Area playoff spots still up for grabs
With the Texas football state playoffs opening in a little over a week, things are usually a little more settled. But, across the area, teams are still trying to figure out who’s in and who they might be playing.
Out of many headliners, District 21-5A’s title matchup between La Porte and Port Arthur Memorial will have plenty to say about where the teams end up. A Memorial win would tie the Titans with La Porte and North Shore for a share of the 21-5A championship. It would also mean the Titans get the top seed in Division II and would play the winner of Alvin and Pasadena Memorial.
If the Titans lose, they’d drop to third place in the district and second place in Division II, meaning they’d match up with 22-5A champion Manvel, who is 8-1 and 6-0 this season after making the state championship game last season in Class 4A.
District 20-4A’s playoff picture gets even more complicated because it’s unclear who’s actually going to be in the post-season. Nederland, Vidor and Livingston are assured spots, but Beaumont Central, Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Beaumont Ozen are all still in play for the fourth and final playoff berth.
Nederland has locked up a share of the district title and will be the top seed from Division I. The other spots will be determined by that fourth team. If Central beats Nederland, the Jaguars would clinch that fourth seed and would be the second seed in Division I. That’d bump Vidor down to Division II and put Livingston in as the second seed in Division II.
If Central loses and LC-M beats Vidor, the Bears would be in as the second seed in Division II, with Vidor bumping up to the second seed in Division I and Livingston becoming the top seed in Division II. If both Central and LC-M lose and Ozen beats Lumberton, the Panthers will take LC-M’s place in the previous scenario with Vidor going Division I.
That matters because whoever gets put into Division I from 20-4A is in for a tough test in bidistrict play. The two Division I schools from 19-4A will be No. 6 Dayton and Humble Summer Creek. Both teams are undefeated and will play each other for the district title on Friday, with Nederland playing the loser.
The two Division II schools from 19-4A will be Crosby as the top seed and Barbers Hill as the second seed. Technically, the Eagles could fall into a fourth-place tie with Kingwood Park, but Barbers Hill won the head-to-head matchup 35-3 and has the tiebreaker edge.
In District 21-3A, things are clearer at the top, but still very much in doubt for the third and final playoff spot. Silsbee and West Orange-Stark will put their undefeated district records to the test this Friday to decide the district title, but both already have their playoff fates decided.
Silsbee will be the Division I entrant from 21-3A while West Orange-Stark will be the top seed in Division II, regardless of the outcome of Friday’s game. That leaves the third and final spot to the winner of the Orangefield at Bridge City game. Both schools sit at 3-2, so the winner would have the spot outright.
The Tigers will have to wait on their Division I opponent, as both Huffman Hargrave and Cleveland could end up being the Division I team from 22-3A. Cleveland plays Shepherd on Friday in a game that could knock the loser out of the playoffs. Both teams sit at 3-2 along with Huffman Hargrave. Shepherd, though, holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with Huffman Hargrave.
Huffman would have to lose, though, at 4-5 Splendora to finish tied with Shepherd. If both Huffman and Cleveland make the playoffs, Huffman Hargrave would be the Division I entrant and Cleveland would end up being the second seed in Division II.
That’s because Coldspring-Oakhurst has already wrapped up its 8-2, 6-0 season and holds the top seed in Division II. The Trojans will then play the winner of Orangefield/Bridge City, with West Orange-Stark playing either Cleveland or Shepherd in bidistrict play.