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Football playoffs start Friday

The 2013 regular season is completed as far as Georgia high school football in concerned, and several local teams are now moving on to the state playoffs.
The Sandy Creek Patriots locked up first place in Region 5-AAAA two weeks ago with a win at Carrollton, then rolled 56-0 over last-place Columbus Saturday afternoon. The defending AAAA state champions and ranked first in the state since the start of the season, the Patriots will host Cedartown, the fourth seed in Region 7-AAAA, this Friday in Tyrone.

The McIntosh Chiefs are 8-2 after last Friday’s 77-56 win over Drew. The Chiefs never won more than six games in a season before this year. Seeded third in Region 4-AAAAA, they travel to Northside-Warner Robins this weekend to face a team that reached the state semifinals last year.
The Whitewater Wildcats, the other state semifinalists from 2012, now have a 7-3 record after defeating Union Grove 36-13 in a play-in game. As the fourth seed from Region 4-AAAAA, the Wildcats hit the road to face Warner Robins, the top seed in Region 2-AAAAA. The last time they played in Warner Robins, Whitewater upset Northside 28-21 in the first round of the 2010 AAAA state playoffs.

The Whitewater game is Friday night, while McIntosh does not take the field until Saturday, because McConnell-Talbert Stadium is the home to both Warner Robins teams as well as Houston County.
In Class A, the brackets are scheduled to be finalized this week after the end-of-season power rankings are released and any appeals are heard. In the private school half of Class A, 16 teams will begin state playoff games Nov. 22 based upon the final power rankings.

The Landmark War Eagles are 8-2 after dropping their final two games of the regular season, including last Friday’s 35-0 defeat to top-ranked ELCA. Their last power ranking was #3, so they would have to drop six spots or more to be denied a home playoff game in the first round.

The Our Lady of Mercy Bobcats, who won their last three games to finish the season 5-5, are assured a spot in the state playoff field as they were #11 in last week’s power rankings and can only move up after last Friday’s 41-7 dismantling of Strong Rock.
The 2013 season is over for Starr’s Mill and Fayette County. The Panthers finished 4-6 after their 31-20 win over Forest Park, and the Tigers dropped to 1-9 after a 44-0 shutout at the hands of playoff-bound Alexander.

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