Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Four region championship games decided in the final minutes

On the last night of the regular season, four region title games went down to the wire. First round playoff pairings will be announced on Tuesday, after the power ratings are certified.

Region 3: No. 5 (Public) Emanuel County Institute 28, No. 9 (Private) Calvary Day 21

The Bulldogs won a thriller in overtime to claim their fourth region championship in the past six years. ECI rallied from a 14-0 deficit early in the second quarter, and scored the winning points on its first possession of overtime when Bobby McNear scored on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Chase Whitehead.

Region 4: No. 1 (Public) Manchester 22, No. 3 (Public) Macon County 20

The Blue Devils went on the road to Montezuma and scored a late touchdown to win the school’s first region championship since 2001. This is the ninth time in Manchester’s storied history that it has finished the regular season 10-0.

Region 2: No. 2 (Public) Irwin County 32, Turner County 6

Irwin wrapped up the title last week and will receive a bye in the first round of the state playoffs. This is the school’s third region championship in the last four seasons.

Region 6: No. 3 (Private) Mt. Paran Christian 31, No. 9 (Public) Mt. Zion-Carroll 28

Niko Vangarelli hit Jack Allen with a 56-yard touchdown pass late in the game, and the Mt. Paran defense batted down a Hail Mary attempt on the game’s final play. The win gives Mt. Paran its second region title in school history. The last time the Eagles won the region (2014) they went on to win the state private school title as well.

Region 7: Aquinas 30, No. 5 (Private) Stratford Academy 27

The Irish built a 20-7 halftime lead and held on to stun the Eagles in Macon. Senior QB John Paul converted a third-and-short to seal the win for Aquinas in the game’s final minutes. It is the fourth region title for Aquinas in the last five seasons.

Region 1: Mitchell County 22, Pelham 0

Pelham had won the last three meetings with Mitchell and won the region championship last year as well. But the Eagle’s blanked the Hornets for the first time since 2012. Mitchell County will receive a bye in next week’s opening round of the state playoffs.

Region 5: No. 1 (Private) Eagle’s Landing Christian 69, Landmark Christian 7

The Chargers won their eighth consecutive region championship, dominating their outmanned rivals from Landmark. It was the fifth time this season ELCA has scored at least 50 points.

Region 8: No. 4 (Private) Athens Academy 32, No. 2 (Private) Prince Avenue Christian 14

Athens Academy intercepted three passes in the first half, converting the turnovers into a 23-7 lead the Spartans would not relinquish. The win gave Athens Academy its eighth region crown, its first since 2012.

Other scores of note:

No. 7 (Public) Commerce 24, George Walton Academy 13

No. 7 (Private) Mt. Pisgah Christian 49, No. 8 (Public) Trion 42

Washington-Wilkes 27, No. 8 (Private) Tattnall Square 25

Whitefield Academy 6, No. 10 (Private) Darlington 0

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