The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 1, 2013

A Steve Goldman column: Playoff picture pretty clear

By STEVE GOLDMAN
For the Star Beacon

— Well, we’re at that point of the football season-- the point where there is one game to go in the regular campaign, and playoff chances for a given team are generally a lot clearer than they were. There’s still a good deal of uncertainty, to be sure, but some things are easier to pinpoint.

With that in mind, let’s take one final look at the prospects for the three area contenders:

RIVERSIDE — Mathematically, the Beavers haven’t yet clinched a playoff spot in Division II, Region 3. But realistically, they will be in the playoffs.

Yes, Riverside has other things at stake in its showdown at Madison. For one thing, an outright Premier Athletic Conference championship. Also, a higher seed and a possible home game in the first round. But whether or not it wins that game, it will participate in the postseason. Even so, because it might not wish to hear it until they have mathematically clinched, I will hold off on saying congratulations until that does happen.

MADISON — The Blue Streaks, who would share the PAC crown if they defeat the Beavers, would also clinch a Region 3 playoff berth if that happens. But they have a good chance even if they don’t win that game. I will say, in fact, that it is probable.

In that event, a lot may ride on the matchup between 5-4 Westlake, which currently sits in the 12th position, and 8-1 Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

Riverside is currently ranked fourth with 17.1944 points and Madison is seventh with 15.3333. Of course, the schools that finish in the top eight spots will make the playoffs.

PERRY — The Pirates are in the ninth slot in Division IV, Region 11 with 13.1944 points. But if they can beat Chagrin Falls tonight, they will very likely get into the playoffs, and could achieve a home berth. One key to this scenario is that they would leapfrog over Lakeview, which is holding the sixth position but has very little to gain with its Week 10 matchup against 1-8 Newton Falls.

It is still possible for Perry to make it if it doesn’t win tonight, but that would take a lot of help, and that scenario seems unlikely.

Thanks to www.joeeitel.com for information that was very helpful in this analysis.

Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid. Reach him at steve558@roadrunner.com.