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Region football races narrowing down

Luella running back Quad Clemmons looks for some running room as Montrell Custis closes in on the tackle during last Friday’s Region 2-AAAAAA contest, which the third-ranked Wildcats won to stay unbeaten in region play.

Luella running back Quad Clemmons looks for some running room as Montrell Custis closes in on the tackle during last Friday’s Region 2-AAAAAA contest, which the third-ranked Wildcats won to stay unbeaten in region play.

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Lovejoy running back Jeremiah Kirkland has been the rusher leader for the third-ranked Wildcats this season after transferring from Landmark Christian. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

For some teams, it’s already about building for next year.

But for more than a few county squads, these are the ones that really begin to count.

In any given sports regular season, it all boils down to being a dress rehearsal for the weeks that really matter.

And these next few games matter when it comes to playoff positioning.

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

Luella vs. Morrow: The Lions will make their second trip to Clayton County, but will be hoping for better results this time. Luella lost 51-7 to third-ranked Lovejoy last week while Morrow fell to Alcovy 29-0 for its fourth-straight loss of the season. This is a must-win situation for Luella if it hopes to make the postseason for the first time since the 2008 season. Morrow is still in search of its first Region 2-AAAAAA win of the season.

Mount Zion vs. Drew: This Thursday night tilt at Southern Crescent Stadium has the streaking Titans still clinging to their postseason hopes while Mount Zion is looking for its first win of the season. The Titans are trying to keep pace with Union Grove and Mundy’s Mill in the Region 4-AAAAA, Div. A standings. In last week’s win over Ola, Titans running back Marquis Terry rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Brandon Pearson threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the key win.

Lovejoy at Newton: The mystery remains in which Newton squad will show up for this game. Will it be the one that got a one-point win over Lowndes in the early part of the season or the one that lost to Valdosta. Newton is 2-1 in Region 2-AAAAAA, but still has a shot at the region title with a win over powerhouse Lovejoy. The Wildcats can secure a homefield spot with the win as they since their 31st straight region win. Lovejoy has only yielded 16 points in four region games. Last week, Newton lost 28-21 to Rockdale.

Jonesboro vs. Riverdale: The winner stays on pace to finish runner-up in Region 4-AAAA, Div. B standings behind Griffin. Although Riverdale leads the series 22-7, Jonesboro has won the last four meetings. The last two have been by a combined nine points. This will be Riverdale’s final regular-season game before its region play-in games while Jonesboro takes on Upson-Lee on Nov. 1 in a key subregion battle.

Mundy’s Mill vs. Union Grove: This looks almost like a replay scenario of last season when Mundy’s Mill started off 0-4 and got on a tear once subregion play started that almost landed the Tigers in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Once again, the Tigers started the season with four losses. And, once again, have ripped off three straight wins to sit in a tie for the Region 4-AAAAA, Div. A lead with Union Grove. The Wolverines had an almost exact opposite start, posting three straight opening wins before losing back-to-back games against Whitewater and Northgate, and a near loss to rival Ola. This will be Union Grove’s first major test since its miniature losing skid.