published Friday, November 8th, 2013

Mini games possible to settle Georgia playoff spots

Ready for some extra football?

Week 10 of the Georgia prep season brings the very real possibility of several area northwest Georgia teams having to go overtime to make the playoffs -- overtime as in playing extra games, or "mini games," as they're called by the GHSA. If things fall right -- or wrong, depending on the situation -- in regions 5-AAA and 7-AA, six teams could be competing Monday in the mini games for three playoff spots.

"We could be anywhere from out of the playoffs to hosting a first-round game next week," Dade County coach Bradley Warren said of the 7-AA logjam behind region champ Calhoun. "If we beat Model [tonight] we will be the No. 2 seed, but we could end up missing the playoffs if we lose."

If the Wolverines (6-3, 4-2) lose to the Blue Devils (7-2, 5-1) and Coosa and Pepperell win as expected over Murray County and Armuchee, then Dade, Coosa and Pepperell will get together Monday at Calhoun for the mini games. Coin flips would determine which teams play first and the first team to lose twice is eliminated and other two would be seeds three and four, depending on which team defeated the other in the mini game.

Got it?

"The game plan," Dade's Warren said, "is not to lose [tonight] so we don't have to fool with it."

The same goes in 5-AAA, where the fourth seed is up for grabs among Sonoraville, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and North Murray. Sonoraville can wrap up the playoff berth with a win over LFO tonight, but an LFO win and a North Murray defeat of winless Gordon Central would set up a set of playoffs Monday at Ringgold.

"Well, it adds a lot of fun to the week of practice," said LFO coach Todd Windham. "We have to win first, so that's the only thing we're focusing on right now."

The 5-AAA title is up for grabs tonight at Cartersville, where Ringgold (8-1) takes on the Purple Hurricanes (9-0). A win for the visitors would give the Tigers the first region title in school history.

"The kids are excited," Ringgold coach Robert Akins said. "They're a great team with an offense that has been unstoppable, but our kids are loose and they're focused on what's at hand. I think we can give them a good game."

Adairsville has clinched the third seed.

• In 7-AAAA, three repeat games are on hand in the crossover play-in games. Dalton travels to Gilmer County for the region championship after Gilmer's Bobcats upset Cedartown last week. The Catamounts handled Gilmer in September, 31-0.

Northwest Whitfield can earn the No. 3 seed from the region with a win over Pickens County, which the Bruins beat 25-13 in week two, while Ridgeland (3-6) can make the playoffs with a win at Cedartown. Cedartown won 36-14 in their September matchup.

• In Region 6-A, which also has crossover games tonight, Christian Heritage can likely lock up a home game next week with a win at Fellowship Christian, while Trion can improve its standing on the public school side with a win at Mount Paran Christian.

Contact Lindsey Young at or 423-757-6296.

about Lindsey Young...

Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...

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