Playoff spot on the line

Published 3:26 am Friday, October 22, 2010

It’s the final game of the regular season for our area football teams and only one squad still has a chance to earn a post season bid.

The Dowagiac Chieftains must find a way to defeat 7-1 Paw Paw tonight at Chris Taylor-Alumni Field if it wants to extend its playoff streak to six seasons.

In order for the Chieftains to pull off the victory, they are going to need to play this game with some urgency that has been missing much of this season. Dowagiac has been a slow starter for nearly the entire year, but it can still afford to do that again tonight.

If the Chieftains can come out and take it to Paw Paw from the start, I see them pulling out a 24-21 victory over the Redskins. If they don’t, on Tuesday the team will pack up its equipment and begin planning for the 2011 season.

River Valley at Brandywine

The Bobcats will be looking for their first winning season since 2002.

Brandywine was 5-4 that season too, which is exactly what they will end up following tonight’s 42-6 victory over the Mustangs.

White Pigeon at Cassopolis

The Chiefs were defeated by Edwardsburg 49-0. The Eddies defeated the Rangers 21-0.

So what does that mean for tonight? I think it means that Cassopolis will head into the post season with a full head of steam and a 35-14 victory over White Pigeon.

Now the only question remains is whether or not a 7-2 record will be good enough to give the Rangers a home game in the opening round when the playoff pairings are announced Sunday night at 7 on Fox Sports Detroit.

Saginaw Nouvel at Edwardsburg

The Eddies will be facing a Nouvel team that comes into the game with a 6-2 record. The Panthers have beaten a pair of teams from Ontario this season as well as a pair of Flint schools.

The Panthers are flying high following a 50-8 win over Flint Northwestern last week, but they haven’t seen a defense like the Eddies this season.

Because of that reason, I am going with Edwardsburg in a 28-14 victory.

Niles at Loy Norrix

The dreams of having a winning season for the first time since 2003 went out the window last week when Benton Harbor upset the Vikings for its first victory of the season.

The Knights are just 1-7 on the season with their lone victory coming against Benton Harbor 24-20 in the third week of the season. Of their other common opponents – St. Joseph, Portage Central, Mattawan, Lakeshore and Portage Northern – Loy Norrix has been outscored 267-81.

The Vikings scored 70 points against those same schools. If Niles cannot find some offensive consistency it runs the chance of ending the season with a four-game losing streak.

But if the Vikings can put some points on the board and help out its defense, which has played pretty well most of the season, then Niles will come away with a victory.

Unfortunately, I think the Vikings will still be thinking about last week’s loss and will come up just short against the Knights, falling 20-18.

Scott Novak is sports editor of Leader Publications. He can be reached at