Centennial at West Forsyth
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Wolverine Stadium in Cumming.
Records, rankings: Centennial is 5-3, 5-2 in Region 6-AAAAAA and unranked; West is 5-3, 5-2 and unranked.
Series history: West leads 5-0.
Last meeting: West won 42-32 in 2014.
What to know: If tonight’s game at West feels like a playoff game, that’s because it almost is one.
With West’s close loss last week to Lambert and Centennial’s win over North Forsyth, the two teams have tied up in the third and fourth place slots in the region. With only four teams from the region allowed playoff slots, this game will likely decide the third and fourth seeds.
Because the third and fourth seeds play road games in Round 1 of the playoffs, the game doesn’t sound like it has too many implications. However, if West wins the next two games and South falls to Lambert in the final week, the Wolverines would take a tie-breaker over South and be rewarded with a No. 2 seed and a home game.
Therefore, tonight’s contest is pivotal to West’s chances of regaining ground in region just two weeks after celebrating a victory over previously undefeated South. If West falls to Centennial, Johns Creek would be able to sneak into the playoffs next week by upsetting the Wolverines on the road.
Centennial has surrendered more than 35 points six times this season, allowing 40 points or more twice and 52 in the season opener. Don’t expect West’s offense, led by Kiernen Hamilton, to struggle. Defensively, the likes of Eli Huggins and company should neutralize the Knights’ offense enough to escape with a win.