With three weeks remaining in the regular season, only the winless Columbus Blue Devils appear to have no shot of making it through to the state playoffs.
That leaves six teams, including LaGrange and Troup, fighting for four spots in the state playoffs.
The chase for the playoffs is equally as intense in Region 4-AAA, although the Callaway Cavaliers are moving closer toward securing the region’s top seed.
Six other teams, meanwhile, appear to have a realistic shot at snaring one of the other three playoff spots.
Here’s a look at the playoff races in both regions.
LaGrange was rolling along at 3-0 in the region and appeared headed for a fourth straight region win before running into a road block in Fayette County.
Fayette County came into Friday’s game at 1-5, but it jumped out to a 35-14 lead before winning 38-35 in overtime.
The victory propelled Fayette County (2-5 overall) into playoff contention at 2-2 in the region.
LaGrange (4-3 overall) remains in solid position in the region at 3-1, but it finishes the regular season with three tough region games against Sandy Creek, Troup and Carrollton.
At the top of the region, Sandy Creek (7-0, 4-0 in region play) and Carrollton (5-2, 4-0) are headed for a showdown on Nov. 2 that could determine the region champion.
Both teams are not only unbeaten in the region, but they’ve won every one of their region games in blowout fashion.
LaGrange is third in the region with its 3-1 record, and Fayette County and Troup (2-5, 2-2) are tied for fourth at 2-2.
Troup has a critical region game Friday night at Fayette County before closing the regular season against LaGrange and Shaw.
Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said “probably the best way to look at every game we play is (as) a playoff game. That’s what we have got to take care of to get there.”
Shaw (3-4, 1-3) still has a chance to get into the playoff picture, especially if it can beat Columbus and Fayette County the next two weeks.
Columbus (0-7, 0-4) is the only team without a region win.
The Callaway Cavaliers are rolling toward the region championship and the accompanying number one seed in the state playoffs.
With last week’s 40-7 victory over Haralson County, Callaway (6-1 overall) is 4-0 in the region and remains a game ahead of Chapel Hill (4-3), which is 3-1 in the region.
The Cavaliers beat Chapel Hill earlier in the season, so if the teams finished tied, Callaway would get the top seed because of head-to-head play.
Callaway has moved up a classification this season and is in a region with some unfamiliar teams, but it has dealt with the situation well.
“Our kids are handling the new environments of the region, and they’re handling the different competition and new football teams that we play,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “I’m just real proud of their work ethic throughout the week and preparing for whichever opponent we play on Friday night.”
Central-Carroll (4-4 overall) had been one game back in the region, but it lost to Rockmart last week to fall to 3-2 in the region.
Central-Carroll, Rockmart (3-4, 2-2) and Jackson-Atlanta (4-3, 2-2) each has two losses in the region, and Haralson County (4-4, 2-3) is close behind with three region losses.
Haralson and Chapel Hill meet in a critical region test this week, with Haralson likely needing a win to stay in the playoff picture.
“I haven’t really charted it all out, but I’m pretty sure if we don’t win this we don’t have a chance to get in,” Haralson coach Alan Lane said.
B.E.S.T. Academy (2-5 overall) is on the fringe of the playoff race with a 1-3 record, and Douglass (1-6) is bringing up the rear with an 0-4 region record.