, Port Arthur, Texas

November 2, 2013

Playoff picture clear but also cloudy

Gabriel Pruett
The Port Arthur News



So much has been set yet so little is decided.

The four playoff teams out of District 20-4A have been determined. The same is known for three teams in District 21-5A.

What about District 21-3A? Not so fast my friend.

Nederland, Beaumont Central, Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Port Neches-Groves will represent 20-4A in two weeks in the postseason. The Bulldogs and Jaguars will go big school while the Bears and Indians will be small school. The seeding has yet to be determined.

Nederland is 5-0 and travels to face Central this Friday to decide whether the Bulldogs will claim the district title alone or share it with the Jags.

The Bulldogs have not lost a District 20-4A game since 2010. The Jaguars are the last 20-4A team to beat Nederland, 29-26. Nederland has defeated Central the past two years, 42-0 and 45-14.

Nederland and Central also have something else to play for besides the district championship.

The Bulldogs/Jaguars loser has the unenviable task of facing Humble Summer Creek in the first round of the playoffs. Summer Creek has been ranked inside the top five in the state all season long and is undefeated.

The Bulldogs/Jaguars winner will likely play Kingwood Park. Kingwood Park entered Saturday’s game against CE King with a 5-2 district record.

On the other side of 20-4A, the Indians have turned into huge Vidor Pirates fans.

If Vidor defeats the Bears in the last week of the regular season, and PN-G defeats Livingston, the Indians avoid playing Crosby in bi-district.

PN-G, only if LC-M loses and the Indians win, would then play the fourth place team out of 19-4A. The spot will be decided between Humble, Barbers Hill and Dayton in the final game.

District 21-5A is roughly the same as 20-4A.

The Port Arthur Memorial Titans are in the playoffs with a 4-1 district record after defeating Beaumont West Brook Friday night.

At the moment the four playoff teams are North Shore, Memorial, La Porte and Deer Park. The first three have clinched. Deer Park is one game up on West Brook with one game to go. Deer Park would only clinch over West Brook by defeating North Shore Friday night or having both the Bruins and Deer both lose.

The most likely scenario has the Bruins jumping over the Deer in the final week. Deer Park is 3-2 in the district standings heading into the final game against the 5-0 Mustangs. The Bruins will face the district’s last place team in the Baytown Sterling Rangers and hold the tiebreaker over the Deer. West Brook defeated Deer Park, 41-38, earlier this year.

Port Arthur Memorial is going to go into the playoffs as a small school, along with La Porte. If the Bruins get in, West Brook and North Shore would go into the big school division.

The Titans could avoid playing 8-1 Manvel in the first round by defeating La Porte in the season’s final regular season contest this Friday.

If the Titans win they would like play Pasadena Memorial in the first round. Pasadena Memorial is currently 3-6 on the season.

North Shore will likely play Pasadena Dobie while West Brook would run into the task of playing Pearland whichis also 8-1. Manvel destroyed Pearland 42-7 this past Friday to move into first place in District 22-4A.

Here is the fun part of deciding District 21-3A. Silsbee and West Orange-Stark are the only two teams to have clinched playoff spots.

The simple part is if Hardin-Jefferson defeats Hamshire-Fannett the Hawks are in the playoffs. If the Orangefield Bobcats defeat the Bridge City Cardinals this Friday, the Bobcats are in the playoffs.

A five-team tie and three-team tie are both possible after this upcoming Friday and a point system will decide who makes the playoffs.

Orangefield’s point differential between the schools it could be in a tie with is a plus-26. It appears that would be enough to get the Bobcats into the playoffs no matter the outcome of Friday night’s games.

Bobcats Coach Josh Smalley was not ready to pencil Orangefield into the playoffs though on Saturday. He said the Bobcats need to win Friday night and if not it does indeed come down to points.

Bridge City’s number of points appears to be too far back to get the Cardinals into the playoffs. Blowout losses to both Buna and Hardin-Jefferson are the reasons the Redbirds appear headed to miss the playoffs.

Coldspring and Cleveland have reached the playoffs out of District 22-3A. Huffman is 3-2 and appears in while Shepherd and Liberty are both 2-3.