Welcome to week 10 of the high school football season, the next to last week of the regular season and the final week of district play.
Upcoming games have playoff implications, as both Baker and Crestview hope to earn a trip to the playoffs that start two weeks from Friday.
Baker could still end up wining District 1-1A, but the best Crestview can hope for now is to finish second in District 2-6A and get the second playoff spot from the district.
Things in District 2-6A seem less complicated than the race in District 1-1A right now.
With a 4-0 district record heading into Friday’s game with winless Mosley, Navarre has already clinched first place in the six-team district. Mosley is 0-4 and has been eliminated from the playoff picture. That means the battle for second place and the remaining spot in the playoffs comes down to a battle between Okaloosa County teams Crestview, Choctawhatchee, Fort Walton Beach and Niceville.
All four teams have 2-2 district records, with the Bulldogs hosting the Eagles on Friday and the Vikings and Indians playing in their annual rivalry game.
Crestview had district wins over Choctaw and Mosley and has lost to Fort Walton Beach and Navarre. Fort Walton Beach has wins over Mosley and Crestview, but lost to Niceville and Navarre.
Choctaw upset Niceville and beat Mosley, but lost to Crestview and Navarre. Finally, Niceville beat Fort Walton Beach and Mosley, but lost to Navarre and Choctaw.
So what does that all mean?
Crestview makes the playoffs if it can beat Niceville and if Choctaw can beat Fort Walton Beach.
If Fort Walton Beach wins and Crestview wins, the Vikings, by virtue of their win against the Bulldogs, have the tie-breaker and finish second in the district.
If Choctaw and Niceville win, the Indians are in the playoffs because they beat the Eagles. Moreover, if the Eagles and Vikings win, again, by virtue of head-to-head play, Niceville takes second place in the district.
In the four-team District 1-1A things are, perhaps, even more complicated.
Northview, Baker’s opponent Friday, currently sits atop the district standings with a 2-0 district record having beaten Jay and Freeport. Baker and Freeport are both 1-1 in district play.
Baker beat Jay and lost to Freeport. Freeport beat Baker and lost to Northview. Jay is winless in district play, but still has a chance at making the playoffs heading into Friday’s game against Freeport.
Therefore, as best I can calculate, here are the possible scenarios for District 1-1A.
If Northview beats Baker and Freeport beats Jay, Northview wins the district and Freeport finishes second. That is simply a matter of records as Northview will be 3-0 in district play and Freeport 2-1.
Things start to get interesting when the other possibilities factor into the equation.
If Baker wins and Freeport wins, Baker, Northview and Freeport will all have 2-1 records in district play with no team holding the outright tie-breaker as the teams would have the three-way split in head-to-head play.
If the three-way tie for first and second place occurs, the teams would participate in a shootout on Monday to determine the district champion and runner up.
Another possibility would be if Baker loses and Jay beat Freeport. In that case, Baker, Freeport and Jay would all have 1-2 records in district play and would compete in a shootout Monday to determine the second-place team.
The shootout concept is easy to understand, but difficult to explain.
Basically, whether a shootout for first and second place or just second place, the three teams will meet at the school with the best regular season record and the two visiting teams will play a quarter for the right to meet the host team.
If the shootout is for first and second place and the winner of the first quarter lost to the host team, the host team wins the district and the winner of the first quarter is the second place team.
If the winner of the first quarter beats the host team then they are the district champions and the two losers will play one last quarter with the winner taking second in the district.
A second place shootout also would be played at the school of the team with the best regular season record.
The two visiting teams would play and the loser would be eliminated. The host team would then play the winner of the first quarter in a second quarter and the winner of the second quarter is the district runner up and goes to the playoffs.
So even as the season is winding down there is still plenty to play for and, as you can see, playoff spots will be on the line as Crestview and Baker take the field Friday night.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.