Three programs, North Paulding, South Paulding and East Paulding, finished in the top three positions in Region 5-AAAAA during the regular season and will each begin postseason play on Friday.
North Pauling (9-1) enters the playoffs fresh off of its first region championship and on an eight-game winning streak. The nine victories mark the most in one season for the fourth-year varsity program and the Wolfpack open the postseason at home against Riverwood (7-3).
The Wolfpack will rely on a high-powered offense that’s averaged 44 points per contest led by quarterback Chase Noonan.
South Paulding (9-1) also had a record-setting regular season, winning the most games ever in a campaign and finishing tied with North Paulding atop the standings. The Spartans have been paced by quarterback Chander Burks, who has thrown for 2,132 yards and 22 passing touchdowns along with 1,112 rushing yards and 15 TDs. Jae Bowen also has 27 total touchdowns for the Spartans. South Paulding, playing in its first-ever playoff game, will host Sequoyah (8-2).
“This season has been a testament to the hard work of so many people,” Spartans’ first-year head coach Ed Koester said. “We’re proud of representing the county. Sequoyah is a very balanced team that plays physical football and we must be ready to play at all positions and phases to be successful.”
East Paulding (7-3) needed a 31-19 road victory over Allatoona last Friday to enter the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. The Raiders travel to Canton to face Creekview (8-2) on Friday. Tae Ray had a game-high 129 yards rushing and a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Allatoona contest. The Raiders’ defense has allowed only 14 points per game.
“We had a lot riding on the game this past Friday,” Raiders’ head coach Chuck Goddard said. “Creekview has a very good team. For us to win, we’re going to have to prevent them from getting the big play on offense and control both the offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage.”