A coin flip likely will not be needed to decide the Region 3-AAAA playoff order following Richmond Academy's 35-13 win over Hephzibah on Friday night.
Lakeside and Evans will share the region title at 8-1 if they both win next week, but Lakeside would grab the top playoff seed because of its head-to-head win over the Knights. The coin flip would only come into play if Lakeside lost to 1-8 Josey and some combination of three or more teams tied at 7-2.
Lakeside benefitted the most from Friday's results. Richmond Academy's win allows the Panthers to control their own destiny for the opportunity to play host to as many as two home playoff games.
"I don't think we're going to need that coin -- tell (Lakeside coach) Jody Grooms he owes me a Christmas card," Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes said. "I just hope we play hard next week and have a chance."
PLAYOFF TIME: Four area teams will be at home when the playoffs begin next week for three South Carolina classifications, including region champions Silver Bluff, Strom Thurmond and Williston-Elko.
The South Carolina High School Association released playoff brackets for Class AAA, AA and A (Division I and II) on Saturday. Class AAAA still has one week remaining in its regular season.
The Class A state finals are Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving. Every other classification will play its title game the following week.
The Georgia High School Association playoff brackets will be released next week.
ALL HANDS ON DECK: With Midland Valley quarterback Marquett Carr already on the sidelines with an injured shoulder, the Mustangs depth in the backfield took more hits Friday when both backup quarterbacks were injured in a 21-3 win at South Aiken.
Cole Cromer , who started the game and took most of the snaps, took a shot to the head and was forced out. Shaquille Hightower played much of the second half but left the game with a separated shoulder.
The injuries forced Midland Valley to show its hand on a new offensive scheme. The Mustangs shifted into a "Wildcat" formation late in the second half with tailback Jeremy Robinson taking direct snaps.
"We had both (backup quarterbacks) out, and we had already put that package in in practice," coach Rick Knight said. "We're not sure about Cole. But it looked like a minor concussion."
NICE TURNAROUND: Richmond Academy only allowed Hephzibah 13 points and one touchdown, a better effort than every defense in the region.
Hephzibah had been averaging 32.9 points per region game, but struggled on offense against the Musketeers. It generated only five second-half first downs and was hurt by penalties, including a holding call that negated a 35-yard TD run by Antoine Nabors and a personal foul that wiped out an 84-yard blocked field goal return by Bobby Liggins .
Richmond Academy gave up more points to Cross Creek last week (23) but regrouped in time for a better result.
"We tried to make sure we tackled," Hughes said. "Last week we had a tough time tackling. We wanted to take away their keys: No. 4 (Robinson) and have linebackers chase Nabors around. We did a good job tackling."
Staff writer Billy Byler contributed to this story.
Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUSHING: Kendric Salley, Williston-Elko, 188 yards in a 30-0 win over Blackville-Hilda
PASSING: Dane Anderson, Aquinas, 268 yards in a 45-8 win over Hancock Central
RECEIVING: Matt Hazel, North Augusta, 112 yards in a 41-29 win over Lexington