Posted: 5:31 am Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Playoff scenarios for every area football team 

By Jason Lieser

Because of this year’s extremely unbalanced districts — for example: Pahokee has six district games; Dwyer has two — some playoff scenarios are clearer than others at this point in the season.

Even though we’re already in Week 8 (out of 11), some districts remain completely unsettled and could stay that way for another two weeks. All regular-season district play concludes in Week 10.

Of course, we still have the possibility of some wild Monday-night, three-way tie-breakers, so I’ve written a short refresher on that procedure at the bottom of this entry. We avoided that situation last year, which was nice, but the area did have Monday Night Football in 2007.

The Florida High School Athletic Association’s tie-breaker event is a terrible idea and most coaches dread it. A team that gets into one of those is basically forced to play three games in eight days. Not ideal.

The following teams have secured playoff bids: West Boca Raton.

The following have been eliminated: Cardinal Newman, Inlet Grove, Pope John Paul II. Inlet Grove had made two straight post-season appearances.

The following teams do not play in a district and are ineligible: Boca Raton Christian, Village Academy.

Here are the standings and playoff scenarios for every district in our area:



Vero Beach, 2-0
Treasure Coast, 2-0
Centennial, 0-1
Jupiter, 0-1
Palm Beach Gardens, 0-2

The latest: This one remains unsettled, but Vero Beach and Treasure Coast are in control of their own outcomes. They play each other Oct. 30 at Vero Beach in a game that should determine the district champion and runner-up.

Vero Beach can eliminate Centennial and clinch a playoff berth with a win Friday. Jupiter remains eligible but likely needs to win its last three (Friday vs. Palm Beach Gardens, Week 9 vs. Centennial, Week 10 vs. Treasure Coast) to make the playoffs.

Palm Beach Gardens is on the brink of elimination but still has a small hope. All of this has to happen for the Gators to force a three-way tie for second place: They beat Jupiter and Centennial; Treasure Coast loses to Jupiter and Vero Beach; Jupiter beats Centennial. That sequence would result in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and Treasure Coast all finishing 2-2 and being 1-1 against the teams tangled in the tie.



Atlantic, 1-0
Boca Raton, 1-0
Park Vista , 1-1
Seminole Ridge, 1-1
Palm Beach Central, 0-2

The latest: Atlantic and Boca Raton, who play each other next Friday, are the frontrunners at this point. Park Vista is behind but still has a shot and can do it without any outside help. If the Cobras beat Seminole Ridge next week and Boca Raton the following week, they will make the playoffs.

If Boca Raton and Atlantic both win this week, Palm Beach Central is eliminated and Seminole Ridge’s chances are drastically diminished. If the Hawks lose tonight, they would need the following equation to force a three-way tie for second place: Seminole Ridge beats Park Vista, Boca Raton loses to Park Vista and Atlantic. That would put the Hawks, Cobras and Bobcats at 2-2 with each being 1-1 against the other teams in the tie.



Melbourne, 1-0
Bayside, 0-0
Port St. Lucie, 0-1

The latest: Bayside can eliminate Port St. Lucie with a win this week.

If Port St. Lucie wins, it would finish as district runner up if Melbourne beats Bayside in Week 10. If all three teams finish 1-1, there would be a three-way playoff Nov. 16.



Royal Palm Beach, 1-0
Santaluces, 1-0
Lake Worth, 0-1
John I. Leonard, 0-1

The latest: If Royal Palm Beach beats John I. Leonard and Santaluces beats Lake Worth, that combination would clinch playoff spots for the Wildcats and Chiefs, thus eliminating John I. Leonard and Lake Worth.

If Lake Worth or John I. Leonard wins its last two games (they play in Week 10), it would secure a post-season berth.

Royal Palm Beach hosts Santaluces in Week 10 in a possible district championship game.



West Boca Raton, 2-0
Wellington, 0-1
Spanish River, 0-1

The latest: West Boca Raton wrapped up the district championship by virtue of wins over the other two teams. The winner of next week’s game between Wellington and Spanish River is the runner-up.

West Boca Raton will host a first-round playoff game against the runner-up of District 14-4A.



South Fork, 1-0
Fort Pierce Central, 1-0
Martin County, 0-1
Sebastian River, 0-1

The latest: If South Fork beats Sebastian River and Fort Pierce Central beats Martin County this week, the Bulldogs and Cobras clinch playoff berths. They would play each other for the district title in Week 10.



