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Something to play for

By Derrick Mahone and Brian Paglia

dmahone@news-daily.com, bpaglia@news-daily.com

Since late August, football teams have been positioning themselves for the postseason. For many, Friday will be a make or break game in determining their playoff status.

Some teams already know they are in, but are playing for first round homefield advantage. Eagle's Landing Christian is playing for its first Georgia High School Association region championship.

Others will simply play their final regular season game before packing the equipment for the offseason.

Here is a breakdown of teams still in the playoff picture:

NO WORRIES

Yeah, they want to win their regular season finale, but the outcome has no bearing on playoff position.

Lovejoy: The Wildcats wrapped up the Region 4-AAAA title last weekend with a win at Creekside. A win over Riverdale will give Lovejoy its first undefeated regular season since 2003, and second in school history.

Stockbridge: Last week's win over Jackson clinched the program's first postseason appearance since the 1983 season. No matter what the outcome of Friday's game against No. 2 Sandy Creek, the Tigers will be the fourth seed from Region 4-AAA.

PLAYING FOR A PRIZE

This team knows it will host a first round game, but a win gives them some bling.

Eagle's Landing Christian: The Chargers have never won a Georgia High School Association region championship. A win at No. 2-ranked Wesleyan will give them a Region 5-A championship ring.

WIN AND STAY HOME

A win for these teams will keep them at home for the first round of the playoffs, but a loss will earn them a ride on the Big Cheese.

Henry County: After a 1-3 start, the Warhawks have won five in a row with a chance to finish as region runner-up. To host a first round playoff game next week, Henry County must defeat Eastside on the road Friday.

North Clayton: The Eagles control their own destiny this week as they host Creekside Friday at Southern Crescent Stadium. The teams are tied for second place in Region 4-AAAA. The winner hosts a first round game next week.

SOME WORK TO DO

A loss by these teams means equipment is due back Monday, because the season is over.

Dutchtown: The Bulldogs have spent a good deal of the season in second place in the Region 3-AAAA Div. A standings. A quirky region playoff format has them hosting Div. B third-place Northgate for the right to go to the playoffs.

Union Grove: It has been somewhat of a disappointing season for the Wolverines under first-year coach Paul Burgdorf. However, the season can take an upward turn with a victory at Whitewater to clinch a playoff spot.