John McClellan’s high school football picks: What this week’s games mean for the playoffs. Plus: Two wins for Model this week. Rome, Unity, Rockmart to win big.

John McClellan’s high school football picks: What this week’s games mean for the playoffs. Plus: Two wins for Model this week. Rome, Unity, Rockmart to win big.

Truett’s Chick-fil-A Sports

Truett’s Chick-fli-A, 264 Shorter Ave., 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Drive-through, curbside and Door Dash.
Mount Berry Mall, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (curbside, carryout, Door Dash). Shipping Container, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. All Monday-Saturday.


The 2020 high school season, which has been different from any that has gone before because of COVID-19 cancellations and fan attendance restrictions, comes to the end of the regular season with games on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. Unity Christian School already has begun state playoffs with 10 other Rome area teams joining them the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Region 5-6A: Rome, as a result of its win Friday night, can finish no lower than second in Region 5-6A with Carrollton and Douglas County also having clinched playoff spots. With the Wolves closing the season at home against Paulding County, Rome will win the region championship if Douglas County defeats Carrollton. Otherwise, Carrollton wins the region. Carrollton can finish as high as first and as low as fourth. The winner of the Alexander-South Paulding game will finish fourth. The teams from this region will play Region 8-6A in the first round of the playoffs. Buford and Dacula play this week for first and second place with Habersham Central, Winder-Barrow, Shiloh, and Lanier in contention for the third and fourth slots.

Region 7-5A: Blessed Trinity will be the Number 1 seed unless the Titans lose to Woodland this week. Cartersville will finish second and Calhoun third. Hiram will finish fourth unless Woodland upsets Blessed Trinity and takes that playoff spot. The teams from this region will play Region 6-5A in the first round of the playoffs. Chapel Hill, Villa Rica, New Manchester, and Lithia Springs all have games this week that will determine the order of finish with Maynard Jackson still in contention to slip into the top four.

Region 7-4A: Cedartown is the region champion. The rest of the region is somewhat of a tossup depending on games this week and how the region decides to deal with COVID-19 cancellations and an uneven number of region games. Heritage, Northwest Whitfield, and Central of Carrollton are the other likely teams in the playoffs. Ridgeland or Pickens can slip into the picture with upset wins. The teams from this region will play Region 6-4A in the first round of the playoffs. Barring major upsets, Marist will win the region followed by Hapeville Charter, Stephenson, and Arabia Mountain.

Region 6-3A: Rockmart is the region champion and Adairsville will finish second. North Murray will make the playoffs and is the likely third place team in the region. Depending on how the region decides to treat COVID-19 cancellations, Ringgold or LaFayette also will be in the playoffs. The teams from this region will play Region 7-3A in the first round of the playoffs. Cherokee Bluff is the region champion with Dawson County and North Hall playing this week for second and third place and White County, Gilmer, and West Hall still in contention for fourth place.

Region 7-2A: Fannin County has won the region championship and Pepperell has finished second. Model will finish third if it defeats either Chattooga or Gordon Central. Chattooga is the likely fourth place finisher. Should both Chattooga and Gordon Central defeat Model, they would reach the playoffs and Model would be out. The trams from this region will play Region 6-2A in the first round of the playoffs. South Atlanta, Lovett, Washington, and Pace Academy will make the playoffs with the order of finish still to be determined.

Region 7-A Private: Darlington will finish third in the region. The winner of this week’sChristian Heritage-North Cobb Christian game will win the region with the loser finishing second. The winner of this week’s Mt. Paran Christian-Walker game will finish fourth. The teams from this region will play Region 6-A Private in the first round of the playoffs. Fellowship Christian is the region champion, followed by Mt. Pisgah Christian, Lakeview Academy, and King’s Ridge Christian.

Region 6-A Public: Bowdon is the region champion with Gordon Lee finishing second. The winner of this week’s Mt. Zion-BEST Academy game finishes third and the loser fourth. The teams from this region will play Region 7-A Public in the first round of the playoffs. Hancock Central is the region champion with Warren County probably taking second place followed by Georgia Military and Wilkinson County.

THIS WEEK’S GAMES (Friday and Saturday)

Peachtree Academy (6-3) at Unity Christian School (9-0) 

  • Series History: Peachtree leads 4-3
  • Last Meeting: UCS defeated Peachtree 30-18 on September 11, 2020.
  • The Peachtree Panthers led 50-6 at halftime on their way to a 71-6 win over Fideles Christian Academy in the Georgia Association of Private & Parochial Schools Class AA 8-Man football semifinals. The UCS Lions, who have not played since October 30 due to a cancellation of their final regular season game, drew a bye into this week’s semifinals. This is a rematch of the 2019 semifinals and the fourth time in two seasons these teams have played each other. The winner of this game will play the winner of this week’s Covenant Academy-Cherokee Christian School semifinal game on November 27 for the GAPPS Class AA state championship. Unity Christian wins by 21. 

