Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teams Chasing Shot at Playoffs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teams Chasing Shot at Playoffs

Article excerpt

Byline: Chase Goodbread, Times-Union sports writer

Tonight around 11, some area high school football coaches will be breaking their routines.

Instead of watching tape from their games, storing equipment or meeting with assistants, they'll be on the phone in search of scores around the state because a postseason berth may depend on them.

Playoffs begin next week, and wild-card berths are awarded to the teams with the top two overall records per region that haven't qualified as a district champion or a runner-up. Each region includes three districts. When schools are tied for a wild-card spot and have not faced each other, the next tiebreaker is a strength-of-schedule measurement, by which each team receives a point for each victory by its opponents.

Mandarin and Baldwin are two schools that may be subjected to that tiebreaker procedure and that means score-chasing could be in store for Mustangs coach Richard Burnoski and Baldwin coach Doyle Hammock.

One coach who doesn't have to worry about other scores is Gil Carroll. The first-year Jackson coach must only worry about his own: If Jackson defeats Fletcher tonight for its fifth win in a row, Carroll's Tigers are in the playoffs as a wild card. If not, Jackson's season is over.

"Fletcher is better than we are," Carroll said. "So we'll have to play as well as we can play to have a chance. After we lost to Ribault, we told the kids they would have to win every remaining game to make the playoffs. That was a month ago and we've won them all since then, but this last one may be the toughest."

Bartram Trail and Forrest have secured wild-card spots in Region 2-3A and Region 1-5A, respectively.

In 6A, Mandarin (5-4) needs a win against Wolfson and losses by Lake Brantley and Orlando Dr. Phillips in order to force the tiebreaker process with Dr. Phillips (6-3). Entering play tonight, the Mustangs hold an edge in that tiebreaker, 47-42. …

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