FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Do or die for playoff hopes

Published 10:36 pm Thursday, October 18, 2012

Several local football teams will have a lot on the line Friday.

Week 8 games are also the next-to-last regular season region contests for teams in the state, so the playoff picture is becoming clear.

Teams that have clinched playoff spots are now positioning for the best possible seed. The top four teams in each region earn playoff berths, and the top two teams have home field advantage in the first round.

Other teams are still looking for the win that guarantees their season will extend past Nov. 2, the last day of regular season games.

Below is a breakdown of each local team’s situation:

•Chilton County High School: The Tigers have clinched a playoff berth. A win Friday over John Carroll would clinch the No. 2 position in Class 5A, Region 4 and homefield advantage in the first round of the state playoffs.

•Jemison has also clinched a playoff spot, but the Panthers could wind up anywhere from first place in Class 4A, Region 4 to last place. JHS hosts region leader Dora on Friday and then the second-place team, Calera, on Oct. 26.

•Maplesville has clinched a playoff berth and homefield advantage in the first round. The Red Devils could claim the Class 1A, Region 3 championship with a win over unbeaten Keith next week. They host Holy Spirit this week.

•Billingsley could be the second local team to emerge from Region 3. BHS controls its own destiny in terms of a playoff spot. The Bears need to win both of their remaining region games—at home against Akron on Friday and at Holy Spirit next week—to secure a postseason berth.

•Verbena still has an outside shot at a playoff berth, but the Red Devils would have to win both of their remaining region games—against St. Jude on Friday and at Winterboro next week—and then receive some help via losses by other teams that are ahead of the Devils in the Class 1A, Region 4 standings.

•Isabella and Thorsby have been eliminated from postseason contention. IHS hosts Reeltown this week, and Thorsby visits Montevallo.

Who will win?

Picks: Chilton Co., Dora, Maplesville, Billingsley, St. Jude, Reeltown, Montevallo

Picks record: 30-15