Paulding County (3-6, 1-5) at Rome (6-3, 5-1)

  • Series History: Rome leads 12-0
  • Last Meeting: Rome defeated Paulding County 51-14 on October 18, 2019.
  • The Paulding County Patriots fell to last place in Region 5-6A following a 27-15 loss to a 2-6 Dalton team. The Rome Wolves clinched at least second place in Region 5-6A with a last second 16-15 win over a Douglas County team that many believe has the best defense in the state. A Rome win, combined with a Carrollton loss to Douglas County, would give Rome its fourth region championship in the last five seasons. Rome wins by more than 30.

Bowdon (5-4, 4-0) at Armuchee (2-5, 0-3)

  • Series History: Bowdon leads 10-2
  • Last Meeting: Armuchee defeated Bowdon 7-0 on September 24, 1993.
  • The Bowdon Red Devils became the champions of Region 6-A Public following a 42-22 win over BEST Academy. The Armuchee Indians, whose season has been affected more than any area team due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements, lost to Trion 49-14. Bowdon wins by 23.

Woodland (4-3, 1-3) at Class 5A Private Number 1 Blessed Trinity (5-0, 3-0)

  • Series History: First Meeting
  • The Woodland Wildcats broke a three-game losing streak with a narrow 14-13 win overHiram, who was missing five offensive starters due to COVID-19. The Blessed Trinity Titans, who will enter the playoffs as the Number 1 seed from Region 7-5A, shut out Cass 48-0 to remain unbeaten in a 2020 season that saw four of their opponents cancel games against them due to COVID-19. Blessed Trinity wins by more than 30.

Class 3A Number 7 Rockmart (7-1, 6-0) at Ringgold (5-4, 4-3)

  • Series History: Rockmart leads 1-0
  • Last Meeting: Rockmart defeated Ringgold 43-0 on October 20, 1950.
  • The Rockmart Yellow Jackets, who already had clinched the top seed and championship of Region 6-3A, did not play Friday night after LaFayette canceled the game due to COVID-19. The Ringgold Tigers suffered an upset 26-23 loss to Sonoraville. Rockmart wins by more than 30.

Coahulla Creek (2-7, 1-6) at Sonoraville (4-5, 2-5)

  • Series History: Sonoraville leads 5-1
  • Last Meeting: Sonoraville defeated Coahulla Creek 54-17 on November 1, 2019.
  • The Coahulla Creek Colts were off Friday night after a 55-14 loss the week before to Ringgold. The Sonoraville Phoenix, whose season has been an unexpected disappointment, won for the second straight week after defeating Ringgold 26-23. Sonoraville wins by 10

SATURDAY: Model (5-4, 3-2) at Gordon Central (3-6, 2-3)

  • Series History: Gordon Central leads 8-6
  • Last Meeting: Model defeated Gordon Central 21-0 on October 25, 2019.
  • This is Model’s second game in five days following the Blue Devils’ Tuesday night 49-7 win against Chattooga. The Gordon Central Warriors kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 35-32 win over Dade County. The Warriors must win this game and Model must lose both games this week for Gordon Central to make the postseason. Model wins by 13.

Off this week: Class 5A Number 7 Calhoun (7-3, 3-2 after losing to Cartersville 31-14), Class 5A Number 4 Cartersville (8-1, 4-0 after defeating Calhoun 31-14), Cass (6-4, 1-4 after losing to Blessed Trinity 48-0), Coosa (4-4, 1-3 after having to cancel its final two games because of COVID-19 quarantines), Darlington (6-4, 2-2 after defeating Walker 46-7), Pepperell (5-4, 4-1 after defeating Chattooga 28-13). 

COVID cancellations: Adairsville (6-3, 5-2) at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (1-8, 1-6). Also, Coosa (after having to cancel its final two games because of COVID-19 quarantines), Class 4A Number 8 Cedartown (6-2, 4-0) at Heritage (5-4, 2-2)

In other games involving schools in regions in Northwest Georgia: 

  • Class 7A Number 9 North Cobb (8-1, 4-0) over North Paulding (2-7, 1-3) by 15
  • Alexander (6-3, 4-2) over South Paulding (5-4, 3-2) by 3
  • Class 6A Number 10 Carrollton (5-2, 5-1) over Douglas County (7-2, 4-2) by 12
  • Dalton (2-6, 1-5) over East Paulding (4-5, 1-5) by 2
  • Villa Rica (4-4, 3-1) over Maynard Jackson (2-6, 2-2) by 3
  • Central of Carrollton (5-3, 1-2) over Ridgeland (1-7, 0-2) by 22
  • Northwest Whitfield (6-2, 1-2) over Pickens (3-5, 1-2) by 10
  • North Murray (5-3, 3-2) over LaFayette (4-4, 4-2) by 21
  • Class 2A Number 8 Haralson County (7-1, 2-1) over Bremen (5-4, 1-2) by 2
  • BEST Academy (3-4, 1-2) over Mt. Zion (7-2, 2-2) by 11
  • Gordon Lee (8-1, 3-1) over Trion (3-6, 1-3) by 25
  • Class A Private Number 6 Christian Heritage (6-1, 2-0) over Class A Private Number 7 North Cobb Christian (7-1, 2-0) by 1
  • Mt. Paran Christian (0-6, 0-1) over Walker (1-8, 0-3) by 19
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