All have 3-2 region records with two games remaining. Having already clinched playoff berths are the first-place Cartersville Purple Hurricanes and the second-place Gordon Central Warriors.
“We have already qualified [for the playoffs],” Warriors coach Chad Fisher said. “What we are playing for now is hosting our first-ever, playoff game in the school’s history.”
Gordon Central, who will visit Adairsville tonight, is 7-1 overall, 4-1 in Region 5-AAA. The Warriors made it to the first round of the Region 7-AA playoffs last year, losing to North Oconee, 63-3.
“Adairsville is a good football team,” Fisher said. “Cartersville, a team that we have both lost to, is an extremely good football team. I expect to see Adairsville revert back to their old selves at kickoff.”
The Warriors rebounded from their 41-19 loss to the Purple Hurricanes with a 59-18 win over the Sonoraville Phoenix. The Tigers, who are averaging 35 points on offense, are looking to rebound from their 45-3 drubbing by Cartersville last week.
For that to happen, “it is going to take a whole team effort if we want to beat Gordon Central,” Adairsville coach Jim Kremer said. “Which means our offense has to play well as does our defense and special teams. In our loss to Cartersville, our defense played well, but we had letdowns on offense and on special teams.”
A block punt returned for a touchdown, a costly interception in the Tigers’ end zone, and a fumbled kickoff return all contributed to the long bus ride back home for the Tigers. After the way the Tigers played last week, “the fact that we are playing Gordon Central at home and that it is Senior Night for 15 of our players should help us considerably,” Kremer said.
Along with a change of venue and playing at home, Kremer also looking to Ringgold for help in securing a region playoff berth.
“Without getting too complicated in trying to figuring out who makes the playoffs, it all boils down to this,” he said. “If we win, we want Ringgold to win. But if we lose, we want Ringgold to lose.”
Ringgold will be at LFO (6-2, 3-2) tonight before closing out its regular season at home against Cartersville. After hosting Gordon Central, Adairsville ends its regular season on the road against the Coahulla Creek Colts.
Adairsville and Ringgold enter tonight’s games having identical won-loss records, overall and in the region. If they close out their season with two straight wins, the tie-breaker goes to Adairsville with its 40-38 victory over Ringgold. Adairsville lost to LFO. 24-17, in Week 4. Two of Gordon Central’s seven wins have come against Ringgold and LFO.
“Adairsville is looking to make the playoffs, while we want to secure home field advantage,” Fisher said. “That’s why you have a playoff atmosphere surrounding this game.”
This particular game of Region 5-AAA playoff musical chairs begins with the kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
Gordon Central 4-1 7-1
Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe 3-2 6-2
Ringgold 3-2 5-3
Adairsville 3-2 5-3
North Murray 1-4 4-4
Coahulla Creek 1-4 2-6
Sonoraville 0-5 1-7