Postseason picture coming into focus

By Doug Gorman

The once cloudy high school football playoff picture is starting to clear up for teams in Clayton County.

With its undefeated regular season and Region 4-AAAAA championship, the Lovejoy Wildcats have clinched home field advantage in the playoffs.

Riverdale has also clinched a playoff spot. Mt. Zion High School has finished its regular season and is now waiting to see how its playoff fate unfolds.

One thing is for certain, the Mt. Zion Bulldogs will keep a close eye on Friday night's game between Northside-Warner Robins and Warner Robins.

If Northside wins, the Bulldogs advance to the playoffs.

Riverdale will play at Valdosta. Mt. Zion would travel to No. 1-ranked Camden County for its playoff game.

"This is really a special time for us," said Clayton County Athletic Director Bob Brannon. "During the playoffs, the county joins forces and really comes together in a show of support. It's great to see Lovejoy, Mt. Zion and Riverdale going to the playoffs."

Lovejoy will open the playoffs a week from Friday at Twelve Oaks Stadium. Temporary seating will be moved into the stadium to bring the facility up to Georgia High School Association standards for playing host to a playoff contest.

If Colquitt County beats Tift County Friday night in a Region 1-AAAAA contest, Coffee County would earn the No. 4 spot out of the region and travel to Lovejoy.

Kickoff will be 30 minutes later than normal, starting at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $8.

Should Lovejoy win, it would also play at Twelve Oaks in the second round. Except for a semifinal game in the Georgia Dome, all of Lovejoy's game would be at home, including the state championship game, which would be played at the larger Tara Stadium.

Over in Henry County, the only team going to the postseason will be Union Grove. The Wolverines are taking advantage of their week off before playing at Wesleyan in the first round of the Class AA state football playoffs.

Union Grove (5-4-1) completed the regular season Friday with a 35-21 loss to Grady and will enter the postseason as the No. 3 seed out of Region 5-AA.

"(The bye week) certainly helped us last year because we were so banged up," Union Grove head coach Scott Mason said. "It's been about six or seven weeks since we've had a week off and we can use it."

Mason said his coaching staff will do some scouting this weekend as Wesleyan (7-2) closes out the regular season at Rabun County.

Staff Writer Anthony Rhoads contributed to this story.