Let's talk perfection.
It doesn't come along that often and it tastes sweeter than fresh-baked cinnamon rolls -- only it lasts longer. It can linger for a lifetime.
That's why this season has been so special for Westwood and Deerfield-Windsor, which both put their perfect seasons on the line tonight in their biggest games of the year (at least to this point). And bigger games are still ahead.
Both are going to make runs in the state playoffs, and I won't be surprised if both win crowns. Both have handled that treacherous
No. 1 ranking with class and humility. Yeah, I said humility, because I have been around the kids from both programs.
Parents, coaches and teachers all should be proud of the way these guys have reacted to perfection. Guess what? They worked even harder. No one had to tell them not to take any teams for granted. They told themselves.
They pushed each other. Well, "pushed" may not be the right word. Both teams have the kind of players who are hooked at the hip.
They've got the kind of teams where 11 guys score every time someone gets into the end zone.
You don't know joy on a football field until you see that -- and the kids in these programs see it every Friday night.
Perfect in every way...
WESTWOOD AT TERRELL ACADEMY:
Get there early. It's going to be packed for this one, and for all the right reasons. Westwood gets the nod here. TAE has done a magnificent job rebounding from a tough start and will give Westwood all it wants, but in the end the Wonders from Westwood will find a way to win. They always do. It won't matter to anyone in Camilla (and there will be a convoy coming up Highway 19 tonight) who scores the winner -- least of all the kids on this team.
PREDICTION: Westwood 24, Terrell Academy 21.
WESTFIELD AT DEERFIELD-WINDSOR:
What's better than this? No. 1 vs. No. 2. You gotta want to see this one. Don't be surprised if this is a warmup for the state title game.
These two could meet next month. And if they do the game will be at DWS, because the feeling here is the Knights win the region and the home field for the duration of the playoffs tonight. This could be a wild one, because both teams are loaded on offense. I'll take a Banks Kinslow pass to Davis Moore for the winner -- a play that will be set up by a big run by Quentin Heard. And don't be surprised if Rhett Cooper doesn't come up with a turnover and more than one big play on defense.
PREDICTION: DWS 28, Westfield 21
LEE COUNTY AT BAINBRIDGE:
When I looked at this game in August, a million thoughts ran through my mind, but Bainbridge has been banged up all year, and has lost some tough games in a region that has no mercy. I read a comment online that said this wasn't the toughest region in the state just because of two teams. Well, when one of the teams is the best in the state and the other one is a Top 5 team, guess what? That makes it the toughest region, because you have to beat everyone else just to finish third, and it's doubtful you'll see anyone in the first three rounds of the playoffs that can touch either Northside, Warner Robins or Thomas County Central. So third place looks pretty good from here, and that's what Lee County can win tonight.
Bainbridge is all about a disciplined veer, ball control and tough defense, but Justin Walker and Lee's uptempo offense should be able to rebound from last week's nightmare against TCC. Will Lee's defense play better? Absolutely.
PREDICTION: LEE COUNTY 35, BAINBRIDGE 21.
MILLER COUNTY AT SEMINOLE COUNTY:
I'm buying Danny Aller's lunch for not believing in Miller County last week, but it won't happen again. The Pirates just have too much talent to lose at Seminole in one of the best rivalries in SW Georgia. Seminole has had a remarkable season. The Indians lost running back Chris Brown, one of the top RBs in this part of the state, before the season began, and they're are still right in the middle of the Region 1-A race.
Nobody felt sorry for themselves, Indians coach Alan Ingram just kept his kids looking ahead and they have played like champions all season. This game is for second place (see Mitchell County) and the feeling here is that Juwan Jones will have another monster game for Miller. Jones may be the best defensive lineman this side TCC's Ray Drew.
PREDICTION: MILLER COUNTY 28, SEMINOLE COUNTY 20.
MITCHELL COUNTY AT PELHAM:
The Eagles will clinch the Region 1-A title tonight at nearby Pelham before wrapping up the regular season at home next week against Terrell County, which will nail down a playoff berth with a win tonight against Stewart County. Even if Terrell County loses to Mitchell next week, the Greenwave will be in no worse than a tie for fourth with Randolph-Clay -- and Terrell County beat Randolph-Clay. Mitchell has been rolling lately, outscoring four region teams, 168-61. The Eagles will roll again tonight.
PREDICTION: MITCHELL 35, PELHAM 14.
SOUTHWEST GEORGIA ACADEMY AT FLINT RIVER:
These two share the No. 2 ranking in the GISA Class AA state poll behind top-ranked Piedmont, and tonight's winner will claim the region title.
Need any more motivation?
There's at least one Division 1 player on the field in this one, and Taylor Tabb will make the difference on both sides of the ball. SGA wins it close, and takes home the title and gets home field in the playoffs. Watch out for SGA -- these kids are ready for a run in the playoffs, and tonight's game will just be the beginning.
PREDICTION: SGA 30, Flint River 21.