Rivalry Week her­alds end of reg­u­lar season

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After nine weeks of trial, of rain, of post­pone­ments, and of bat­tles, the Bay­side Con­fer­ence has fi­nally ar­rived at the season fi­nale for foot­ball: Week 10.

As is the case ev­ery year, the reg­u­larsea­son fi­nales mark Rivalry Week, too, with long­time foes squar­ing off in many games. Bat­tles will take place for county brag­ging rights in Caro­line, Queen Anne’s, Wi­comico, and Worces­ter.

Though there are a cou­ple of games that mat­ter a lot, and ev­ery game has mean­ing for the play­offs, even for the teams not in them, the big­gest one this week has to be the old­est one: Cam­bridge vs. Eas­ton.

The War­riors visit Cam­bridgeSouth Dorch­ester on Fri­day night in a bat­tle that dates back to the days of the Theodore Roo­sevelt ad­min­is­tra­tion, and as is al­most al­ways the case, some­one has the chance to mess up some­thing for its op­po­nent.

This year, though Eas­ton will not make the play­offs, the team has a chance to put a real crimp in C-SD’s post­sea­son hopes with a vic­tory.

The Vik­ings, who would lock down the No. 2 seed with a vic­tory, need to win be­cause it’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween host­ing a first-round play­off game and play­ing on the road through­out the en­tire post­sea­son.

A Vik­ing loss means the team is at the mercy of sev­eral games they’re not play­ing in, such as Bo­hemia Manor’s bat­tle with Per­ryville, and Kent County’s con­test in Bel Air against Pat­ter­son Mill High.

The play­off-point sys­tem is sim­ple: you get Win points for a vic­tory: a Class 1A school is worth five, a 2A worth six, a 3A gives you seven, and beat­ing a 4A earns eight points. For ev­ery game that van­quished foe wins through­out the season, you get a bonus point. So the wins usu­ally com­prise the big­gest part of a team’s point to­tal, while the bonus points re­flect the strength of your team’s sched­ule.

Right now, C-SD is sec­ond be­hind top-seeded Havre de Grace (who can’t be over­taken) in the Class 1A East play­off field, and to keep from typ­ing a quar­ter of a page of ex­plana­tory math, if the Vik­ings win, it’ll put them at No. 2 and un­catch­able as well.

Colonel Richard­son needs to ei­ther beat un­de­feated North Caro­line (whom they haven’t bested since 2006), or for Bo­hemia Manor to top Per­ryville, and Kent County to win at Pat­ter­son Mill, to get one last bonus point which would give Colonel a tiebreaker win over Per­ryville for the fourth play­off spot.

“We re­ally shot our­selves in the foot,” Colonel head coach Dan Mangum said after his team’s Wek 8 loss at Northamp­ton, Va., a 45-43 over­time de­feat his team led, 37-21, with just un­der six min­utes left in reg­u­la­tion. “If we won this, we’re in the play­offs, ba­si­cally. Now, we’re wait­ing to see what hap­pens in other games.”

If Colonel makes the play­offs as a re­sult of the Ea­gles de­feat­ing Per­ryville and Kent County top­ping the Huskies, it’ll give us the same four-team play­off field we had last year in the 1A East. The only dif­fer­ence is, in 2018, C-SD will host Bo­hemia Manor in­stead of rid­ing nearly two hours north to face them.

In the Class 2A East it’s a lit­tle sim­pler.

North Caro­line, at 9-0 and un­catch­able in points, will host play­off games through at least the re­gional fi­nal, if the team makes it that far. Har­ford Tech and Elk­ton, right now, look to be the sec­ond and third seeds, while Park­side is in con­trol of its own destiny at No. 4, and plays 1-8 Washington on Fri­day.

Wi-Hi, now 6-3 and still math­e­mat­i­cally alive in the play­off hunt, can close the gap a lot on Park­side with a win over city ri­val James M. Ben­nett (a 7-2, Class 3A team thereby worth 14 points, but one the In­di­ans haven’t beaten since 2014), but iron­i­cally, a WiHi win would also help Park­side a lit­tle bit. The Rams, who beat Wi-Hi in Week 4, would gain a bonus point from that win, while a Ben­nett win would lock the Rams in at No. 4.

Wi-Hi has to beat Ben­nett, and Washington has to beat Park­side, for Wi-Hi to make the play­offs, by my math. At least one of those things ain’t hap­pen­ing.

Thus, Park­side, a 20-0 loser to North Caro­line, in Sal­is­bury, in Week 1, will most likely go to Ridgely on Nov. 9 for a first-round play­off game. Elk­ton will travel to de­fend­ing re­gional champ Har­ford Tech the same night, and the win­ners will play Nov. 16, prob­a­bly at North Caro­line, un­less I miss my guess.

For the first time in 15 years, no­body in Queen Anne’s County, ei­ther the epony­mous high school there, or Kent Is­land, will make the play­offs. Also for the first time since 2003, nei­ther team will have a win­ning season, as Fri­day night’s win­ner will im­prove to just 5-5 over­all.

In the Class 3A East, Ben­nett has locked in a play­off spot for the third time in four years. How­ever, it’s been at least 16 years since the Clip­pers a play­off game.

Since I be­gan do­ing this in 2003, I’ve not seen Ben­nett win in

DAVID INSLEY

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