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Week 11 Preview

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Battles for Playoff Seeding

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – It’s the final week of the regular season and the playoff picture is still not completely set. This is what we know. Grapeland, Crockett and Lovelady are all in while Elkhart needs some help.

Grapeland Sandies (8-2, 5-0) – BYE

The Sandies punched their ticket to the postseason weeks ago and capped off the regular season with a 35-0 demolition of the West Hardin Oilers. The win gives the Sandies their second consecutive District 12-2A DII Championship and extends their undefeated streak in district play to 10 games.

Grapeland is off this week and will be preparing for their first round playoff game against the number four seed from District 11-2A DII, most likely the Frost Polar Bears.    

Franklin Lions (6-2, 4-1) vs. Crockett Bulldogs (7-2, 4-1) 

This should be an interesting matchup. Both teams are already in the playoffs and the winner of this game will go into the postseason as the second seed from District 11-3A DI.

The Bulldogs will have the home field advantage and that may go a long way in determining the outcome of this game. The Lions had the Bulldogs number last year but lost a lot to graduation.

Crockett has the speed to run with anyone. If they can bust a big play or two early, look for the momentum to stay on the Bulldog sideline.

Evadale Rebels (5-3, 3-1) vs. Lovelady Lions (4-4, 3-1)

This is another game that will decide who goes into the playoffs as the number two seed.

Hopes were high for the Rebels as the season began thanks in large part to running back Will Farr. He will be a threat against the Lions, but Lovelady has the size to clog up the middle. It will be up to the edge defenders to keep Farr contained.

While Farr got a lot of preseason hype and was touted as a preseason All-State running back, he may be only the third best back in the district behind Grapeland’s Cadarian Wiley and Lovelady’s Josh Martinez.

Martinez has bulled his way into the conversation for District MVP and will likely have his way against the Rebels.

The game is in Lovelady which should help out the Lions tremendously. In the end, however, it’s going to come down to who wants the game more. 

Elkhart Elks (5-5, 2-4) – BYE

The Elkhart regular season is over and simply put, the Elks need a miracle to make the playoffs. Technically, they’re still in it but they need help from cross-county rival Westwood. With their heartbreaking loss to the Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans, the Elks must now rely on the Panthers to defeat the Trojans.

If Westwood wins in their season finale, it would mean the Elks, Panthers and Trojans are all 2-4 in District 11-3A DI. If the Trojans win, which is highly probable, the Elks will be home for the postseason.

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