Football coaches, statisticians and die-hard fans all across a football region that spans from Columbia County to Brunswick, Ga., no doubt suffered headaches this week.
It wasn't from the latest weekend of hard-fought football as much as it was from trying to figure out the playoff scenarios for Region 3-AAAA. With six teams still alive in a region that will send four teams to the state playoffs, little has been decided with only one night of games remaining.
"I don't remember any other time when it's been this close," Evans football coach Marty Jackson said. "We thought there'd be a lot more closure after this past weekend."
There wasn't. Only two teams, Evans and Ware County, clinched state playoff spots after last weekend's play. Those teams know they'll be playing in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs on Nov. 16, but they don't know where they'll be playing.
Evans, a team heading for the state playoffs for the first time since 2004, could finish as high as first place in the region. The Knights could also finish as low as fourth place.
It gets even crazier. Evans could beat visiting Wayne County on Friday and still finish in third place. A playoff scenario also exists that would see Evans lose to Wayne County but still finish in second place.
Jackson said Evans fans can hope for a scenario that would put the Knights at first or second place in the region, which would result in the first-round home game at Evans.
"If I read it right, if we win on Friday and Statesboro beats Ware and Effingham beats Brunswick we would finish first," Jackson said. "If we win and Ware wins, we're No. 2 no matter what."
First place is the ultimate prize for more than just a region trophy this season. Teams in Region 3-AAAA are matched up with teams in Region 1-AAAA for the first round of state playoffs. Region 1-AAAA consists of only four schools from southwest Georgia; each is guaranteed a spot in the state playoffs.
That means the first place team from Region 3-AAAA would play a first-round home game against Region 1-AAAA No. 4 seed Lee County -- a team with a 1-8 record this season.
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