Deboard High Schools: Playoff berths up for grabs in local leagues

November 6, 2008 

With two weeks remaining in the high school football season, the playoff races are at a fever pitch.

Let's take a good look at each league, the number of playoff berths it receives, and who has the best chance at going on to the postseason:

MODESTO METRO CONFERENCE

Playoff berths: Two

Driver's seat: Johansen (3-0).

Still alive: Downey and Enochs (both 2-1), Davis and Modesto (both 1-2).

Outlook: With one victory, Johansen clinches a playoff berth. A win over Downey in Week 10 seals a home game for the Vikings. Enochs is in the best shape of the remaining teams; if the Eagles win out, they're in. Downey needs to win out with an Enochs loss. Davis needs to win out, have Modesto win out and have Johansen beat Downey in Week 10. Modesto needs a little more help than that.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA CONFERENCE

Playoff berths: Two

Driver's seat: Merced (4-0).

Still alive: Turlock and Pitman (both 3-1), Atwater and Los Banos (both 2-2).

Outlook: Merced clinches a playoff berth with one more win. The Bears play Turlock and Pitman, so the race for that second spot is really wild should Merced win out. If Los Banos, Turlock and Pitman end up tied for second at 4-2, Los Banos would advance due to the Sac-Joaquin Section tiebreaker system. Atwater is in the mix should it defeat Los Banos and Turlock.

VALLEY OAK LEAGUE

Playoff berths: Two

Driver's seat: Sierra and Oakdale (both 5-0).

Still alive: Sonora and Manteca (both 3-2).

Outlook: Sierra has clinched a playoff berth. The winner of Oakdale-Sierra on Friday will decide the No. 1 seed. Oakdale is one win or a Sonora loss from clinching -- the teams play each other in Week 10. Sonora needs Sierra to beat Oakdale and needs to win out. Manteca needs to win out, needs Sonora to win out and needs Oakdale to lose out. The Buffaloes also need Sonora to beat Oakdale by at least 13 points, and each team needs to score at least 13 points. Under that scenario, there would be a three-way tie and coin flip for the second playoff berth.

TRANS-VALLEY LEAGUE

Playoff berths: Two

Driver's seat: Escalon and Modesto Christian (both 3-0).

Still alive: Hughson, Ripon and Ripon Christian (all 1-2).

Outlook: The winner of Friday night's Modesto Christian-Escalon game seals the first berth. The loser would have to lose again for any other team to get into the mix.

WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Playoff berths: Three

Driver's seat: Central Catholic and Patterson (both 3-0).

Still alive: Hilmar (2-1).

Outlook: This one is pretty much a done deal. Look for Central Catholic, Hilmar and Patterson to advance to the playoffs. The only question is seeding. Central Catholic is at Patterson on Friday night, and Patterson and Hilmar face off the following Friday.

MOTHER LODE LEAGUE

Playoff berths: Three

Driver's seat: Argonaut (3-0).

Still alive: Calaveras and Summerville (both 2-1), Amador and Bret Harte (both 1-2).

Outlook: Argonaut clinches the No. 1 seed and a home playoff game with one more win. Calaveras and Summerville play each other, and both are favored to win their other game, giving the MLL three teams. There is a possibility Calaveras travels to Central Catholic in the first round. Raiders coach Roger Canepa coached at Calaveras for a decade before heading to Modesto.

SOUTHERN LEAGUE

Playoff berths: Three

Driver's seat: Mariposa (3-0).

Still alive: Le Grand and Waterford (both 2-1), Turlock Christian and Denair (both 1-2).

Outlook: Mariposa has clinched a playoff berth and is heavily favored in its final two games. Le Grand and Waterford would clinch playoff berths with wins this week. If that happens, they would play each other in Week 10 for the second and third seeds.

HARVEST CHRISTIAN LEAGUE

Playoff berths: Two

Driver's seat: Big Valley Christian (3-0).

Still alive: Brookside Christian, Millennium and Stone Ridge Christian (all 2-1).

Outlook: Big Valley Christian seals the first playoff berth in school history with a win over Millennium on Saturday night. Brookside Christian controls its destiny for the second berth.

Will DeBoard's high schools column appears Thursdays. E-mail him at wdeboard@modbee.com, write him at P.O. Box 5256, Modesto, CA 95352-5256, call 578-2300 or fax 238-4551.

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