PRUETT COLUMN: Playoff scenarios after ninth week

Published 5:51 pm Saturday, October 22, 2016

The playoff picture of District 22-5A is starting to take shape after Week 9.

Here is what we know for sure: the Port Arthur Memorial Titans, Port Neches-Groves Indians and Vidor Pirates are in the postseason.

The Titans are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013. PNG is in for the fourth straight season and Vidor gets the nod for the first time since 2012.

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The Pirates have reached the postseason six times in a school history that dates back to 1940. So, congratulations to Jeff Mathews and Vidor.

The Tribe has made the playoffs 21 times since 1956 as PNG High School and another 10 times as Port Neches High School.

Memorial is making its ninth trip to the postseason since the school opened in 2002.

The district title is still up in the air. Memorial is 6-0, Vidor is 6-1 and PNG is 5-1. The Titans finish the year with a home game against Baytown Lee on Friday before a road trip to Vidor on Nov. 4.

If Memorial beats Lee, the Titans clinch at least a share of the district championship.

The Pirates have a bye this week before facing Memorial.

PNG plays at Ozen next Saturday and closes its regular season at home against Nederland on Nov. 4.

If the Titans win out, Memorial wins the crown outright. It would be the first outright district championship in school history and first title of any kind for coach Kenny Harrison, who became the head guy in 2009. Memorial tied with three other teams for first in 2006 under Ronnie Thompson.

Now as far as the Bulldogs go, here is where it gets fun. I enlisted the help of my good buddy Todd Broussard of to help with these numbers. He is far better at it this early in the game than me:

Nederland (3-3 in District 22-5A) finishes the year with a home game against Lumberton before heading to The Reservation on Nov. 4 to play the Indians for the Bum Phillips Bowl Trophy.

Livingston (3-3 in District 22-5A) plays at Central (2-4 in District 22-5A) this upcoming Friday and finishes at home against Ozen. Central, after hosting the Lions, closes at Lee on Nov. 4.

First, if Livingston beats Central and Nederland loses to Lumberton, the Lions are the fourth playoff team. The victory would put Livingston a game up on Nederland with one to go. The Lions were awarded a 1-0 win over the Bulldogs earlier this month due to Nederland playing an ineligible player. Livingston would get the spot due to the head-to-head victory against Nederland.

If the original 51-9 Nederland win over Livingston would have stayed before the Bulldogs’ forfeit, Nederland would have already have wrapped up a playoff spot since it would have held wins over both the Lions and Jaguars. Nederland would be 4-2 right now and both Livingston and Central would be 2-4 with two games left.

The Lions are the only ones of the group that control their own destiny.

Nederland is in if the Bulldogs win out and the Lions either go 1-1 or 0-2 to finish the year.

The final scenario is where points come into play.

If Nederland and Livingston both go 1-1 and Central wins out, all three will be 4-4.

District rules outline that in a three-way tie for a playoff spot, the point differential between those three schools is what determines the final playoff team.

At this time, Nederland has a plus-6 scoring difference after its 1-0 loss to Livingston and its 28-21 victory over Central. Livingston is plus-1 and Central is plus-7 heading into Friday’s crucial game between the Jaguars and Lions.

Central must beat Livingston by 14 or more to flip the tables and get to a plus-7 mark to reach the playoffs.

So for our Bulldogs’ fans here is a simple way to look at it: The Bulldogs want to beat the Raiders and have the Jaguars barely beat the Lions.

Sounds so simple right?

One last part of it all is that Memorial is in the playoffs as a Division I school. Nederland and Central will go in as Division I if either the Bulldogs or Jaguars get in.

PNG would be Division I if Livingston grabs the last spot. Division II teams would then be Vidor and Livingston.

Vidor is set as a Division II playoff team, no matter who else gets in.

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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