The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

October 25, 2013

A Steve Goldman column: Down to 3 teams in area in terms of playoff chase

With two weeks left to play in the regular season, only three area schools have a realistic chance to make the playoffs. Without further ado, here are the prospects for all three:

RIVERSIDE and MADISON — We group these two schools together at this time because their fates are intertwined. Right now, the two not only have identical records at 6-2, but the Beavers are hanging onto the eighth and final playoff position in Division II, Region 3 with 11.8 computer points, just a tick ahead of the Blue Streaks, who have 11.775.

Not only that, but the two contenders for the Premier Athletic Conference crown will face each other at Madison next week, and it is very likely that the winner will finish ahead of the other in the region. In the meantime, Riverside hosts South in another PAC showdown this week, while Madison travels to Lakeside.

First, the simple stuff. If the Beavers win both games, they will qualify for the playoffs. If the Blue Streaks win both, they will almost certainly be in. But of course, it is impossible for both of those scenarios to happen.

There are several other schools in the mix, and a few have difficult matchups left on their slates. Two of the biggest include North Olmsted, currently sitting in the sixth spot, playing at Avon Lake tonight, and Westlake, which sits in the 10th position, going to Brecksville-Broadview Heights in Week 10.

It is very possible that exactly one of the two teams will qualify for the postseason. It is also realistic to envision both getting in. (The most likely scenario involving that outcome appears to include Madison beating Riverside and Riverside defeating South.) However, the odds that neither will qualify appear to be very slim. This means, among other things, that the Riverside-Madison winner is very likely to get in. But first things first. Let’s see how things shake out in Week 9.

PERRY — The Pirates, who are 4-4, are hanging onto that critical eighth spot in Division IV, Region 11 with 10.35 points. If they win out, the odds are very much in their favor of joining the party. However, in Week 10 they face a very tough Chagrin Falls opponent, so it won’t be easy. This is not to say that Perry can’t win that game, but how do things look if they defeat Wickliffe in Week 9 and then fall to the Tigers?

In that case, it would still be in the realm of possibility for the Pirates to make it. However, in that case, they would need a lot of help.

Once again, we’ll see what happens in Week 9, and take a final look at the situation next week. As always, Joe Eitel’s great work at his website — www.joeeitel.com — provides the best resource around.

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

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