Thomson coach Butch Jacobs and his coaching staff will be taking a long hard look at the region 2-AAA title game between Crisp County and Peach County this Friday night.
Now that Thomson (7-2, 5-2 in Region 3-AAA) has third place in the region locked up after a 19-0 win over Richmond Academy last Friday, Jacobs and the Bulldogs know they likely will face the loser of the Crisp-Peach matchup on the road Nov. 22, in the opening round of the Class AAA playoffs.
"It's a bit of relief to finally have one of the playoff spots wrapped up," said Jacobs, whose Bulldogs are off this week and close out the regular season against No. 1-ranked Josey Nov. 15. "We were in a bit of a dogfight there the past few weeks, not knowing for sure if we'd make it."
Coming through in must-win situations against Swainsboro and ARC the past two weeks puts Thomson in line for a playoff clash with one of those Region 2-AAA powerhouses. Crisp (7-1, 6-0) is ranked No. 3 in this week's Class AAA poll; Peach (8-0, 6-0) is ranked No. 4.
The defending Class AAA champion Eagles (8-0, 6-0) will clinch the region championship with a win over Laney (1-7, 1-5) this week, and will face the fourth-place Region 2-AAA team at White Road Stadium, Nov. 15, in the first round.
Burke County (6-2, 5-1) can clinch second place with a win over Westside (3-5, 2-4) this Friday. With Thomson in third, that leaves Greenbrier (5-3, 3-3) and Swainsboro (5-3, 3-3) vying for fourth.
The first-year Wolfpack has the upper hand - Greenbrier holds the tiebreaker, having beat Swainsboro in the regular-season, and the Pack closes out the schedule against winless Glenn Hills and Laney.
For Swainsboro to make the playoffs, Greenbrier must lose at least once and the Tigers must beat ARC (3-5, 3-4) this Friday and Burke next week.
While Crisp and Peach have the first two spots locked up, the final two spots in Region 2-AAA are still up for grabs.
Appling County (6-3, 4-3 and Wayne County (7-2, 4-3) seemingly are in the best position for the final two spots. Though not mathematically eliminated, Worth County (3-5, 2-4), and Houston County (4-4, 2-4) are longshots.
If the season ended today, Josey would be host to No. 4-seed Wayne County (Wayne lost to Appling in regular season); Burke County would be home against Wayne County; Thomson travels to the Crisp-Peach loser, and Greenbrier would play the Crisp-Peach winner on the road.