With one week to go, a number of area football teams are in the post-season hunt. If the playoffs began today, nine teams from the region would be playing on Thursday, Oct. 29, the opening day for the playoffs in Classes C1, C2, D1 and D2.
Because of the nature of Nebraska post-season pairings and my lack of Nebraska geography knowledge from outside our region, I won’t try to project first-round opponents. I will take a look at who can make it.
Just a reminder, host sites after the opening round depend not only on power points, but on whether or not the opponent played at home in the previous round.
Despite a win last week, Crofton slipped behind Norfolk Catholic in the power points. The 6-1 Warriors, whose lone loss is to Norfolk Catholic (7-0) sit in third, the highest ranking of a non-district leader in any of the small-school classes.
Crofton will have a first-round home game. After that, it depends on the opponent and where their opponent played in the previous round.
It is a good year for area 11-man teams, as our teams could be 5-5 in playoff berths, including 4-4 in Class C2.
Cedar Catholic (5-2) is currently 10th and should get a first-round home game. Creighton, also 5-2, is 16th and could end up on the road in the first round if they are upset by Neligh-Oakdale (0-7).
Laurel-Concord (4-3) ranks 26th out of the 32 projected playoff teams. A win over Wakefield (0-7) should secure a playoff berth. Randolph (4-3) is hanging on to 30th and play the top-ranked team in the state, Ponca (7-0).
Hartington (5-2) is currently on the outside looking in, sitting in 36th place in the rankings. The Wildcats face another Wildcat, Winside (5-2), needing a victory and help to make the post-season.
Freeman (5-2) is in 32nd, followed by Creek Valley (4-3), Elwood (3-4), Omaha Christian Academy (5-2) and Hartington.
Bloomfield (7-0), one of four unbeatens in the class, ranks fifth. Wynot (6-1) ranks 12th and should secure a home game with a victory over Walthill (0-7).
Allen (4-3) is borderline on getting a home game, currently seeded 19th. The Eagles could improve their chances with a win over Coleridge (2-5).
Newcastle (4-3) is clinging to the second-to-last playoff spot. The Raiders could help themselves with a win over Wausa (3-4), a team that needs a victory and help to sneak in.
Wausa and Coleridge are 38th and 39th in the rankings.