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State playoff berths for grabs for several Clayton County teams

Riverdale is hoping to get a big performance from wide receiver Rashad Canty, right, and quarterback Greg Taylor when the Raiders play at Eagle’s Landing in a Region 4-AAAA play-in game. (Photo Staff: Derrick Mahone)

Riverdale is hoping to get a big performance from wide receiver Rashad Canty, right, and quarterback Greg Taylor when the Raiders play at Eagle’s Landing in a Region 4-AAAA play-in game. (Photo Staff: Derrick Mahone)

UPCOMING GAMES

Friday

Lovejoy at Alcovy

Forest Park at Starr’s Mill

Drew at McIntosh

Northgate vs. Mundy’s Mill (TO)

Saturday

Morrow at Newton, 2 p.m.

All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted

Stadium key: SC - Southern Crescent, T - Tara, TO - Twelve Oaks

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Mundy’s Mill quarterback Rodricous Gates will lead the Tigers into their Region 4-AAAAA play-in game against Northgate with a state playoff berth on the line. (Photo Staff: Derrick Mahone)

After weeks of trying to figure out the different playoff scenarios, the formula for making the state playoffs is pretty clear — win and you are in.

In Region 4-AAAAA and 4-AAAA, the top four finishers on each side of the subregion will settle the playoff berth with a play-in game.

Lovejoy will be playing for its fourth straight region title when the second-ranked Wildcats travel to Covington to take on Alcovy.

Here is a look at some of the top games in the area:

Northgate vs. Mundy’s Mill: Last season, the third-seeded Northgate team defeated Mundy’s Mill to clinch a playoff berth. Mundy’s Mill running back Rodney Smith was sidelined from that game with a season-ending knee injury sustained in a win over Ola the week before. Smith is back, and has rushed for 1,223 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Tigers will be trying to clinch their first playoff berth since the 2007 season, the last time the program won six games in a season. Northgate has reached the playoffs the last three seasons.

Locust Grove at Jonesboro: This game will pit former Jonesboro coach Clint Satterfield against his old team. Locust Grove is looking for its first playoff appearance since the school opened in 2009. The Cardinals enter the game having clinched its fourth straight non-losing season, which is the most since three straight winning seasons from 1974-76.

Riverdale at Eagle’s Landing: This is a rematch; Eagle’s Landing won the contest earlier this season. In that game, Riverdale quarterback Greg Taylor injured his knee, which sidelined him for several weeks. Despite missing some games, Taylor has passed for 1,093 yards and 11 touchdowns with only two interceptions. A win by the Raiders would give them their second consecutive playoff appearance, which hasn’t happened since the 2003-05 seasons at the school. Eagle’s Landing is hoping to make the postseason for the first time since 2008 — its only playoff berth in school history. In the earlier matchup, Eagle’s Landing amassed 454 yards of offense. The Golden Eagles are led by Sedrick Palmer, who has rushed for 652 yards and eight touchdowns while Corey Holloway has rushed for 953 yards and nine touchdowns. Eagle’s Landing quarterback Bradley Dewberry has passed for 1,675 yards and 19 touchdowns while rushing for 365 yards and nine touchdowns.

Drew at McIntosh: The Titans will be looking for their second playoff appearance since the school opened in 2009. This is a rematch of an earlier game the Chiefs won 48-40 in September. At 7-2, McIntosh has clinched its first winning season since 1995, and will clinch its first state playoff appearance in school history. It is the first time that McIntosh has had consecutive non-losing seasons since 1994-95. In that earlier game, Drew had 539 yards of offense, but the Chiefs blew open a close game in the third and fourth quarters before the Titans made a comeback attempt. In that game, Drew quarterback Brandon Pearson passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for another 40 yards on five carries. In the last game, Titans standout junior running back Marquis Terry was out with a wrist injury.

North Clayton vs. Dutchtown: These two teams are playing for pride. The Bulldogs come into the game having lost their last four games while North Clayton was idle last week. North Clayton will be hoping to get the win to avoid its first one-win season since 1992. It is the first time since the 2005-07 season that the Eagles have missed the playoffs in consecutive years.