LIVE OAK, Fla. — For the first time this season, Suwannee High is in playoff position.
Now the Bulldogs just have to hold on for one more week.
In the final RPI rankings release from the Florida High School Athletic Association prior to the playoff brackets being unveiled next weekend, Suwannee climbed into the top 8 spots in Region 3-5A on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs, boosted by Friday’s thrilling 39-36 win against Godby, is eighth in the region with a rating of 0.524. That puts Suwannee nearly 0.40 points clear of Choctawhatchee, which is ninth in the region with a 0.487 rating. Ribault is 10th with a rating of 0.486. Godby sits one spot ahead of SHS with a 0.531 rating.
Suwannee closes its regular season Friday at Dublin (Ga.), which is undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Georgia’s Class 2A. Choctawhatchee hosts 3-6 Fort Walton Beach, while Ribault visits Lincoln (6-3) in Tallahassee. Godby wrapped up its regular season with the loss to SHS.
Wakulla, which won District 2-5A after beating Suwannee, Godby and Rickards, sits atop the region rankings with a 0.659 rating. Pine Forest follows in second with a 0.588 rating with Westside third at 0.577.
Parker, fifth in the region rankings following Baker County, won District 3 after beating Westside last week and Baker earlier this season and will garner a top four seed for the region playoffs. Also seeded in the top four will be Raines, which sits sixth in the region. The Vikings are the District 4 champion.
In Class 1A, despite a lopsided homecoming win against Bell, Lafayette dropped a spot from second to third in Region 3-1A.
The Hornets, who are battling with Dixie County for a top 2 seed along with two-time defending state champion Madison County, slipped from a 0.647 rating to 0.639, just two-thousandths of a point behind the Bears and the first-round bye.
Lafayette’s opponents’ winning percentage — one of three components used to determine the RPI rating along with a team’s winning percentage and its opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage — fell from 0.513 to 0.484 after playing 2-7 Bell.
The Hornets close out the season with a trip to Trenton, which is 5-4 and ranked third in Region 4-1A. Dixie visits Westside on Thursday.
Also falling a spot in the Region 3-1A rankings was Branford, which dropped to fifth behind Hilliard. The Bucs’ rating is 0.506, while the Red Flashes have a 0.508 rating. Branford closes the regular season by hosting Cornerstone Charter, which is 2-6, while Hilliard hosts North Florida Educational Institute (3-6).
The fourth seed will host the fifth seed in next week’s first round.
Union County climbed back into a playoff position in sixth with a 0.480 rating, while Fort White fell to seventh after a heartbreaking overtime loss to Newberry.
Bell is seventh in the region with a 0.412 rating and Hamilton County is eighth, up to a 0.331 rating after picking up its first win of the season last week.
The playoff brackets will be unveiled Sunday, beginning at 7 a.m. The final RPI rankings will be released immediately following the bracket release.