Final District 3 playoff picture: Who's in and who's on the bubble?
It’s time for our weekly look-in on the District 3 football playoff races! With this being the last week of the regular season, the races are a bit more defined so we're changing up the style. We'll look at the schools who have a chance to get in and what their situations are at the moment. Only Hanover-Adams teams are included.
What we know: In our area, Gettysburg and Bermudian Springs are locks to be in the district playoffs, it's just a matter of who they will play in the first round.
Both teams can also lock up division titles this week in rivalry games vs. West York and Biglerville, respectively.
What else do we know?: Spring Grove, New Oxford, Littlestown and Hanover will not be playing in the postseason. The Rockets fell apart and hit a losing skid just before head coach Russ Stoner announced he wouldn't be returning next season. The Ox is adjusting to life in Div. I. The Bolts are rebuilding and Hanover is on the rise but neither team is there just yet.
So you're telling me there's a chance?: That leaves South Western, Delone Catholic, Fairfield and Biglerville all still on the bubble with just one game remaining.
Here are their situations:
South Western (4-5, 4-2, 18th in Class AAAA, two spots out of the playoffs)
Step 1: Beat Spring Grove at home on Friday.
Step 2: Hope William Penn upsets Central York and Harrisburg beats Carlisle. That could allow the Mustangs to leap frog both Central and Carlisle in the rankings, putting them in 16th. The top 16 teams make it so it'd be an uphill battle from there, but at least they'd be in, which would be a huge step after starting 0-3 and 2-5. The good news for South Western is that they should be even better next year since most of their better talent is in the junior and sophomore class.
Biglerville (5-4, 3-3, 8th in Class AA, currently in the final playoff slot)
The good news for the Canners is that their win over Hanover moved them back into the playoffs for now. The bad news is they have a matchup with undefeated Bermudian team in their finale.
A win would obviously move them up significantly. The more likely scenario is a loss to Bermudian (no offense to Biglerville, the Eagles are just very good). So they would need some help. The teams above them losing wouldn't help too much, so they have to hope for the only threatening team below them, Schuylkill Valley, to lose as well. The Panthers have Hamburg (1-8) on Friday. Biglerville should be big Hamburg fans right now.
Delone Catholic (5-4, 4-2, 4th in Class A, currently in the final playoff spot)
Fairfield (5-4, 3-3, 5th in Class A, currently one spot behind Delone for the final playoff slot)
We'll combine these two because they are so inter-twined. The chances are that only one of these two make it since they're fighting for the last spot. Delone won the head-to-head, but that doesn't really factor into the PIAA rankings. So what needs to happen?
Delone hosts Hanover this weekend. On paper, it looks like Delone should be able to handle its cross-town rivals. That should be enough to get them in over Fairfield, which has Littlestown. A win over the Bolts isn't impressive enough to pass Delone if both teams win. And the team in third place, York Catholic, is too far ahead to pass with one week left. So that just leaves these two. The Green Knights need a win and a Delone loss most likely. It's all speculation of course, but that looks like it would be enough. Whoever prevails will most likely get Camp Hill or Steelton-Highspire on the road in the first round. But once you get in, everyone has a chance.