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MAHONE: Could be a historic night in the Southern Crescent

Derrick Mahone

Derrick Mahone

For 10 teams in the Southern Crescent, their playoff fate will be decided tonight.

The only thing they have to do is win, and their season will be extended at least one more week. Sounds simple, but the challenge is huge.

Only Lovejoy and Eagle’s Landing Christian enter their regular season finale tonight knowing regardless of the outcome of their games, they are in the postseason. Lovejoy has already clinched the Region 2-AAAAAA championship and secured the top seed in their region for the postseason.

ELCA is guaranteed a playoff spot heading into its home game against rival Landmark Christian. A win, and the top-ranked Chargers will lock up the Region 5-A title.

Revenge will be the motivation for ELCA when it meets the War Eagles. Last season, ELCA defeated Landmark in the regular season, but lost in the Class A semifinals.

Although Chargers junior quarterback Dalton Etheridge is likely out for tonight’s game, the Chargers should have enough firepower and defense to prevail.

One of the most intriguing matchups on Friday will involve No. 7 Stockbridge hosting North Clayton. The Tigers can win their first-ever region title in school history with a win.

But the task might not be as easy as it seems. Although North Clayton is only 2-7, the Eagles gave Stockbridge all it could handle in an earlier season game.

Stockbridge won at home 15-14 on Sept. 21. Look for the Tigers to claim the region championship trophy.

This has been a magical season for Locust Grove. The Wildcats have a stunning 31-point come-from-behind win over Dutchtown. A couple weeks ago, Locust Grove recovered a fumble against Eagle’s Landing as they were trying to take a knee to run out the clock.

Locust Grove might be that team of destiny.

Tonight, they should clinch their first playoff berth in school history.

When Dutchtown and Jonesboro play for a playoff spot, you might want to have your camcorder handy. Every time Dutchtown quarterback Donovahn Jones and Cameron Sutton of Jonesboro touch the ball, look for something special to happen.

Jonesboro should be able to make a few more plays to advance to the playoffs for the second straight season.

Mundy’s Mill will be without its main offensive weapon in its Region 4-AAAAA play-in game on Saturday against Northgate. Tigers coach Greg Manior has challenged his team to step up with leading rusher Rodney Smith out with a knee injury.

Will Manior deliver a “win one for the Gipper” speech before Saturday’s game?

Whatever he says should fire up the Tigers as they clinch a playoff spot.

Derrick Mahone is the sports editor for the Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald newspapers. He can be reached at dmahone@news-daily.com.

Week 12 Predictions

Winner Loser

Lovejoy Alcovy

Newton Morrow

ELCA Landmark Christian

Our Lady of Mercy Strong Rock

Griffin Eagle’s Landing

Jonesboro Dutchtown

Locust Grove Riverdale

Stockbridge North Clayton

Mundy’s Mill Northgate

Drew Creekside

Whitewater Ola

Woodland Upson-Lee

New Creation Community Chris.