Region 1 playoff picture starting to take shape

Published 4:05 pm Monday, October 16, 2006

By Staff
While several possibilities still remain, the playoff picture is beginning to clear after Friday's games.
T.R. Miller (7-0 overall and 5-0 in region play) became the first team to clinch a playoff spot in Class 4A Region 1 with its 38-34 win over Jackson. The Tigers need to win only one of their final two games (this week against winless Hillcrest or next week against W.S. Neal) to wrap up the region championship, a number one seed and a first-round home game.
Thomasville closed in on a playoff berth with its 37-0 win over Escambia County. The Tigers (6-1 overall and 4-1 in region play) will clinch a playoff berth, a first-round home game and no worse than the region's number two seed with one more victory. Thomasville's last two region games are against Southside-Selma this week and Monroe County next week.
Escambia County (4-3 overall and 3-2 in region play) and W.S. Neal (5-2 overall and 3-2 in region play) are currently in a tie for third place. One more Escambia County win or a loss by Friday's Monroe County-Southside-Selma winner (no score was available at press time) will clinch a playoff spot for the Blue Devils. Escambia County can clinch its berth with a win over Monroe County this week. If Escambia County and W.S. Neal finished tied, the Blue Devils own the head-to-head tiebreaker.
W.S. Neal can clinch a playoff spot if it beats Jackson this week. If W.S. Neal loses to Jackson, it will have to beat T.R. Miller and have Jackson lose to winless Hillcrest the following week in order to qualify.
Despite being a game out of the current fourth and final playoff spot, Jackson will qualify if it beats W.S. Neal this week and Hillcrest next week.
Monroe County and Southside-Selma both had faint hopes still alive headed into Friday's game. Monroe County will have to beat Escambia County this week and Thomasville next week and get a lot of help elsewhere. Southside has to beat Thomasville and Escambia County and get a lot of help as well.
Region 1 is paired up against Region 4 in the opening round of the playoffs. While the picture is starting to clear in Region 1, Central-Tuscaloosa's 46-21 win over sixth-ranked and previously unbeaten Fayette County made a mess of that region's standings.
Central-Tuscaloosa (5-2 overall), Jemison (4-3 overall) and Fayette County (6-1 overall) are tied for the region lead with 4-1 records. The teams have split their head-to-head meetings. Jemison has beaten Central-Tuscaloosa, but lost to Fayette County. Fayette County has beaten Jemison, but lost to Central-Tuscaloosa. Central Tuscaloosa has beaten Fayette County and lost to Jemison.
Friday's winner between Livingston and Oak Grove (no score available at press time) has the inside track for the fourth and final playoff spot from that region as well as a likely first-round matchup against T.R. Miller. The winner improved to 3-2 in region play, while the loser fell to 2-3 and into a tie for fifth with Holt.

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