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'Clinch week' is a great time for prep football - Jeffery Armstrong

During the latter part of the college football and college basketball seasons, games that are played then are part of what is called "championship week."

That's usually the week when teams clinch their tournament championships (college b-ball) or their conference championships (college f-ball).

High school football is no different. Several teams all over the state have the opportunity to win region or subregion titles this week so I have coined my own slogan for this time – I call it "clinch week."

This is probably my favorite time of the high school football season. Prep football is always nice to cover, but it's even nicer around this time. Teams that have been rolling along all year usually face other teams that are just as good for a shot to clinch their respective regions.

I've seen some good and bad games during clinch week over the last three years. Last year, Lovejoy demolished the McIntosh Chiefs 41-0 as the Wildcats won the Region 4-AAAAA championship. The funny thing about that game was it was played on Halloween Night and McIntosh played a frightful game, for sure.

This year, several local teams have a chance to clinch a region title or a subregion title. Two teams, the Henry County Warhawks and the Luella Lions of Region 3-AAAA, have clinched region playoff spots already. These two teams play each other Friday night to see who'll be the third and fourth seeds in the region – both teams will then have to travel to either Warner Robins or Northside-Warner Robins next week in pre-state playoff action.

Riverdale rebounded from a 1-2 start to win its next five games to leap to first place in Region 2-AAAAA. A Saturday matchup at Tara Stadium with perennial power Douglass is the only thing standing in the way of a region title for Riverdale. Lovejoy is even hotter than Riverdale, having won six straight games after an 0-2 start. A Lovejoy win over East Coweta Friday night at Twelve Oaks Stadium will give the Wildcats their second straight Region 4-AAAAA title. A win over Washington ensures Mt. Zion the title in Region 5-AAAA West and will no doubt erase the pain of the Bulldogs' 7-6 loss to North Clayton earlier.

Talk about drama: North Clayton must beat Jonesboro tonight and Stone Mountain next Saturday night to clinch a possible No. 1 seed out of Region 5-AAAA. Should they slip up in either game, North Clayton could find themselves either at home or on the road in the playoffs.

Eagle's Landing Christian Academy's clinch week is next Friday on the road, provided they take care of business this Friday and pummel winless Mt. Zion-Carroll. The Chargers will then have to travel to Fairburn to face the Landmark Christian War Eagles on Oct. 29, which promises to be a very good game. How wild would it be if the Chargers defeat an established Landmark team for the Region 5-A title in their very first year of GHSA competition?

Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at jarmstrong@news-daily.com .