Three weeks left in the regular season, and just when you thought the playoff picture may be getting clearer, a few regions have gotten even more jumbled.
In 6AAAAAA Alpharetta is making a run towards Johns Creek and the No. 2 seed while a resurgent Centennial squad in threatening Lambert and Chattahoochee (who both looked playoff bound in early October) for the fourth and final slot.
In 5AAAAAA Milton and Walton will dual for the second seed behind Lassiter tonight while Northview is still trying to improve their playoff positioning in 7A-AAAAA against Sequoyah.
Blessed Trinity is locked into the playoffs in 6AAA, but still has two huge games left on their schedule while Mount Pisgah is trying to cling on to the tail end of the playoff picture in Class-A.
12 games on the schedule so let’s tee it up for another week. Game, previews and picks are below.
Milton (5-2, 3-1) at Walton (5-2, 3-1)
With Milton’s loss to Lassiter last week, the implications for this matchup are pretty straight forward; the winner should finish second in 5AAAAAA and host a first-round state playoff game in November while the loser falls to the No. 3 slot and a likely first round date with defending state champion Grayson (the second place team in 8AAAAAA).
On the field, the game will feature a pair of SEC bound running backs in Peyton Barber and Tyren Jones — going to Ole Miss and Alabama respectively. The game, which features nine players already committed to FBS programs, will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU with a 9 p.m. kickoff.
My take — Eagles bounce back and win by 10
Roswell (1-6, 0-4) vs. Cherokee (1-6, 0-4)
Roswell can’t seem to catch a break in close games. A two-point loss last week to Woodstock was their second straight by two-points or less, seventh straight for Justin Sanderson in games decided by three points or less and sixth straight loss overall this season.
With Cherokee coming to town, it may be the Hornets last chance to end that losing streak (games against Walton and Lassiter will round out the schedule).
My take – Roswell’s slide ends with a close win
Alpharetta (4-3, 3-1) at Lambert (5-2, 2-2)
Alpharetta has won three straight games and really appears to have their feet under them, especially on defense where they gave up 150 points in their first four games but have yielded just 40 during their three-game winning streak.
While Alpharetta is hot, Lambert is sliding fast. The Longhorns have lost two straight and are in a tie for fourth with Hooch and Centennial, a loss tonight would really put any playoff hopes in jeopardy with West Forsyth and Chattahoochee on the horizon.
My take – Tight game, but the Raiders win a fourth straight
Centennial (2-5, 2-2) vs. North Forsyth (3-4, 0-4)
Just when it looked like Centennial was down for the count at 0-5, Jeff Carlberg’s Knights have rebounded to win two straight and hop right back in the playoff picture.
Much of that turnaround has come courtesy of a defense that has had a rebirth of sorts following their early October bye week. The Knights D has allowed just 17 points combined in the last two games.
A win over last place North Forsyth would only push Centennial further into the playoff landscape and set up two really interesting games against Alpharetta and Chattahoochee to round out the season.
My take – The Knights proved me wrong twice in a row so I’m on the CHS bandwagon this week, Knights by 7
Chattahoochee (4-3, 2-2) vs. West Forsyth (7-0, 4-0)
Sitting in a three-way tie for fourth place, Chattahoochee really needs a win this week. Unfortunately, a date with West Forsyth looms tonight and the Wolverines have been steam rolling everyone in their way — winning all four region games by at least 21 points.
My take — WF wins big
Johns Creek (6-1, 3-1) vs. South Forsyth (3-4, 0-4)
Johns Creek bounced back from their loss to West Forsyth with a comeback win against Lambert in overtime. Meanwhile, South Forsyth continues to struggle on offense as they battle injuries to quarterback Jantzen Jeffrey.
My take — Glads cruise to 7-1
Cambridge (0-7, 0-3) vs. North Springs (0-7, 0-3)
Early in the year I said Cambridge would win a game this season, and this was the one I had in mind. North Springs is 1-36 in their last 37 games and their only win came by a forfeit. This season hasn’t been much better, North Springs has scored just 48 points in seven games and has allowed 40 or more in 6 out of 7 con-tests.
My take — 1st senior night brings the Bears their 1st win
Northview (2-5, 2-1) vs. Sequoyah (4-3, 2-1)
Big game here with the winner taking a big step towards locking up the No. 2 seed heading into the sub region playoffs in two weeks. The loser falls to the third, and possibly, the fourth seed. The difference in that 2nd and 3rd seed will be a big one too with Pope (5-2) or Kell waiting for the third seed and a much more manage-able date with Sprayberry (2-5) or Riverwood waiting for the No. 2 seed.
My take — a shootout, but the Chiefs take it late
Blessed Trinity (6-1, 3-0) vs. McNair (3-4, 0-3) Thursday Night
Five straight wins for BT and the Titans are rolling towards a huge game against St. Pius X next week. They’ll have to take care of McNair first, but it should be academic if the Titans continue to play well.
My take — BT gets their sixth straight
King’s Ridge (3-4, 0-3) vs. FCS (1-6, 0-3)
Two teams battered and bruised by injuries and desperate for a win. King’s Ridge played tough a week ago against Walker and a similar defensive effort will be what they need against a really young FCS team.
My take — Tigers by two touchdowns
Mount Pisgah (4-3, 1-2) vs. Mount Paran (2-5, 2-1)
Big game for Mount Pisgah as they try to hang on to a top 16 spot in the Class-A Private School power rankings. The Patriots are currently slotted in No. 16 and just barely ahead of Whitefield Academy.
My take —Mount Paran by a FG
St. Francis (3-5 overall) at Towns County (1-6 Overall)
The Knights win streak came to an end last week, but they still have a shot at finishing .500 with games against Towns and North Cobb Christian left on the schedule.
Towns County actually picked up their first win of the season last week against NCC, winning 38-6 against the 3-4 Eagles.
My take — Knights score late to win