Dwyer, 1-0
Okeechobee, 0-0
Palm Beach Lakes, 0-1

The latest: Dwyer would take the district championship with a victory over Okeechobee on Friday. If that occurs, the winner of the Week 10 Okeechobee vs. Palm Beach Lakes game is the runner-up and qualifies for the playoffs.

If the Panthers win Friday, they host a first-round post-season game against the runner up from District 16-4A



Stranahan , 1-0
Hollywood Hills, 0-0
Forest Hill, 0-1

The latest: Stranahan can clinch the district title with a win over Hollywood Hills this week. If that occurs, Hollywood Hills faces Forest Hill in Week 10 to determine the runner-up.

If Hollywood Hills wins this week, it can take the district by beating Forest Hill in Week 10. If that occurs, Stranahan is the district runner-up.



Merritt Island, 2-0
Jensen Beach, 1-0
Fort Pierce Westwood, 1-1
Eau Gallie, 0-1
Titusville, 0-2

The latest: Merritt Island has the inside track and already has a win against one its the main threats, Fort Pierce Westwood. If Merritt Island wins its last two district games to finish undefeated, that would likely cede the runner-up slot to the winner of next week’s game between Jensen Beach and Fort Pierce Westwood, but those are hypotheticals and this district remains very unsettled. Jensen Beach still gets a shot at Merritt Island in Week 10. Titusville would be eliminated with a loss to Merritt Island on Friday.



Pembroke Pines Charter, 2-0
Archbishop McCarthy, 1-0
Olympic Heights, 1-1
Fort Lauderdale, 0-1
Hallandale, 0-2

The latest: Pembroke Pines Charter can clinch a playoff berth by beating Archbishop McCarthy tonight. If Archbishop McCarthy loses that game but wins its final two against Fort Lauderdale and Hallandale, it grabs the other post-season spot.

Olympic Heights already has a loss to Archbishop McCarthy, which puts the Lions in an unfavorable position, but they do control their own destiny to an extent. If the Lions win their last two district games against Pembroke Pines Charter and Fort Lauderdale, they are in the playoffs regardless of what anyone else does.



Boynton Beach, 1-0
Glades Central, 0-0
Suncoast, 0-1

The latest: Boynton Beach clinches the district title if it wins at Glades Central this week. That scenario would mean the winner of the Week 10 Glades Central vs. Suncoast game gets the runner-up slot.

More realistically, Glades Central sweeps this district with ease and Boynton Beach gets in the post-season via its win over Suncoast two weeks ago.

If the Raiders win their district, they will open the playoffs at home against the runner-up of District 8-2A.



Cardinal Gibbons, 1-0
Plantation-American Heritage, 1-0
St. Andrew’s, 0-1
Pompano Beach, 0-1

The latest: If Cardinal Gibbons and Plantation-American Heritage both win this week, that combination guarantees them each a playoff spot and eliminates St. Andrew’s and Pompano Beach.

If the Scots beat Cardinal Gibbons on Friday, they would clinch a playoff berth next week with a win over Plantation-American Heritage.



Dunbar, 2-0
Clewiston, 2-0
Lake Placid, 1-1
Island Coast, 1-1
LaBelle, 0-2
Gateway Charter, 0-2

The latest: The bigger the district, the longer it takes to sort out the playoff picture.

If Dunbar (vs. Island Coast) and Clewiston (vs. Lake Placid) both win this week, the teams they defeat are eliminated from post-season contention. The Tigers host Dunbar in Week 10 in what could determine the district championship.



Pahokee, 4-0
Pine Crest, 3-1
University, 3-1
North Broward Prep, 2-1
Cardinal Newman, 0-3
Coral Springs Charter, 0-3
Inlet Grove, 0-3

The latest: Pahokee can clinch a playoff spot with a win this week against Pine Crest. The worst the Blue Devils could finish then would be 5-1 and the only team that could top them would be University. Pahokee visits University in Week 10.

North Broward Prep has the best shot at the runner-up slot because it already has beaten Pine Crest and University.

Cardinal Newman, Coral Springs Charter and Inlet Grove have been eliminated from contention.

If Pahokee wins the district, the Blue Devils will host a first-round playoff game against the runner-up of District 8-2B. Pahokee likely would draw Gulliver Prep or Miami-Pace.



Melbourne Central Catholic, 5-0
Crescent City, 3-1
Holy Trinity Episcopal, 3-1
John Carroll, 2-2
Trinity Prep, 2-3
Father Lopez, 0-4
First Academy, 0-4

The latest: Melbourne Central Catholic has clinched one of the district’s two playoff spots and can take the district crown by beating Holy Trinity Episcopal this week. If Melbourne Central Catholic wins, Crescent City can eliminate Holy Trinity Episcopal by beating Father Lopez this week.

