It all comes down to this: Week 10 in the Bayside

Dorchester Star - - Regional - By DAVID INSLEY dins­ley@stardem.com DAVID INSLEY

Week 10 of Bayside foot­ball, mark­ing the end of the reg­u­lar sea­son, is upon us. While it’s been a fun sea­son, we all know the real ex­cite­ment is about to be­gin.

This year has been full of sur­prises. The big­gest is per­haps the resur­gence of Eas­ton High. From a dis­mal 2-8 sea­son in 2015 to at 6-4, pos­si­bly 7-3, this year, the War­riors just missed mak­ing the play­offs. That’s quite a turn­around.

Who else had Matt Grif­fith as Bayside Coach of the Year in their pre­sea­son of­fice pool? Hon­estly, I didn’t. I fig­ured Eas­ton would hover around .500 but get skunked against the pow­er­house teams on its sched­ule. In­stead, its three losses to Kent Is­land, Queen Anne’s, and North Caro­line came by a to­tal of 14 points.

Un­less some­body else wins a game in De­cem­ber, Grif­fith would have to be the Bayside’s top coach for 2016.

Speak­ing of strong per­for­mances, did even the big­gest North Bayside homers fore­see the divi­sion go­ing 25-1 against the South? Last year, the tally was 22-4 in fa­vor of the North. This year, only Park­side’s 42-0 win over Colonel in Week 4 kept the North from run­ning the ta­ble.

It’s doubt­ful many would have pre­dicted Stephen De­catur foot­ball would be at se­ri­ous risk of hav­ing a win­less sea­son. I ad­mit, 3-7 was be­ing bandied about a lot, but 0-10? No. The funny thing is, that’s still pos­si­ble.

Is any­one read­ing this able to say they fig­ured Colonel Richard­son would make its best run at the play­offs in a decade, with their short­est sched­ule in 18 years? Me nei­ther, but it’s true.

They’re a win, or loss by Per­ryville, away from their first play­off game since 2004. (The team went 6-4 on the field in 2006 but had to for­feit three wins over an in­el­i­gi­ble player.)

Yes, there were some sur­prises. Now, though, it’s math time. Let’s go over the play­off math re­ally quick, and then I’ll make pre­dic­tions.

In the 2A East, Kent Is­land can­not be over­taken as the top seed, even if Queen Anne’s beats them Fri­day. Kent Is­land’s low­est pos­si­ble to­tal is 101.3 to­tal points. The Lions, with a win over the Buc­ca­neers, can only get to 99.1 with­out gain­ing the same bonus points Kent Is­land would also gain from games like Wash­ing­ton-Park­side — so that race has has been called, as po­lit­i­cal pun­dits would say. (They’ll be do­ing that next week for real, by the way, so get out and vote. I’m a write-in, by the way.)

Queen Anne’s, Elk­ton, and North Caro­line can fin­ish any­where be­tween se­cond and fourth, but no higher or lower. If both the Lions and Bull­dogs lose (Elk­ton won’t; you’ll see why in a minute), three im­por­tant things hap­pen.

First, the Lions go to the No. 3 seed and would visit Elk­ton in Week 11. Se­cond, North Caro­line is No. 4 and gets a re­match of Week 3’s wild game against Kent Is­land, this time on the road. Third, Colonel makes

the play­offs for the first time since 2004 since, in this sce­nario, they would beat North Caro­line.

In the 1As, C-SD and Bo Manor are in and nei­ther can go be­low No. 2; C-SD will lock down No. 1, no mat­ter what the Ea­gles do, with a win over Eas­ton. If Eas­ton beats C-SD, Bo Manor still has to win to take the top seed, and get help from among Stephen De­catur, Ca­toctin, Per­ryville, and North EastCe­cil (which, like De­catur, is win­less, and plays Elk­ton).

Plus, Wi­comico, Seaford, Del., Colonel, Wash­ing­ton, and Snow Hill can still give C-SD bonus points with wins. The Ea­gles trail the Vik­ings by 9.5 points right now; Jop­pa­towne vis­its Bo Manor on Fri­day, and is worth eight points. So, the Ea­gles need to top the Mariners, and col­lect two more bonus points than C-SD this week, plus C-SD has to lose, for the top two seeds to flip-flop in the 1A East.

Colonel makes the play­offs with a win, or a loss by Per­ryville, since that would mean the only team that could over­take them failed to do so.

Colonel’s big­gest prob­lem is the dearth of bonus points. Two of the four teams they beat this year, Arcadia and Nan­dua, Va., are fin­ished for the year; Vir­ginia starts play a week ahead of Mary­land, and nei­ther made the play­offs. That leaves Wash­ing­ton, and win­less Snow Hill.

How­ever, that’ll be moot if the Colonels can find a way to beat their county ri­val.

Fi­nal thought: it’s pos­si­ble that again this year, six of the North’s seven teams will make the play­offs. At the min­i­mum, five will: C-SD, Kent Is­land, North Caro­line, Queen Anne’s, and (at least) one of Kent County and Colonel.

Here comes Week 10, the last game for more than half the foot­ball se­niors in the Bayside Con­fer­ence. There are games in Queen Anne’s, Caro­line, Dorchester, Wi­comico, and Worces­ter Coun­ties this week, so no­body’s more than half an hour from the ac­tion. En­joy! Thurs­day’s Game Wash­ing­ton (2-7) at Park­side (5-4) Park­side al­ready won the Sal­is­bur y city ti­tle. A vic­tor y here would make it the undis­puted top team in the South Bayside (and the only one with a win­ning record). — Rams, 35-14.

Fri­day’s Games Game of the Year Queen Anne’s (8-1) at Kent Is­land (9-0) And the Bayside Con­fer­ence reg­u­lar-sea­son cham­pion will be the... (RA­DIO: 94.3 WINX-FM, pregame 6:45 p.m.) — Bucs, 21-17.

N. Caro­line (8-1) at Col. Richard­son (4-4) The Su­per­in­ten­dent’s Cup stays in Ridgely for at least one more year. — Bull­dogs, 48-20.

Eas­ton (6-3) at Cam­bridge-SD (7-2) No out­come here would shock me. And if the wrong Eas­ton team shows up, it could be ugly. (RA­DIO: WCEM-AM 1240, pregame 6:45 p.m.) — War­riors, 42-41, over­time.

Wi­comico (3-6) at J. M. Ben­nett (4-5) Ben­nett will have the sat­is­fac­tion of know­ing they didn’t fin­ish be­low .500. — Clip­pers, 31-20.

Snow Hill (0-9) at De­catur (0-9) I just typed “De­catur (0-9). Still can’t be­lieve it. Next year will be bet­ter, though. I hope Snow Hill keeps its pro­gram, after two long, bleak sea­sons. — Sea­hawks, 28-13.

Kent County (4-5) at Fall­ston (3-6) Mar­c­quan Greene, the all-time lead­ing scorer in Bayside foot­ball his­tory, will be able to say he made the play­offs all four years as a var­sity starter. Not only is that fit­ting, it’s some­thing few can say. — Tro­jans, 35-27. Last Week: 7-0. Sea­son: 56-8 (.875). Ca­reer: 842-174 (.829). Fol­low me on Twit­ter: @ Davetalkss­ports.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorchester’s Jimmy Schulze makes the catch against Wash­ing­ton Fri­day, Oct. 21.

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