District 11 football playoff picture remains up in the air
If you thought the District 11 football playoffs were going to be a bit clearer heading into week 10, think again.
While the 1A and 2A scenarios seem to be a bit more cut and dry, 3A and 4A have plenty of narratives heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
Here what’s we know in each of the four classifications.
Wyoming Valley West (9-0), Parkland (8-1), Freedom (8-1) and Liberty (7-2) have clinched four of the eight spots. That leaves three spots available to District 11 teams and one spot available to a District 2 counterpart. Currently, Easton (6-3), Stroudsburg (7-2), Delaware Valley (6-3) and Nazareth (5-4) round out the bottom four, but that could change this week.
A Del Val victory over Wallenpaupack should secure them a berth in the playoffs, which leaves it down to the other three teams--Easton, Stroudsburg and Nazareth-- from District 11.
To make matters simple, if Easton beats Nazareth this week and Stroudsburg knocks off Pleasant Valley (6-3), both of those teams will clinch. A scenario where Nazareth and Pleasant Valley find their way to victory, could knock Easton or Stroudsburg out of the tournament. Nazareth can still lose and hold on to the eighth spot because of their potential for bonus points this weekend. Emmaus (5-4) is a wildcard too, as a win over Parkland would be half the battle. The Green Hornets would still need Pleasant Valley and Nazareth to lose to sneak in.
As you can see, a lot of variables on the table here.
The only team that has clinched so far in 3A is Bethlehem Catholic (8-1). The Hawks play Central Catholic (5-4) on Saturday, as the Vikings currently are ranked fifth. The Vikes need to win in order to jump into the top four to clinch a berth. Saucon Valley (9-0), Lehighton (9-0) and Blue Mountain (8-1) round out the order in between both catholic schools.
Victories by the top four teams would clinch all the aforementioned teams, outside of Central Catholic.
Lehighton and Jim Thorpe (8-1) play this week, which makes things interesting as well. The Olympians are currently in sixth place and hope that Central Catholic and Blue Mountain (who play Schuylkill Haven) both lose, so they can jump into the top four.
It gets a bit simpler here as Notre Dame-Green Pond (8-1) and Northwestern (7-2) have both clinched. That leaves two spots up for grabs with Salisbury (6-3) and North Schuylkill (5-4) leading the charge at the moment. Salisbury, even with a loss to Southern Lehigh this week, looks like they have all but clinched a berth. North Schuylkill takes on Panther Valley (2-7) this week and shouldn’t have a problem winning that to clinch as well.
The only other team in 2A that has a chance is Northern Lehigh (4-5), who need to beat Palmerton and see North Schuylkill and Palisades (5-4) lose. Even in that scenario, the point margin for the Bulldogs to get in would be very close.
Tri-Valley (8-1) and Marian Catholic (6-3) both have clinched. Mahanoy Area (5-4) and Williams Valley (5-4) currently hold the final two spots. Both teams clinch with wins. Schuylkill Haven (5-4) is fifth, but has an uphill battle even if they beat Blue Mountain this week, as they would need Mahanoy Area to lose as well to make it close.