By a single point on the scoreboard and a few fractions of a percentage point on a calculator, Wheeler High School is back in the state football playoffs for the first time in six years.
A cliffhanging 21-20 win at Cherokee was just enough for the Wildcats to claim the fourth and final post-season bid from Region 5-AAAAAA. Wheeler also needed help in other games and got that when Etowah and Woodstock lost on Friday.
As The Marietta Daily Journal indicated in this morning's editions, Wheeler won the tiebreaker over those schools by virtue of its .500 winning percentage against Class AAAAAA teams, going 4-4. Etowah and Woodstock were both under .500 in those games.
While the Wildcats (6-4, 3-4) are enjoying their accomplishment today, a formidable challenge awaits them in the first round of the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAAA playoffs next weekend: Defending state champion Grayson.
Wheeler is one of three East Cobb schools facing imposing opponents from Gwinnett. Walton, which lost to Roswell 28-24 on Friday, will meet Parkview, the only team to defeat Grayson this season.
The Raiders, who lost to Grayson in last year's championship game, fell to 7-3 and have been battling numerous injuries.
Lassiter, which figures to start the playoffs ranked No. 1 after Camden County's loss on Friday, plays host to Brookwood. Milton will play at South Gwinnett.
Here's the complete Class AAAAAA playoff bracket, which also includes Marietta, North Cobb, Hillgrove and McEachern.
Pope High School reached the playoffs for the third consecutive season with a 31-28 win over Northview Friday. The Greyhounds will play at Stephenson in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs. The bracket also includes Kell and Allatoona.
Friday's game coverage from The Marietta Daily Journal: