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Georgia High School Football Playoffs: 5A Preview | News

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Georgia High School Football Playoffs: 5A Preview
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CLASS 5A

Favorite: Camden County

Predicted Final Four: South Gwinnett, North Gwinnett, Lowndes, Camden County

Easiest Draw: North Gwinnett. The Bulldogs would not have to face a team with less than three losses until at least the quarterfinals. Being on the complete opposite side of the bracket from Camden County is also a big plus.

Toughest Draw: In order to make the third round of the playoffs, Coffee will have to beat 9-1 Camden County and either one-loss Stephenson or 8-2 Hillgrove. But picking a four-seeded team as having the most difficult draw is too easy. Enter McEachern, who is just a few points away from being undefeated. Now, the Indians will be rewarded with a path to the semifinals that could include 7-3 East Coweta, 9-1 Valdosta, and undefeated North Gwinnett.

Best Round One Matchups:

-McEachern vs. East Coweta... The Indians vs. the Indians. East Coweta won its first seven games, but tough losses to Stephenson, M.L. King, and Newnan (all playoff teams) hurt East Coweta. Now, they are 5A's best four-seed. McEachern has won nine straight games and will have the extra motivation of last year's early playoff exit.

-South Cobb vs. Newnan... Though these teams have seven losses between them, either could do some damage in the postseason. Both have wins over playoff teams and both played better in the second half of the season.

-Stephenson vs. Hillgrove... Stephenson is 9-1 and as talented as any team in the state. Hillgrove is two points away from a 9-1 record and the Hawks have won four games in a row.

-Parkview vs. Roswell... Parkview is 5-5 and Roswell is 6-4. The Hornets are clearly the hotter team, having won four straight games, but Parkview is 4-0 against Roswell.

-Walton vs. Norcross... Walton has won five straight games, but Norcross owns a better season record in a tougher region. Then again, Norcross' losses were bad ones, losing to Collins Hill and North Gwinnett by a total score of 80-0.

A Quick Look Back: How big was M.L. King's win over Stephenson? Instead of facing 8-2 Hillgrove in the first round and Camden County in the second round, the Lions get 5-5 Harrison, and either Colquitt County or Jenkins in Round Two.

A Quick Look Forward: Roswell and Collins Hill could play each other in the second round of the playoffs. If that happens, the two teams will have played each other for the third time in about a year.

Random Note: Six 5A playoff teams are 5-5 (Harrison, Colquitt County, Mill Creek, Lassiter, North Forsyth, and Parkview). Coffee (4-6) is the only team below .500.

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