For Creekview, its ninth win — which matched a team record set twice before — did not come easily, as it took a fourth-quarter comeback and three overtimes for it to beat Riverwood in a Region 7AAAAA play-in in Sandy Springs.
Though the Grizzlies (9-1) outgained the Raiders 417-174 and had 19 first downs to Riverwood’s five, they needed a 5-yard touchdown pass from Hayden Hall to Chandler Wold with less than 15 seconds remaining in to game to force overtime.
Eventually, Wold scored the game-winner on a 2-yard run in the third overtime to seal the win for Creekview.
Creekview clinched the region’s No. 2 seed and will host Region 6AAAAA No. 3 Tucker (8-2) on Friday in the opening round of the playoffs.
It will not be an easy game against a Tigers team just one year removed from a perfect season and Class AAAA state championship. Tucker’s only losses this year came against the two teams seeded ahead of it in the region standings, M.L. King and Stephenson.
Sequoyah’s victory was much less dramatic, as it rolled over Sprayberry 42-14 on the road to secure the fourth and final seed from Region 7AAAAA.
The Chiefs (7-3) will make their return to the postseason for the first time since 2008, they year before James Teter came to Sequoyah as its coach.
“It’s awesome,” Teter said of making the playoffs. “Its nice to get that monkey off your back.”
Sequoyah will face unbeaten M.L. King in the first round.
With 168 rushing yards against Sprayberry, Sequoyah running back Blake Ingleton raised his season total to 2,095 yards, finishing the regular season as the leading rusher in Class AAAAA.
After starting the season 2-3, the Chiefs won five straight while scoring an average of just over 42 points a game.
When asked why he felt his team had improved during the second half of the season, Teter said that the players’ belief in his system had grown as the year progressed.
“I think that our kids have totally bought into what we are doing, offensively and defensively,” Teter said. “It’s also been a product of our coaches simplifying things.”
Joining Creekview and Sequoyah in the postseason will be River Ridge, which secured its first playoff berth in its first year of postseason eligibility with a 28-26 win over Pickens two weeks ago.
Though the Knights fell to Ridgeland 48-14 on Friday in the Region 7AAAA championship game, they secured the region’s No. 2 seed. River Ridge (5-5) will host the No. 3 seed of Region 6AAAA — either Grady or Chamblee, depending on the outcome of Saturday night’s Chamblee-Washington game.
As for Etowah and Woodstock, a 34-6 loss for the Eagles (4-6) against Region 5AAAAAA champion Lassiter, and a 42-14 loss for the Wolverines (3-7) against Milton ended their postseason hopes.
With the loss, the Eagles’ six-year streak of making the playoffs was snapped.
Taking the fourth and final playoff spot in Region 5AAAAAA was Wheeler, which narrowly beat Cherokee 21-20.
Though Etowah, Woodstock, and Wheeler all finished with identical 3-4 region records, Wheeler’s higher winning percentage against Class AAAAAA teams broke the deadlock and gave the Wildcats their first playoff berth since 2006.