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Crunch Time as Playoff Race Heats Up

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Preview Week 7

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – After this week there will be only four weeks left in the regular season. Some teams will need to win out to reach the postseason while others will all but assure themselves of a playoff berth with a win this week.

Grapeland Sandies (3-3, 0-1) vs. Groveton Indians (0-5, 0-1) – The Grapeland Sandies are in a near, must-win situation. A loss this week, with Centerville, Leon and Normangee on the horizon would hurt the Sandies chances for the playoffs.

Grapeland has been in all three of their losses and some might say if not for mistakes, penalties and turnovers, the Sandies could be 6-0. They’re not and Grapeland needs to improve on its execution.

Fortunately, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, they have the Groveton Indians this week. As tough as the Indians normally are, this year – to put it mildly – they are rebuilding. Groveton sits at 0-5 and their smallest margin of defeat has been 21 points.

Look for the Sandies to get well against the Indians as it should be a relatively easy game for Grapeland.

Lovelady Lions (3-2, 0-1) vs. Colmesneil Bulldogs (4-1, 1-1) – The Lovelady Lions will hit the road this week after a bye as they travel to Colmesneil to take on the Bulldogs.

The Lions last game against Tenaha did not go so well and the Tigers continued their stampede through District 11-2A DII with a 55-8 win over Colmesneil, while Lovelady was off.

The Bulldogs are much improved from last year’s team but still have a way to go if they hope to compete for a slot in the playoffs.

If the Lions can establish their run game early, the Bulldogs will be in for a long night. Look for Lovelady to win big in this one.

Westwood Panthers (2-3, 1-0) vs. Crockett Bulldogs (3-3, 2-0) – The math is simple.If the Bulldogs win, they will clinch a playoff spot. After a slow start to open the season, Crockett has racked up wins over Elkhart and Huntington to sit in a tie for first place in District 9-3A DI.

The Panthers are coming off of a bye week following their convincing win over Elkhart. Westwood has been on the brink of turning its football program around for several years now and a win in Crockett would go a long way towards changing the culture in the Panthers’ fieldhouse.

The game should be close but the Homecoming crowd in Crockett should go home happy as the Bulldogs win this one by a touchdown.

Elkhart Elks (3-3, 0-2) vs. Diboll Lumberjacks (3-3, 2-0) – The Elkhart Elks are looking to save their season on Friday night as they travel to Diboll to take on the Lumberjacks.

Elkhart started out strong as they opened the year 3-0 but since then they have dropped three in a row. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be four in a row. This is a must win game for the Elks if they want to make the playoffs.

Palestine Wildcats (2-4, 0-2) vs. Chapel Hill Bulldogs (5-1, 1-1) – The Wildcats are also in a must-win situation if they hope to reach the playoffs.

The Wildcats travel to Chapel Hill on Friday to take on a very good Bulldogs team. The Wildcats will need to open things up if they hope to win but don’t expect it to happen this week.

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

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