Had the fifth-ranked Trojans (6-3, 5-1 Region 5-AAAA) been held off the board, it would have marked the first time since a 10-0 loss against LaGrange in September of 2003 that Carrollton had been held scoreless. During that span, the Trojans have an 89-17 record in 106 games without being shut out.
“It’s a good thing to put points on the board. We were excited about that. I never expected our kids to let up for a minute, and they didn’t. They continued to play, carried themselves with a lot of respect and dignity and I’m proud of them,” Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague said.
The Trojans will have another rare occurrence in the coming week, as they play LaGrange (5-4, 4-2) for the first Thursday night game in Teague’s 11-year tenure at Carrollton.
The winner of the Carrollton-LaGrange contest will earn the No. 2 Class AAAA state playoff seed and a first-round home playoff game on Nov. 16.
Eagles Take Flight in Chickamauga
It's been an amazing turnaround for the Mt. Zion High School football program this fall, and the Eagles and first-year coach Keith Holloway put another feather in their cap on Friday behind an 18-13 victory at Gordon Lee.
The win clinched the Region 6A-A championship and marked MZ's fifth consecutive victory.
"It was huge. I've never been more proud of a group of kids and a group of coaches. They played with a lot of heart. We had a lot of people out hurt. Of course, Nathan Bernhardt with his injury, and then during the game we had three or four kids that really got banged up pretty good. But we had people step up and in the fourth quarter. I really thought we caught our second wind and defensively we got after it," Holloway said. "It was just a huge win and I couldn't be more prouder of these kids."
The Eagles (6-3, 4-1 Region 6A-A) now play host to the fourth-place team from Region 6B-A, Mt. Paran, next week in a 7:30 p.m. contest. MZ needs a win and Gordon Lee to defeat Walker to earn the Region 6-A championship. But if the Eagles win, Holloway is optimistic it should be enough to earn an at-large berth in the Class A state playoffs.
Title Bout at Bowdon
Region 5-AA recently had to go back to the drawing board when it came to tie-breaker scenarios this fall, and the way it ultimately plays out is quite simple for the three teams that could all potentially finish 7-1 in the region standings.
Currently, No. 6 Heard County (9-0, 7-0 Region 5-AA) sits in first place, followed by Bowdon (8-1, 6-1) and Manchester (7-2, 6-1).
But should the Red Devils beat the Braves on Friday at Warren P. Sewell Field and the Blue Devils top winless Jordan that same night, it would come down to point differential between the tying teams.
After the coaches broke it all down in the meeting, it basically boils down to if Heard beats Bowdon, obviously, it claims the region crown. If Bowdon, which was idle this past week, beats the Braves by seven or more points, then the Red Devils would win the region title, Heard would be No. 2 and Manchester would be No. 3. If Bowdon wins by six points or less or loses on Friday, it would fall to the No. 3 seed, with Manchester getting the No. 2 seed and Heard County at No. 1.
Needless to say, it makes for a whale of a game between the two highest-scoring offenses in the league on Friday night in Bowdon.
“I remember way back in the spring when the schedule was set, I thought at that point in time it was going to be a big game. But I didn’t know how big it was going to be. You know, both of us come into it with the chance to be region champions. So it’s going to be an exciting ball game to come watch, because there’s a lot at stake in Game 10,” Heard County coach Tim Barron said.
Bremen Keeps Hope Alive
There may not be a bigger Spencer fan in the state than Ricky Tolleson this week.
After his ball club did what it needed to do in taking down Temple on Friday night in a 57-29 barnburner at Rogers Stadium, the Bremen High School football coach now needs the Greenwave to knock off Kendrick next Friday evening at Memorial Stadium in Columbus to create a three-way tie in the Region 5-AA standings at 4-4 for the fourth and final playoff spot.
That would create a scenario Tolleson and the Blue Devils (5-5, 4-4) have never been a part of in a mini-game at a site to be determined the following Monday.
“It at least gives us another breath. But I was real proud of our seniors and our football team. Our program was in need of a win to get us jump-started. I thought our kids really played with a lot of heart and a lot of character and integrity,” Tolleson said.
Should Spencer pull the upset of Kendrick, the two Columbus programs and Bremen would meet at a neutral site on Monday, Nov. 12, for a “mini-game.” Tolleson said potential sites are LaGrange and Heard County.
“What you have is three teams and they’ll be an odd person out and you play two five-minute halves that are called ‘mini-games’ to break that tie. Of course, the winner of two and three will play one to see who gets to move on into that fourth slot,” Tolleson said.
So even though the Blue Devils have wrapped up regular-season play and face the prospect of not playing again this year, they’ll practice this week with a hope that they’ll live to see another day on the gridiron.
“I told them we’re going to fight until the very end,” Tolleson said.
VR Youth Shines in Setback
For a Villa Rica squad that has been decimated by injuries this season, one of the positives second-year Cat coach Mike Falleur can take from the personnel setbacks has been an emergence of youthful talent stepping up week-in and week-out at VR (4-5, 4-5 Region 5-AAAAA).
And Friday night proved to be another case of that in a hard-fought, 35-28 home loss to Rome (7-2, 7-2).
“We’ve got four or five kids hurt and we had three or four more [Friday night]. But whoever gets in there, comes in and plays and does their role. And that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we’ve got to keep doing,” said Falleur, who got a pair of electrifiying kick returns by freshman Taye Holts during the second-half comeback bid.
“We had three or four ninth-graders come in because someone got hurt [Friday]. And then we’ve got tons of 10th-graders, and I can’t say enough about them. The future is good at Villa Rica."
Central set in at No. 4
Following Friday night's 41-21 Region 4-AAA road loss at Chapel Hill, the Central High School football team is set in at the No. 4 seed in the Class AAA playoffs, meaning it'll travel to top-seeded Pierce County (8-1) from Region 1.
The Lions (5-5, 4-3 Region 4-AAA) have an open week coming up before the postseason gets underway.
Special Group of Seniors
With their season coming to a close Friday night, Alan Lane and the Haralson County coaching staff said goodbye to a small, but valuable senior class.
In his third year as a coach at HC — the past two as head coach — Lane said this group has meant something special to him and, ultimately, the program.
“We’re not very deep with our senior class. We only had eight or nine dressed out [Friday], and some were on the sideline with crutches. They’re going to be missed. I’ve been here three years, so there are starting to get closer ties. The first year was tough. But seeing these sophomores turn to seniors, it’s a little tougher,” Lane said. “There will be the emotional part, but we’ll get over it and start working toward next year.”
Times-Georgian Sports Reporter Jordan Hofeditz contributed to this story.