Going into the season, Swainsboro coach Shane Williamson knew his inexperienced team would have a tough time in its non-region schedule.
Starting the season 0-3 with losses to Vidalia, Statesboro and Washington County - all of which are ranked in the top-10 of their respective classifications - wasn't totally unexpected.
But Williamson didn't have to like it.
"We felt like two of those games, we should have won," said Williamson, whose team will play host to South Effingham on Friday. "Then we got in region play and won three in a row, but I still didn't feel like we were playing as well as a team."
Then, the Tigers traveled to Savannah Christian, and finally, everything came together. The team is on a two-game losing streak and a win against the Mustangs this week would help solidify third place in Region 2-AAA.
"This game is huge," Williamson said. "If we lose, we won't control our destiny."
If Swainsboro wins, however, the Tigers should nail down the third seed for the playoffs and would likely travel to Laney for the first round Nov. 22.
HUNTING FOR A TITLE: Don't be fooled by Washington-Wilkes' seemingly lackluster 7-2 win against Putnam County last week. Coach Ross New will take it.
"They're a very good ballclub," New said. "They were blitzing from all angles, but that's probably the best defense we've ever played."
The Tigers will try to take that momentum into Friday's contest at Morgan County in a game that will decide the Region 7-AA champion.
WALKER CAN PASS: Laney quarterback Dominique Walker had a solid game against Westside on Friday. He completed 3 of 8 passes for 60 yards in the Wildcats' 28-14 victory.
Walker put the Patriots away for good with two touchdown passes - a 35-yarder and a 14-yarder - and a two-point conversion.
Westside coach Gerald Barnes wasn't surprised with Walker's activity, even though the Wildcats rely heavily on the run.
"We prepared for them to throw the ball," Barnes said. "But we still couldn't shut down their running game, and that was a big spot for them."
Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.