Once again, it comes down to beating Grovetown.
For the second year in a row, Washington County plays the Warriors in a crossover game, with the winner advancing to the state playoffs. The Golden Hawks won 48-23 in 2010.
Washington County coach Joel Ingram said his team put itself “behind the eight ball” in getting to this spot; the Golden Hawks’ close defeat to Burke County cost Washington County a spot in the Region 3-AAA championship game. That would have created a rematch against Thomson, the team the Golden Hawks lost to in two overtimes in September.
But there’s no time to dwell on what could have been as Washington County (6-3) hits the road.
“This is what it’s all about,” Ingram said. “It’s the playoffs before the playoffs.”
THE OTHER BID: Either Butler or Richmond Academy would grab the region’s other playoff spot from a play-in game, with the Musketeers going for their fourth consecutive state playoff appearance.
Since an 0-10 mark in 2007, Richmond Academy and coach Chris Hughes had posted three winning years in a row prior to this season. It looked like the streak might end there, but the Musketeers (5-4) have won four in a row and would clinch another winning season by beating the Bulldogs.
ANOTHER ROUT? The first time Josey and Glenn Hills met this year, the Eagles won 35-6 in September as quarterback Markquis Burton accounted for three touchdowns.
Friday night, the two see each other again, with the Eagles (2-7) poised to end their season on a two-game winning streak.
Though Josey is only 15-31 all-time against the Spartans, it has won two in a row in the series.
LAST CHANCE: Both Harlem and Hephzibah will be looking to end the season with victory No. 1.
Rebels coach John Bowen remains one victory away from becoming the program’s leader in wins with 26. He will complete his seventh season as Hephzibah’s head coach this week.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs need a “W” to avoid their first winless season since 1995. The Rebels’ most recent winless season came two years later in 1997.