Playoff picture comes into focus
It’s the final week of district play for local football teams, and for the most part the results of tonight’s games probably won’t have much impact on the final standings.
Barring major upsets, we already know who’s making the playoffs and who isn’t, and we have a pretty good idea where most of the six area teams will finish.
One exception is Garrard County, which plays an up-for-grabs game at Wayne County that will decide its position in Class 3A, District 5. If the Golden Lions win, they’ll tie Wayne for third place and take that spot in the head-to-head tiebreaker, which would probably mean a first-round playoff game at Estill County or Harlan County. If they lose, Wayne will tie Somerset and Taylor County for first place, and Garrard would get fourth place and probably a first-round game at Breathitt County. (Remember, teams will no longer play district opponents in the first two postseason rounds, thank heavens.)
Here are where the other area teams figure to stand after tonight:
- Boyle County can win 4A-6 outright with a home win over East Jessamine. If that happens, the Rebels would host a first-round game against the loser of tonight’s Pendleton County-Bourbon County game. If not, they would probably still emerge from a three-way tie as the No. 1 seed and with the same matchup.
- Danville can win 2A-4 outright by winning at Washington County. The Admirals would play a first-round game against the loser of tonight’s Glasgow-Metcalfe County game. They also figure to be in the strongest position in the event of a three-way tie.
- Mercer County, which is 3-0 in 5A-7, has the No. 1 seed in that district wrapped up because it can’t be caught by South Laurel, the team it plays tonight on the road. Expect the Titans to host Letcher County Central in their first-round game.
- Casey County (1-3 in 3A-5) and Lincoln County (0-3 in 5A-7) are effectively out of the playoff picture despite the fact that either team could tie for fourth place.
If they win their respective districts, Danville would earn the home-field for all games leading up to the state finals, Boyle could be at home for the first three rounds and Mercer could host up to three games in rounds 1, 2 and 4.
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Here are this week’s out-of-town preview links, which number only two even though all six local teams are playing schools from outside the area:
The Wayne County Outlook calls the Garrard County-Wayne County game a must-win for Wayne.
The Casey County News previews the Casey County-Somerset game at the top of its “Friday Morning Quarterback” feature.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t occasionally remind you that the best previews are the Advocate’s own, which can be found on the prep football page at amnews.com, along with everything else we’ve written during the current pigskin season.
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Finally, tonight’s picks. Lincoln County fooled me for my only miss last week, as it has done so often over the past two years, but there are two or three games this week that could go either way:
- East Jessamine over Boyle County Boyle County over East Jessamine
- Wayne County over Garrard County
- Pulaski County over Lincoln County
- Somerset over Casey County
- Mercer County over South Laurel
- Danville over Washington County
Last week: 3-1; season 32-7 (.820).