If John Carroll wins its last two games (vs. Crescent City and First Academy), it will take the runner-up slot. The Rams would then finish 4-2 and the only teams that could match that would be teams John Carroll has beaten. The Rams already have a win over Holy Trinity Episcopal.

Father Lopez and First Academy are eliminated from contention.



American Heritage, 3-0
Calvary Christian, 3-0
Benjamin, 2-1
King’s Academy, 1-2
Pope John Paul II, 0-3
Westminster Academy, 0-3

The latest: American Heritage and Calvary Christian meet in Delray Beach in Week 10. That game should decide the district champion, with the loser taking the runner-up slot.

Benjamin and King’s Academy each has a shot at at displacing one of those schools. If the Buccaneers upset Calvary Christian this week, they would move into second place. Benjamin would then win the district outright by beating American Heritage next week.

If the Buccaneers beat Calvary Christian then lose to American Heritage, they would need the Stallions to beat Calvary Christian in Week 10.

If the Buccaneers beat Calvary Christian then lose to American Heritage, they would be eliminated if Calvary Christian beats the Stallions in Week 10. Under that scenario, American Heritage and Calvary Christian would each finish 4-1 and Benjamin would be 3-2.

King’s Academy has to win its last two games (vs. Pope John Paul II and Westminster Academy) and get help to force a three-way tie for second place. The Lions need Benjamin to beat Calvary Christian, American Heritage to beat Benjamin and American Heritage to beat Calvary Christian. If that happens, Calvary Christian, Benjamin and King’s Academy would all be 3-2 and each would be 1-1 against the other two.

Pope John Paul II and Westminster Academy are eliminated.



Jupiter Christian, 2-0
Glades Day, 1-1
Summit Christian, 1-1
Berean Christian, 1-1
Zion Lutheran, 0-2

The latest: Jupiter Christian clinches the district with a victory over Summit Christian this week. That win would make the Eagles 3-0, meaning their worst possible finish would be 3-1. The only other teams that could finish 3-1 at that point would be teams the Eagles already had beaten.

It would take a stunning meltdown to bar Glades Day from the No. 2 spot. If the Gators beat Berean Christian this week, that team is eliminated. A combination of Jupiter Christian and Glades Day wins this week would eliminate Summit Christian as well. At that point, the only team that could overtake Glades Day for the runner-up slot would be last-place Zion Lutheran. Zion Lutheran would then have to beat both Jupiter Christian and Glades Day over the next two weeks to supplant the Gators for the runner-up position.

If Jupiter Christian wins the district, the Eagles will “host” a first-round game against the runner-up of District 8-1B. If Glades Day wins, it travels to face the District 8-1B winner. A potential second-round rematch between the Gators and Eagles would be a home game for Jupiter Christian. The Eagles beat Glades Day 28-21 earlier this season.

Miami-McArthur North currently leads District 8-1B with three teams tied for second place.


In the event of two teams being tied for any playoff spot (district winner or runner-up), the tie is awarded to whichever team beat the other in the regular season.

If three or more teams tie for a playoff spot, regular season head-to-head is the first tie-breaker, if possible. If Teams A, B and C are tied, but Team A beat both B and C, the tie is awarded to Team A. If that gives Team A the championship, but leaves B and C tied for second, the winner of the regular season game between B and C gets the runner-up slot.

If the above scenario was a tie for 2nd place, Team A would be the wild card and advance to the playoffs.

In the case of a three-way tie, however, the teams often are 1-1 against the other two. That would send the three tied teams into a Monday night tiebreaker, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., prior to the final regular season game.

In a three-way Monday nighter, the teams are seeded 1-3, with the No. 1 seed hosting the event. First, they are seeded according to their overall regular-season winning percentage (all games, district and non). If ties remain after that, they are broken by head-to-head regular season results. If ties still exist, a random draw is used.

The teams seeded second and third will play one quarter, 12 minutes, with two timeouts each. If teams are tied at the end of the first quarter, the 10-Yard Line Overtime Tie-Breaker Plan takes effect.

If three teams are tied for the district championship: Seed No. 2 plays No. 3. The winner faces No. 1.

If No. 1 wins that game, it is district champion and first-round winner is runner-up. If the first-round winner beats No. 1, then it becomes district champion, and No. 1 must play the first-round loser for the runner-up slot.

If three teams are tied for the district runner-up: Seed No. 2 plays No. 3. The winner faces No. 1 for the runner-up playoff spot.