Some playoff spots on the line in Friday games

By: 
STEVE ROGERS
Staff Writer

Going into Friday night’s final regular season game, the West Point Green Wave knows it has clinched the top spot once again in Region 1-5A. The only question is who — Canton or Cleveland Central — the team will host in the first round of the state playoffs next week as West Point goes for its third straight Class 5A title, something it hasn’t done since 1987-89.

The Wave is heavily favored at Lewisburg tonight for the season finale and what the team hopes will be the finishing touches on a 10-1 season. The blue and red Patriots are 2-8 on the year overall and 0-6 in region play.

While Coach Chris Chambless will try to keep his team focused, the staff also will be keeping a little bit of an eye on Canton at Cleveland Central. That game between 2-8 Cleveland Central, which is 2-4 in Region 2, and 6-5 Canton, which also is 2-4 in the region, will decide fourth place and who comes to West Point next week. The only hiccup in that scenario is if Ridgklenad, which is 5-5 and 2-4 in the region, upsets Germantown, which is in second place in the region at 5-1, 6-4 overall.

Germantown got itself in the second spot with a wild win last week. Germantown was down 16-0 on the road entering the final quarter and scored 20 unanswered points to pull out the victory.

If the Mavericks from Madison, Miss., hang on to second with a win over visiting Ridgeland, they will face either Lafayette County or Lake Cormorant in the first round of the playoffs next week.

Lafayette and Cormorant both are 4-2 in region play and square off Friday night to decide who finishes third and who finishes fourth.

Third place takes on Germantown and fourth place goes to Holmes Central in the playoffs.

Last year, Region 1 teams swept the four teams in Region 2 in the first round of the playoffs.

This year, Region 2’s top team, Holmes Central is 6-0 in the region and 9-1 overall. Holmes plays seventh place Vicksburg this week.

Meanwhile, Olive Branch, the second place team in Region 1, likely will take on run-happy Neshoba Central — 9-2 overall — in the first round of the playoffs next week. Neshoba Central is third in Region 2, having lost a 14-13 heartbreaker to Holmes Central and 36-21 to Germantown.

In Region 1, Lafayette County, which is 7-3 and lost close games to West Point and Olive Branch, has put up 4,611 total yards this year, or 461.1 per game. It’s done it 3,483 on the ground with a fleet of backs and 1,128 through the air. The rushing attack puts them first in the region while the passing game ranks third in the league.

Olive Branch is second with 361.6 yards per game and West Point is third at 349 yards per game. West Point’s comes 246.2 yards per game rushing and 102.8 per game passing.

But the Wave leads the region in scoring at 34.4 points per game, just ahead of Lafayette at 34.3 and Olive Branch at 28.9.

Defensively, the Wave is surrendering 12.2 points per game, just behind Olive Branch’s 11.8 and ahead of Lafayette’s 14.3.

Statistically, Holmes Central would appear to be stronger than any team out of Region 2 last year, but it’s difficult to really tell.

Holmes Central averages 491.4 yards per game, including 354.0 on the ground and 138.4 through the air. Neshoba Central, although third in the district in the standings, is second offensively, churning out 405 yards per game with 389.5 of that coming on the ground.

Ridge land, which could hang on to the fourth spot with a win over Germantown Friday night, is third offensively at 411.5 yards a game, 210.4 through the air and 201.1 on the ground.

And Canton is fourth at 347.5 per game overall.

Germantown, the second p-lace team in the region standings, is fifth offensively.

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