Friday, November 06, 2015

Football Friday and Playoff Primer!

We've made it to the end of the regular season tonight with three big games and with three teams in the postseason, and a fourth needing a win and some help to join them.

GAME OF THE WEEK: The 57th Tomato Bowl: Patrick Henry (4-5) at #9 Lee-Davis (7-2), 6:30pm LIVE on WHAN Radio (102.9 FM/1430 AM) and online at the link on the right of our page.

It's simple: Patrick Henry must win the Tomato Bowl to keep their playoff hopes alive. They enter tonight at 197 points. A win earns the Patriots 38 points and would be enough to overtake #17 Potomac, eliminating them from the 5A North Region playoff race regardless of how they fare against Stafford. Then, the Patriots need to leapfrog current #16 seed Halifax County, whose season is over. They begin with 231 points. They will earn two points from the Patrick County/Martinsville winner, one from the winner of Magna Vista/George Washington. That is 234 points. Halifax earns two points if Person (NC) beats Hillside (NC), one if Hillside wins, two more if Tunstall beats Bassett, but one point if the other way around.

The most Halifax can finish with is 239 points.

The Patriots will get a point each from the winners of Highland Springs/Varina and Hanover/Henrico. That's 237. An Atlee win over Armstrong is another point, up to 238. If Armstrong upsets the Raiders, that's two points and the Patriots hit 239. But let's assume Atlee wins. The Patriots would need one of these results for two points, 240 total, and the #16 seed:
--Mills Godwin to beat John Marshall
--Glen Allen to upset J.R. Tucker
--Caroline to upset Courtland

Of the three, the Eagles provide the Patriots their best hope. So, while it's a long road, the road is still open for Patrick Henry. But they must win tonight, or the season, for sure, is over.

For Lee-Davis, it's all about seeding. The Confederates begin tonight in sixth place in 5A South Central, falling two slots after last week's loss at Henrico, who are fifth by a mere point. Lee-Davis needs the win, a Hanover win over Henrico, and a Hermitage win over Douglas Freeman. If these things happen, before rider points, the teams would look like this:

Douglas Freeman: 289
Henrico: 277
Lee-Davis: 289

The Confederates would then need wins from Prince George over Hopewell, Hanover over Henrico, and possibly even Varina to beat Highland Springs. The fourth seed is unlikely, but mathematically possible. Either way, a move to fifth is a reprieve, as the Confederates would be better off with either a trip to Douglas Freeman in Round One rather than a trip to one of the "Big 3": L.C. Bird, Hermitage, and Highland Springs.

NOTE: To read about the tiebreaker scenarios at the top of 5A South Central, CLICK HERE to visit our sister website.

Also in 5A North are the Atlee Raiders, entering tonight in 10th place, hoping to move up two spots to grab one home game as the #8 seed. While possible, they need major help.

1) First, they must beat Armstrong.
2) They need current #8 and #9 seeds Wakefield and Potomac Falls to lose. Each play 3-6 teams tonight and are favored.
3) They need Western Albemarle to knock off Albemarle, hot on Atlee's heels at #11. A Fluvanna upset of Orange (#12) would help as well.

In 4A East, Hanover begins tonight the #3 seed in the Conference 19/20 Sub-Region. Ahead of them is top-seeded Courtland, who plays winless Caroline. While possible that Hanover could slip into the top seed even with a Courtland win, it would take some upsets, like Varina and Armstrong winning.

If Courtland somehow lost, then it's a battle between the Hawks and Monacan for #1. The Chiefs (279 points) are done at 9-1. They can add a guaranteed seven rider points tonight, but no more than twelve. If Hanover wins, then has Dinwiddie, J.R. Tucker and Hopewell post victories, the Hawks are at 291 points, which is the maximum number the Chiefs can hit, and that includes James River upsetting L.C. Bird.

Thus, Hanover needs to take care of business in Clayton Cheatham's return from his week one injury at Dinwiddie by defeating Henrico. Remember, the Hawks are 1-3 at home this year. But Cheatham didn't play in any of those games. With Marcus Bazala back at tailback, and also a very valid quarterback option, a win tonight for Hanover could give them major momentum entering the postseason.

However, looming if the Hawks lose are both Eastern View and Chancellor, who began tonight just two points behind Hanover at 245 points. One or both could overtake the Hawks if Hanover loses and things like Meadowbrook beating Dinwiddie happens.

--Patrick Henry must win, then get help, for their season to continue.
--Atlee has clinched, likely hit the road next week, outside shot at #8 seed in 5A North.
--Lee-Davis has clinched, clings to hope they could return to #4 seed, more likely at #5 or #6, needing #5 for a better first round matchup.
--Hanover has clinched and could conceivably finish anywhere between the #1 seed and #5, the difference between home field through Thanksgiving, and no home games, possibly, at all.

--Our Taylor Luck at @TaylorRVASN on Twitter will LIVE tweet the Henrico/Hanover game tonight.
--After your game, tune to our Game of The Week around 9:30 for the RVA Sports Network Scoreboard Show for ALL the scores and latest playoff projections! Listen on WHAN Radio, 102.9 FM, or online at the link at the top right of this page!

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