BETHLEHEM, Ga. — Jackson County lost the battle but still is in the war.
The Panthers dropped a tough 34-28 season finale to Apalachee on Friday night but still claimed the No. 4 spot from Region 8-5A when Eastside and Loganville both captured wins.
Those two wins pushed Jackson County (5-5, 3-4 Region 8-5A) into a three-way tie with Greenbrier and Loganville, but the Panthers held the tiebreaker over both to claim advance to their first postseason since 2017.
The Jackson County offense had another big game despite the loss. The Panthers finished with 375 total yards, including 220 on the ground.
Trey Ransom had another huge game for Jackson County, piling up 162 yards and three rushing touchdowns. The effort helped Ransom break the school career rushing record. He now sits at 3,056 for his career with at least one more game to go.
Anthony Finley added three catches and a touchdown catch from quarterback Isaiah Maxey for the Panthers, who fell behind early and battled to within six points three times but could not get the game-winning score.
Jackson County will travel to Region 6-5A champion Villa Rica next week in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.