Ridgeland Panthers

Three teams came into the last night of the regular season all looking to claim a Region 6-AAAA championship.

And it took a full 48 minutes before someone finally did.

Around about the same time the Ridgeland Panthers were polishing off a 55-35 home victory over a gritty Southeast Whitfield team, the Heritage Generals staved off one final Hail Mary pass by the Northwest Whitfield Bruins to post a 30-22 victory in the final game of the regular season inTunnel Hill.

The Panthers' victory, combined with the Generals' win, gave Ridgeland the region championship, while Heritage locked up the No. 2 seed for the Class 4A state playoffs.

Ridgeland (6-4 overall) and Heritage (8-2) both finished the region slate with 5-1 marks. However, the Panthers' 25-20 victory over the Generals back on Sept. 28 gave them the all-important head-to-head tiebreaker.

Pickens, last year's region champion, and Northwest both finished 4-2 in 6-AAAA, but due to the Dragons' win over the Bruins earlier this season, Pickens will be the No. 3 seed when the playoffs start next Friday, while Northwest, who would have won its first region championship since 2000 with a victory over Heritage, was relegated to the No. 4 seed.

Region 6 will match up with Region 8 in the first round of the state playoffs. Ridgeland will play host to Madison County, while Heritage will entertain St. Pius X. Pickens will travel to Bogart to face North Oconee, while Northwest will make the drive to Watkinsville to square off with high-powered Oconee County.

Ridgeland 55, Southeast 35

The Panthers were without tailback Jordan Blackwell, who suffered a lower leg injury last week against Gilmer. However, Torrance Roberts stepped up with three first-half touchdowns on runs of 34, 31 and 16 yards.

Jeremiah Turner would score on a 5-yard run in the first half and later added a 19-yard run in the second half, while Terrence Roberts and Julian Brooks would each score on short runs over the final two period. Ridgeland's younger players would add a late score to seal the victory.

Further individual statistics were unavailable as of press time.

Heritage 30, Northwest 22

Generals' quarterback Nick Hanson was 16-of-30 for 124 yards and one touchdown in the air. He also carried the ball six times for 62 yards, including a pair of short scoring runs, to guide Heritage to the victory.

Hanson threw a 16-yard TD pass to Sam Randolph and scored on runs of 8 and 7 yards. Gabe Ogle would also take one in from eight yards out, while the Generals' defense forced three turnovers on the night. They also stopped the Bruins twice in Heritage territory in the final 4:18 to seal the win.

Dylan Bryan had five catches for 69 yards, while Logan Lowe pulled down eight catches for 54 yards. Lowe and Jacob Lozano came up with interceptions, while Pete Padgett had sack for the Generals.

Gilmer 28, LaFayette 23

The Ramblers scored 14 points in the second quarter to tie the game, 14-14, at intermission. The Bobcats would answer with 14 points of their own in the third quarter to take a 28-17 lead going into the final period.

LaFayette would score six points in the final stanza, but got no closer as they ended the season with a 3-7 overall record.

Individual statistics were not available as of press time.

Gordon Lee 34, Mount Pisgah Christian 20

The Trojans (4-6) kept their Class 1A Public School state playoff hopes alive with a victory in a Region 6-A crossover game in Johns Creek on Friday night.

Individual statistics were not available as of press time.

The updated GHSA power ratings (as of Nov. 8 at 11 p.m.) showed Gordon Lee tied with Montgomery County for 25th place with a 9.52 power rating. Taylor County currently holds down the 24th spot, 0.18 points ahead of Gordon Lee and Montgomery County. Only the top 24 will advance to the state playoffs. Trion (9.92) currently sits in 23rd position.

Calhoun 44, LFO 7

Needing a victory over the Jackets to get into the Class 3A state tournament field, the Warriors hung tough for the majority of the first half. However, the longtime state powerhouse would start to pull away late in the first half as they led 21-0 at intermission before coasting to the win in Fort Oglethorpe.

Individual statistics were unavailable as of press time for the Warriors, who ended their season with a 4-6 overall record.

Coahulla Creek 23, Ringgold 14

Two second-quarter touchdown passes would put the Tigers in front, 14-7, at intermission. But it would prove to be the only points of the night for the visitors, who gave up 16 unanswered points to the homestanding Colts in the second half.

An injury-plagued season ended for the Tigers with a 0-10 record.

Individual statistics are unavailable as of press time.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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