Calhoun Times

Despite talk, the Phoenix come up short

- By Mike Tenney MTenney@CalhounTim­es.com

This is the first week of the Georgia high school football playoffs and unfortunat­ely, Sonoravill­e isn’t participat­ing.

It seemed despite a solid 48-18 victory over Coahulla Creek for their sixth win of the year Friday evening in Dalton, that the regular season was complete and the Phoenix were the fifth place team in AAA Region 6 at 4-4, meaning they missed joining the postseason party by one game.

Then on the way home from a late football Friday night/Saturday morning at the office, we heard that Sonoravill­e might still be alive for the playoffs because a team somewhere that placed fourth in their Region was winless, which would disqualify them from advancing.

Under that scenario, it was broadcast, someone else would take their place and the pecking order for that vacated spot happened to be the fifth place team from AAA Region 6.

Which is occupied by Sonoravill­e. But talk about your fake news.

After some intense research, we couldn’t find anyone else in 3A that was heading into last week’s final game with an 0-for mark in fourth place. We did see a couple of winless teams that were in last place in their league, but nobody without a Region victory was in contention for a playoff berth.

Brantley County did get into the playoffs with a 1-3 record as the fourthplac­e club in five-team Region 1. But the Herons did not go into last Friday night winless in the league, having gotten that one Region win two weeks ago with a 13-0 triumph over Tattnall County, making them the fourth seed out of that league. (Tattnall County was 0-5 in Region One to finish fifth).

Brantley County will begin the AAA playoffs Friday night at Liberty County.

The only other Region result in Georgia close to that came in Region 8 where Stephens County had only one Region victory and were tied for fourth place with East Jackson with the two teams to meet. And the Indians closed the year with a 24-0 win over East Jackson to improve to 2-3 and nail down that fourth spot.

We do know that even winning last Friday night was probably not going to be enough for the Phoenix to keep their season going because the best they could hope for in the Region was a three-way tie for fourth place with North Murray and LaFayette, who played each other.

With a Sonoravill­e victory over the Colts and a LaFayette win over North Murray, all three teams would be 4-4 in the League and since they beat each

other, determinin­g that last playoff team would go to a tiebreaker.

In fact, three tiebreaker­s. But using that formula, which also included point differenti­al, LaFayette was going to be the team that got in while Sonoravill­e and North Murray would be out.

However, all North Murray had to do to lockdown the four seed was defeat LaFayette and nothing else would matter. And while it was a close call, the Mountainee­rs did get past the Ramblers, 30-21, to extend their season.

So despite some far-fetched rumors and innuendo, the Phoenix season is over. But they won one more game than last year and after finishing 6-4, they have a lot of talented players returning next year and the future looks very bright.

Rockmart, which is dropping down to the AA classifica­tion next year, won the Region 6 championsh­ip for the second consecutiv­e year last week by beating previously-unbeaten Ringgold, 18-6, last Friday night near the Tennessee border.

The Yellow Jackets, which are 9-1, begin the AAA playoffs Friday night at home against that Stephens County

team, which was 7-3 overall and 5-0 going into Region.

The winner of the Rockmart-Stephens County game will play the winner of the Mary Parsons-Burke County game in the second round next week.

Ringgold, which is also 9-1 and 7-1 in the league, was second in the Region and will be at home Friday night to play Hart County, the third seed out of Region 8. Hart County is 7-3 overall and were 3-2 in their league.

The victor in that game will face the winner of the Jackson-Thomson matchup next week in the second round.

Adairsvill­e is the third

seed out of Region 6 and the Tigers, which were 8-2 this year, will be at Oconee County Friday night in the first round. OC is currently 9-1 and its only loss was to 10-0 Region 8 champ Monroe Area, putting them second.

The Adairsvill­e-Oconee County winner will take on whoever wins the HarlemCris­p County winner in the second round.

As the fourth seed, North Murray will face that undefeated 10-0 Monroe Area team this Friday night. The winner of that game will play the winner of the Morgan County contest next week.

Sonoravill­e ends the year at 6-4 overall.

 ?? Adam dortch ?? The Sonoravill­e High School football team just missed making the Georgia AAA playoffs despite some wild rumors late last week that had them still making the 32-team field. Phoenix tight end Ridge Redd is shown here catching a pass against Rockmart, which was the Region 6 champ.
Adam dortch The Sonoravill­e High School football team just missed making the Georgia AAA playoffs despite some wild rumors late last week that had them still making the 32-team field. Phoenix tight end Ridge Redd is shown here catching a pass against Rockmart, which was the Region 6 champ.

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