By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – Playoffs? Are you kidding me? It seems like just last week the players were starting two a days – and now – here we are, two weeks before the end of the regular season.

Several of the area teams have already locked up a postseason berth and the next two weeks will determine what seed they are when the playoffs start. On the flip side of that coin, a few of the teams are needing to win their remaining two games to clinch an invite to the party.

At the Class 4A level, the Palestine Wildcats defeated the Chapel Hill Bulldogs by a score of 34-9. The win kept the Wildcats tied for the fourth and final playoff spot out of District 9-4A with the Carthage Bulldogs. Palestine will travel to Carthage on Friday, Oct. 28 with the winner more than likely sneaking into the playoffs.

Moving to the Class 3A level, the Crockett Bulldogs hammered the Frankston Indians by a final score of 49-0. With the win, the Dawgs’ District 10-3A DII record moves to 2-1. They are currently tied with the Garrison Bulldogs for second place in the district. Crockett and Garrison square off in Garrison this Friday.

Frankston will host Corrigan this Friday and the winner will more than likely slip into the playoffs as the fourth seed out of the district.

In District 9-3A DI, the Elkhart Elks are a game ahead of the Groesbeck Goats for the fourth seed from the district. They are tied with the West Trojans for third with a 3-2 district record, but sit in fourth place because of their 23-16 loss to the Trojans earlier this season.

The Westwood Panthers started out strong this year, but injuries and the lack of a passing attack doomed the Panthers hopes of a return trip to the playoffs in 2016. The Panthers are 0-5 in district play after their 36-20 loss to Eustace and have been eliminated from the playoff race.

At the Class 2A level, the Grapeland Sandies were blanked by the highly ranked Tenaha Tigers on Saturday and now have a 0-3 record in District 11-2A DII. The Sandies take on the Wortham Bulldogs in the first of two must win games. Grapeland hosts Wortham this week and closes out the season on the road against Mt. Enterprise. The Sandies will need to win their last two games of the season to have any shot of seeing the playoffs.

This time last week the Lovelady Lions were ranked at number six in the state and appeared ready to lock up the District 12-2A DI championship. Unfortunately, this past Friday, the Lions lost to the Centerville Tigers by a final score of 29-21. The loss knocked Lovelady from the ranks of the unbeaten and sets up a showdown between the Lions and Groveton Indians in the regular season finale, provided the Indians take down the Tigers. If the Lions win as expected this week against West Hardin, and Groveton beats Centerville, the Lions, Indians and Tigers would all be tied at the top.

The Trinity Tigers beat the Warren Warriors on Friday by a score of 33-0. They are currently in fifth place in District 11-3A DI and will need some help to make the playoffs.

Other area teams likely to make the playoffs include the Madisonville Mustangs who will likely go into the playoffs as the number three seed out of District 11-4A DII. The Oakwood Panthers from District 15-1A and the Cayuga Wildcats from District 10-2A DI, will both likely enter the playoffs as second seeds. All three teams won last Friday night.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.