December 20, 2014

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Taking a look at area teams’ playoff chances

Four Lorain County high school football teams control their postseason destiny tonight, while four others are still alive for playoff spots.

The closest thing to a lock is Avon in Division II, Region 6. The Eagles can win to guarantee a spot, and don’t need much even if they stumble. According to R. Drew Pasteur — the Assistant Professor of Mathematics at The College of Wooster, who runs a simulation algorithm on Fantastic50.net — Avon has already locked up a playoff berth.

“With an expected win over North Ridgeville, they would probably be the No. 4 or No. 5 seed,” Pasteur said. “A loss by either Mansfield or Westlake would likely give the Eagles a home game, although Perrysburg could still get into that picture with help. Chances are good that Avon will face either Westlake or Perrysburg next week.”

The other three teams that will be in if they win are Avon Lake, Clearview and Columbia, while Elyria, Midview, Black River and Elyria Catholic are all still mathematically alive according to JoeEitel.com.

The Shoremen are in great shape — “Avon Lake is in with a win, and almost a lock even with a loss,” said Joe Eitel, whose website offers playoff statuses of Ohio’s 24 regions — but they’d like to beat Amherst tonight and not have to worry about regular-season mistakes.

“We screwed up against Massillon Jackson, a game we should have won, and we screwed up against Westlake,” Avon Lake coach Dave Dlugosz said. “We usually just focus on winning the (Southwestern) conference championship. If we do that, normally the playoffs take care of themselves … although that wasn’t the case last year as we won the conference but finished in ninth place.”

Pasteur predicts Avon Lake will be the No. 7 seed in Division I, Region 2, and said the Shoremen still have a 95 percent chance to make the playoffs even with a loss to the Comets. He also said the Clippers and Raiders can still make the playoffs with a loss, which is good since the teams play each other tonight.

“If the Clippers win, they will start the Region 14 playoffs on the road, perhaps at Genoa or Columbus Bishop Hartley, while Columbia would have only a roughly one-in-four shot at a berth,” Pasteur said. “If the Raiders get the victory, they might well start at home in Region 18, perhaps against Findlay Liberty-Benton in the No. 4/5 game, while Clearview would have a 50/50 shot at continuing their season.”

Making things even more intense, the Raiders lead the Clippers by one point in the Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division, meaning the winner of the game also locks up the outright division title.

“Not too often a Week 10 game aligns so that you have everything on the line,” Clearview coach Mike Collier said. “We told the kids that this doesn’t happen a whole lot. They are focused and they know what’s at stake.

“Win or lose, we’ll be looking at (playoff) scenarios almost immediately after the game.”

Midview is also in a position to make the playoffs no matter the outcome of tonight’s game with Bay, but coach Bill Albright would like to not leave anything to chance.

“One website says we have control of our destiny and it doesn’t say that on (JoeEitel.com) … we just need to win,” he said. “We’re focused on Bay. We told the kids early this week, ‘You even bring up the P-word, you’re going to be running. I don’t want to hear it out here.’

“I like the enthusiasm, but we still have some business to take care of.”

Elyria will need a win over Mayfield tonight to put itself in serious contention for a Division I, Region 2 spot.

“Losses by other Region 2 contenders, particularly Hudson and Green, would help Elyria’s cause,” Pasteur said. “Also beneficial would be wins by teams Elyria already defeated, such as Valley Forge and Elyria Catholic. If they do make the playoffs, it would likely be as the No. 8 seed, probably leading to a trip to Massillon or Toledo Whitmer, if either wins this week.”

The Pirates and Panthers need a lot of help to earn playoff spots.

“Elyria Catholic, there seems to be a possible scenario, but its likelihood is very slim,” said Eitel, who uses the same points system on his website that the state uses to determine the playoff brackets. “They would need max second level help to even be in the mix, and even that may not be enough to make up the deficit they are currently facing. They would need a few upsets just to hit second level max — wins by North Ridgeville, Vermilion and Bay.”

Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or sbennett@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

WHAT THEY NEED TO GET IN …

Avon Lake — IF THEY WIN the Shoremen are in the playoffs. IF THEY LOSE the Shoremen are in with losses by Elyria and Green OR wins by Avon, Lorain and Brecksville.

Elyria — IF THEY WIN the Pioneers will need one of two teams ahead of them — North Canton Hoover or Hudson — to lose. If Hudson loses, they need two wins from the group of Amherst, Elyria Catholic, Strongsville, Valley Forge and Hudson. If Hoover loses, they need wins from the whole group. IF THEY LOSE the Pioneers would need losses by Hudson and Green. Wins by the group of five would be needed in combination with Level 2 losses from Hudson.

Avon — IF THEY WIN the Eagles are in the playoffs. IF THEY LOSE the Eagles are in with a loss by Norwalk OR a win by Wellington, Lorain, Elyria Catholic or Bay.

Midview — IF THEY WIN the Middies will need a loss by Norwalk OR a win by Lorain, Amherst, Elyria, North Ridgeville or Elyria Catholic. IF THEY LOSE the Middies will need two losses from the group of Mansfield Madison, Medina Highland and Norwalk OR four wins from the group of Lorain, Amherst, Elyria, North Ridgeville and Elyria Catholic.

Clearview — IF THEY WIN the Clippers are in the playoffs. IF THEY LOSE the Clippers will need Kenton or Oak Harbor to lose. Wins by Vermilion, John Marshall and Keystone combined with Level 2 losses by Upper Sandusky, Huron, Ontario and Pemberville Eastwood should also score the Clippers a spot.

Elyria Catholic — IF THEY WIN the Panthers will need three losses from the group of Clearview, Kenton, Oak Harbor and Pemberville Eastwood. They will also need a favorable combination of wins from Huron, Centerburg, Bay, Vermilion and North Ridgeville and Level 2 losses from the first group of four as well as Upper Sandusky, Huron and Ontario to grab a spot. IF THEY LOSE the Panthers are eliminated.

Columbia — IF THEY WIN the Raiders are in the playoffs. IF THEY LOSE the Raiders can clinch with losses by Carey, Wayne Trace, Spencerville and Seneca East. Wins by South Central and Chippewa combined with Level 2 losses by Western Reserve, Liberty Center and the above group could also earn them a spot.

• The above scenarios are for teams to lock up a playoff spot if the teams they are competing for a spot with finish with maximum averages. Losses by those teams, or lower Level 2 points can also help the above teams earn playoff berths.