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It’s do-or-die time

With only one week remaining in the Valley high school football season, three of the football teams from the Mission, Sharyland and La Joya school districts, the Big 7, are already assured of extending their seasons into the University Interscholastic League’s (UIL’s) state playoffs. Of the remaining four teams, one has been eliminated and three are going into tonight’s games fighting for their playoff lives.

With a bye this week, the 6-0 (7-3 overall) Sharyland Rattlers have already assured themselves of not only a playoff berth, but of an undefeated regular season and the outright District 16-5A-2 championship. As for the 4-1 (6-3 overall) Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks, while they have punched their ticket into the state playoffs as well, they still have something to play for. That’s because with a win over the 1-4 (2-7 overall) Edcouch Elsa Yellowjackets tonight, the Diamondbacks will not only enter the playoffs as 16-5A-2’s second seed, but they will also finish the regular season in sole possession of second place.

BIG7LogoIn District 16-5A-1, the 8-0 (8-1 overall) Mission Veterans Patriots traveled to Brownsville to play their final district game of the season against the 1-7 (2-7 overall) Brownsville Lopez Lobos last night. While the outcome of that game was not known at the time we went to print, a Lopez win over the Patriots would be one of the biggest upsets of the season. Therefore, assuming that Coach David Gilpin’s Patriots took care of business by defeating the Lobos last night, they will be entering next week’s bi-district round of the playoffs having accomplished two firsts for a Mission Veterans football team, an outright district championship and an undefeated regular season.

The three Big 7 teams that have not yet clinched a playoff berth but are still in playoff contention entering this week’s games are the Mission Eagles, the La Joya Coyotes and the Palmview Lobos. As our Game of the Week, tonight’s La Joya at Mission game is being previewed here separately and those two teams’ playoff clinching scenarios are detailed there. That leaves just the Palmview Lobos’ playoff scenarios which we will look at here.

Entering tonight’s slate of District 16-5A-1 games, the Palmview Lobos and the Donna Redskins are tied for fourth place with identical 5-3 records. Since the Redskins defeated the Lobos in Week Four, the Redskins hold the head-to-head tie-breaker with the Lobos should they end the regular season in a two way tie. However, a Lobos win over the 6-2 Brownsville Veterans Memorial Chargers along with a Donna win against PSJA Memorial, would create a three-way tie for third place between the Lobos, the Redskins and the Chargers. With only the top four teams in each district qualifying for the playoffs, two of those teams would be in and one would be out.

Should this three-way tie scenario come-to-be, a Palmview win tonight would result in the Lobos making the playoffs and either the Chargers or the Redskins being eliminated. However, whether the Lobos would enter the playoffs as the third seed or the fourth seed in the district depends on how many points they defeat the Chargers by.

If the Lobos defeat the Chargers by 17 points or less and Donna defeats PSJA Memorial, then the Redskins will enter the playoffs as the third seed, the Lobos will be the fourth seed and the Chargers will be out. If the Lobos defeat the Chargers by 18 points or more, then the Lobos will be the third seed, the Chargers will be the fourth seed and the Redskins will be out regardless of whether they win or lose.

While there is the possibility of the District 16-5A-1’s regular season ending in a four-way tie for second place between the Lobos, the Redskins, the Chargers and the 6-2 (6-3 overall) Brownsville Pace Vikings, that scenario, and its playoff implications, are a bit too involved to go into here.

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