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Teams fighting for position in regions

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com

LaGrange celebrates a Derieko Smith touchdown catch during last week’s 51-50 loss to Carver. LaGrange is 0-2 in Region 1-AAAAA after the heart-breaking loss. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_10-16-LHS3.jpgLaGrange celebrates a Derieko Smith touchdown catch during last week’s 51-50 loss to Carver. LaGrange is 0-2 in Region 1-AAAAA after the heart-breaking loss. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
Travis Johnson and the Troup Tigers are 0-1 in Region 5-AAAA, and they have four region games remaining. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_troup31.jpgTravis Johnson and the Troup Tigers are 0-1 in Region 5-AAAA, and they have four region games remaining. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LAGRANGE – Their region-championship hopes may be gone, but their prospects of making it to the state playoffs are alive and well.

The LaGrange Grangers opened their region schedule with a win over Hardaway, but they have dropped back-to-back games in the region, including last week’s thrilling 51-50 loss to Carver.

That loss left the Grangers with a 1-2 region record, and they’re in a tie for fifth place, which leaves them on the outside looking in at the moment when it comes to the chase for the state playoffs.

LaGrange has plenty of time to climb the ladder, though, with three region games remaining.

LaGrange will play Shaw and Northside on the road, and it will be at home against Harris County.

If the Grangers win those three games, they’ll be in the playoffs, and there’s a chance they could finish second.

Two more wins may also be enough to earn a playoff spot, although there’s no guarantee of that.

LaGrange head coach Dialleo Burks told his players this week his confidence level is at 100 percent when it comes to making the playoffs.

“I told them, I don’t have a worry in the world about making the playoffs,” Burks said. “We’re going to make the playoffs.”

Northside, which thumped Hardaway 31-0 on Thursday, is leading the way in the region with a 3-0 record, while Carver is 2-0.

Shaw is 2-1, while defending region-champion Harris County is 1-1.

Columbus and LaGrange are both 1-2 in the region, and Columbus holds the tie-breaker edge because of the head-to-head win.

Hardaway is 0-3 in the region, and it has been outscored 135-9 in those games.

In Region 5-AAAA, each of the teams has played one region game, so there are three teams with a 1-0 record, and three teams at 0-1.

One of those 1-0 teams is unbeaten Woodward Academy, which beat Troup 51-21 last week.

Also at 1-0 is Sandy Creek, which has outscored its six opponents this season 220-36, and that included a 42-7 win over Whitewater a week ago.

The third 1-0 team is Carrollton, which beat Fayette County 30-2 in its region opener.

Troup, Whitewater and Fayette County are all 0-1 in the region.

It’s only a six-team region, so a team could make the playoffs with a losing record in region play.

That was the case a year ago when Fayette County earned the region’s fourth and final playoff spot with a 2-3 record.

A week from today, it’ll be Woodward Academy hosting Sandy Creek in a game that could determine the region champion.

Last season, Woodward Academy beat Sandy Creek 28-7 on the way to the region title.

In Region 5-AAA, it looks like there’s a fairly drastic divide between the top three teams, and the bottom three teams.

The three teams at the top, Central-Carroll, Callaway and Pepperell, have a combined two losses between them.

Cedartown, Rockmart and Haralson County, meanwhile, have only managed a combined two wins.

Something will have to give tonight, with Pepperell hosting Central-Carroll in a game with major title implications.

Central has been on quite a run the past few seasons.

The Lions have won 19 consecutive regular-season games, and 10 of those wins came a year ago when they claimed the region championship.

Central will have its hands full tonight.

Pepperell has scored 218 points this season, more than any other team in the region, and it has won five in a row since a season-opening loss to Paulding County.

Pepperell will visit Callaway next week, and on the final night of the regular season, it’ll be Central-Carroll hosting Callaway.

Central-Carroll beat Callaway 40-34 last year in the region-championship game.

Here’s a look at the region standings, as well as this weekend’s games.

Overall record is listed first, followed by region record:

REGION 1-AAAAA

Northside – 4-2, 3-0

Carver – 5-1, 2-0

Shaw – 4-3, 2-1

Harris County – 2-4, 1-1

Columbus – 5-2, 1-2

LaGrange – 3-4, 1-2

Hardaway – 1-7, 0-4

THIS WEEK’S GAMES

THURSDAY

Northside 31, Hardaway 0

TODAY

Harris County at Columbus

Shaw at Carver

REGION 5-AAAA

Woodward Academy – 6-0, 1-0

Sandy Creek – 5-1, 1-0

Carrollton – 3-3, 1-0

Whitewater – 2-4, 0-1

Fayette County – 1-5, 0-1

Troup – 0-6, 0-1

THIS WEEK’S GAMES

Today

Troup at Sandy Creek

Whitewater at Carrollton

Woodward Academy at Fayette County

REGION 5-AAA

Central-Carroll – 6-0, 1-0

Callaway – 5-1, 1-0

Pepperell – 5-1, 1-0

Haralson County – 1-5, 0-1

Rockmart – 1-5, 0-1

Cedartown – 0-6, 0-1

THIS WEEK’S GAMES

TODAY

Callaway at Rockmart

Central-Carroll at Pepperell

Haralson County at Cedartown

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports