to 1-8 overall and remained winless in Region 7-AAAAA play following a 63-3 loss to Kell. Cass wins by 5.

Georgia School for the Deaf (2-4) at Carolina Schools for the Deaf (1-2) (Saturday)

  • Last Meeting: GSD defeated Carolinas 44-22 on September 29, 2017
  • The GSD Tigers, who were playing for the first time in three weeks, lost to Louisiana School for the Deaf for the second time this season with Saturday’s game ending in a 56-6 defeat. The Carolina Bears, who had to cancel early season games due to flooding, captured their first win of the season in their last outing with a 58-18 win on October 20 over South Carolina School for the Deaf & Blind.Georgia School for the Deaf wins by 14.

Off this week: Class AAAAA Number 1 Rome (10-0, 8-0 after defeating Villa Rica 62-7)

Completed season: Adairsville (4-6, 3-5 after losing to Ringgold 31-10)

 In other games involving schools in regions in orthwest Georgia:N

 McEachern (6-3) over North Paulding (7-2) by 15

Creekside (6-3) over South Paulding (2-7) by 14

Dalton (5-4) over Osborne (0-9) by more than 30

Carrollton (7-2, 5-2) over Hiram (4-5, 3-4) by 23

East Paulding (5-4, 5-2) over Villa Rica (6-3, 4-3) by 4

Sandy Creek (6-3, 3-2) over Central of Carrollton (2-7, 1-4) by 25

LaGrange (1-8) over Shaw (3-6) by 14

LaFayette (4-5, 1-4) over Gilmer (0-9, 0-5) by 18

Northwest Whitfield (6-3, 3-2) over Heritage (4-5, 3-2) by 5

Class AAAA Number 10 Ridgeland (6-3, 4-1) over Southeast Whitfield (3-6, 1-4) by more than 30

Ringgold (4-5, 3-4) over Coahulla Creek (1-8, 1-6) by 30

Haralson County (7-2, 5-2) over Murray County (0-9, 0-7) by 26

Class AA Number 5 Bremen (8-1, 4-1) over Class AA Number 3 Heard County (7-2, 5-0) by 2

Class A Public Number 5 Mt. Zion (8-1) over Class A Private Number 4 Fellowship Christian (9-0) by 4

Class A Private Number 7 Mt. Paran Christian (7-2) over Class A Private Number 10 North Cobb Christian (8-1) by 14

Bowdon (0-9) over King’s Ridge Christian (1-8) by 6

Georgia Military (3-6) over Walker (0-9) by 2

Christian Heritage (6-3) over Mt. Pisgah Christian (3-6) by 5

St. Francis (4-5) over Gordon Lee (2-7) by 15

The historical data included in these predictions is compiled by the Georgia High School Football Historians Association and can be found at www.ghsfha.org. The rankings used are compiled by Georgia High School Football Daily for The Atlanta Journal & Constitution. Class A rankings are different from the power ratings used by the Georgia High School Association to determine playoff seeding.

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