Breaking down the playoff scenarios

Published 12:34 am Sunday, October 26, 2008

The weather is getting cooler and the leaves will be starting to change before too long.

Halloween is right around the corner and Thanksgiving isn’t too far off.

For me, that means my schedule is starting to get a bit busier — high school football playoffs are almost upon us.

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The Mississippi Private School Association begins its playoffs on Nov. 7 as do the classes 2A, 3A and 4A in the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

MHSAA classes 1A and 5A begin their playoffs Nov. 14, as does the Louisiana High School Athletic Association schools.

Many of our area teams have either already clinched playoff spots or are in prime position to do so.

Trying to keep up with who’s in and who’s out, and what seed they are can be confusing, so let me do it for you.

The area private school teams that have already clinched playoff spots are Trinity Episcopal, which is the champion of MPSA District 3-AA, Centreville, which finished the year as District 5-AA runner-ups, and Huntington, which is District 6-A runner-ups.

Adams County Christian and Wilkinson County Christian have been eliminated from playoff contention with a week to go in the season.

In addition, Tensas Academy has clinched a spot in the MPSA 8-man football league championship game, with a strong season.

The playoff picture is much murkier on the public school side of things.

Only one school — Franklin County — has clinched a playoff spot in Region 7-3A.

The Bulldogs will finish the regular season in second place in the region as long as they defeat Amite County on Friday.

Jefferson County has not clinched a playoff spot in Region 7-3A, but the picture is clear. All the Tigers have to do is defeat winless Wilkinson County Friday night and they will make the playoffs as the No. 4 team out of the region.

Natchez High is also primed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

The Bulldogs got a huge 38-21 win over Terry last Friday and now need a victory over winless Wingfield to clinch a playoff spot as the No. 4 team out of Region 3-5A.

Cathedral and Wilkinson County are the two Mississippi public schools that have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Louisiana public schools still have three weeks to go in their season, and many things could change.

Vidalia High suffered a very damaging loss Friday when they blew a 20-0 lead to Buckeye and lost 27-20.

The Vikings are now 1-2 in District 3-3A with two district games to go. Vidalia needs to win both games — against Avoyelles and Bolton — to have any chance of making the playoffs.

Louisiana does its playoff system differently, with only each district champion guaranteed a playoff spot.

The other teams are chosen by a power ranking, which goes from 1-32. Therefore, it is possible to have a district with just one team represented while other districts can have four or more.

Ferriday also has quite a bit of work to do if it wants to make the playoffs.

The Trojans are 0-2 in district play with two games left. They also must win out in games against Farmerville and Lake Providence and gain power ranking points in order to make the postseason.

Block is right in the thick of the playoff race with a 2-1 district record and two games left.

The Bears are coming off a 46-8 thumping of Northwood-Lena and play St. Mary next in their final District 3-1A game.

If the Bears can win that game, they can win the district only if LaSalle loses its final two games.

Well, I hope I’ve enlightened you. Now get out there and enjoy the playoffs.

Jeff Edwards is the sports editor for The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3632 or