Mary Persons (4-5, 2-4 region) will have to take care of business against lowly Americus-Sumter (1-7. 1-5 region) on Friday and hope for some magic in the Upson-Lee-Jackson game if it’s to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in the Brian Nelson era.

“We’re hoping the football gods shine down on us on Friday,” said Nelson, “but we should’ve taken care of business last Friday night.”

If the Bulldogs win and Upson-Lee beats Jackson, that would leave a 3-way tie for fourth place, the final playoff spot in Region 2-AAA. The tiebreaker in that scenario under GHSA rules goes to the team that’s given up the fewest points. Thus, MP needs Upson to win but needs Jackson to score at least 22 points in a losing effort for the Bulldogs to make the playoffs. That’s not impossible, but several things have to fall into place.

Americus-Sumter comes to Dan Pitts Stadium on Friday for the regular season finale one week after winning its first game of the year, a 22-18 decision over winless Pike County.

Coached by Ross Couch, the Panthers have struggled this season. Last year Americus-Sumter went 6-6 and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.

The Bulldogs and Panthers have only met once, in 2011, when MP won 54-20.

While the Bulldogs celebrated Senior Night early this season due to COVID, it is expected to be the final home game for the class of 2021.