Meadowcreek Mustangs (7-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Jason Carrera
Record: 3-5, 3-2 region
Last week: Had a bye
Discovery Titans (7-AAAAAAA)
Coach: Efrem Hill
Record: 3-6, 2-3 region
Last week: Beat Dunwoody 21-0
Meadowcreek, which got an unexpected bye last Friday when Berkmar canceled the rest of its season because of COVID issues, returns to action Friday for a game with playoff implications.
The Mustangs had a planned bye the week before, so they haven't played a game since a 41-3 win over Dunwoody on Oct. 30. They are headed to the playoffs, win or lose, for the second time in the last four seasons. They can clinch a third seed by beating Discovery.
"There's a lot to play for," Carrera said. "These last few weeks came down to playoff time because of their importance. We talked to our kids about making history. We could be the first Meadowcreek team to be a 3 seed going into the state playoffs."
Discovery has a chance at history, too — its first playoff trip. First, it must win what is the biggest game in the history of the young program.
"All of (the games) mean something, but to truly have a meaningful game at the end (with playoff implications) is huge," Hill said. "The kids are excited. ... It's exciting to have the last game of the year and you've got a chance to get to the playoffs. That's all you ask for. You've got a chance."
To have a chance, Discovery needs to beat Meadowcreek. Because of tiebreakers, it also needs a margin of victory of at least seven points.
The Titans' season hasn't been smooth, but they defeated Dunwoody 21-0 on the road last week to keep their playoff hopes alive.
"It's been up and down," Hill said of the season. "The thing I do like is our kids have played hard. They've always played hard since we've been here. Three games we were out of this year, that's just the reality of it. But every other game we've been in it. We just didn't make the plays. That hasn't been said every year.
"A big growth part for these guys was being down 22 points to Duluth two different times and still having a chance to win at the end (of an eventual 36-34 loss)."
Discovery has found its most success running the football this year with back J.B. Seay and a solid offensive line, matching what Meadowcreek has done with Rock Gaither and its line.
"(Seay's) brought a different style of running and the line has done a wonderful job," Hill said. "Coach Mac (Kevin McAlmont) has got those guys going and really believing in each other and working as a unit."
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Discovery won 14-6 last year
Location: Discovery High School