By Doug Gorman
It started in the hot August sun as the mercury reached 100 degrees.
Now, it's come down to end-of-the-season showdowns as high school teams in Georgia have reached the final week of the regular season.
For some squads it means the end of the line, while other teams will gear up for next week's first-round playoff battles.
Cross over games will be played in both Region 4-AAAA and Region 4-AAA with playoff implications at stake for some teams in these two subdivided regions.
In Region 4-AAA, the Henry County Warhawks will attempt to extend their winning streak to nine games. After dropping the season opener to Dutchtown, the Warhawks have won eight-straight games to earn the No. 1seed out of Region 4A-AAA.
The Warhawks will play host to Central Macon.
Central Macon comes into the game as the No. 4 seed out of Region 4B-AAA.
It will be a rematch between the two teams. Earlier this year, Henry County held on for a 33-28 victory. The winner will advance to the first round of the playoffs as one of Region 4-AAA's four representiatives next week.
It's the only Region 4-AAA game with a playoff scenario for local squads.
Still, Ola will close out its season against Southwest Macon. Ola (3-6) and Southwest Macon (1-8) are playing for the second time this year.
Southwest Macon defeated the Mustangs 15-14 in their first meeting this year.
Eagle's Landing (0-9) closes out its season still searching for its first win of the year. The Golden Eagles hit the road for a game at West Laurens (4-5). In their first meeting earlier this year, West Laurens won 49-14.
There's plenty at stake in Region 4-AAAA cross over games too.
It all starts Thursday, as defending Class AAAA state champion Northside Warner Robins (8-1), entertains Mt. Zion (3-6) for a trip to next week's playoffs. Northside Warner Robins, the top-ranked team in Class AAAA, has lost just one game since 2005.
In games to decide who moves on to represent the region at next week's playoffs, Lovejoy is at home Friday night in a game against Westside Macon at Twelve Oaks.
Lovejoy finished the season as the No. 2 seed out of Region 4B-AAAA (north) with its dramatic victory over North Clayton on Friday.
Westside Macon (7-2) comes into the game as the No. 3 seed out of the south half of Region 4-AAAA.
With Friday's loss, North Clayton (5-4) travels to Baldwin County (7-1) for its cross over game. Baldwin County is ranked fifth in the Associated Press Class AAAA poll.
In other Region 4-AAAA cross over games that will end the season for the following teams, Forest Park (0-8-1) travels to Jones County (2-7), Jonesboro (3-6) goes to Stockbridge (5-4) and Riverdale (4-5) plays at Dutchtown (2-7).