Two Bartow teams, Adairsville and Cartersville, look destined for the playoffs, while Cass and Woodland look to finish the season strong and build momentum for 2014.
Adairsville currently sits at 5-3 and 3-2 in Region 5-AAA, good enough for a third-place tie with Sonoraville. However, Adairsville has already defeated Sonoraville 35-14 on Oct. 18, and the Phoenix take on undefeated Cartersville on Friday.
The Tigers have lost to both of the top seeds in the region, Cartersville and Ringgold. The have 0-8 Gordon Central and 2-6 Coahulla Creek remaining on the schedule. If the Tigers take care of business in each game, they should be locked into that three seed and go on the road in the first round of the playoffs.
Cartersville also is destined for the playoffs. The Purple Hurricanes are sitting at 8-0 and have already clinched a berth in the state tournament. They face Sonoraville Friday and then Ringgold at Weinman Stadium the following week. Ringgold also is undefeated in region play and the winner will determine who takes first place. As a result, it is the game with the most intrigue heading into the final two weeks of the season.
Regardless of the outcome in the final two weeks, the Canes will have a home game during the first round of the playoffs. What has yet to be determined is whether Cartersville will capture the region title for the second year in a row. Ringgold will be its toughest test yet.
Meanwhile, Cass is on the outside looking in as the playoff picture is clear. One more region win and the Colonels could have been playoff bound. As is, there are 18 seniors who would like to finish their season with one last win. The Colonels have their bye week this Friday as they await the outcome of two games that will determine their next opponent. Southeast Whitfield will face Dalton, while Ridgeland will match up against Heritage, Catoosa. If Dalton beats Southeast Whitfield and Ridgeland defeats Heritage, which would seem likely, then Cass will match up with Southeast Whitfield. If not, the Colonels will face Ridgeland in a battle of the four seeds in each’s region.
Another team who is not destined for the playoffs this season is Woodland, although the squad has played better as of late. The Wildcats have won their last two games and have found the best way to utilize their personnel. An increased emphasis on the run game with seniors Isaiah Ross and Quadre Allen has brightened up the season. However, opening the season at 0-6 put the playoffs out of reach.
Still, with Woodland’s newfound identity, it would not be surprising for the team to pick up a win Friday against 1-7 Hiram at home. The Wildcats’ next opponent is Rome, which is 5-3 on the season, but also will be a home game. They might not be playing to make the playoffs, but possibly winning their last four games after losing the first six would create plenty of positive momentum going forward into next season.