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Unbeaten ’Pack sitting pretty in power points race

Kevin Mays • Oct 9, 2018 at 10:07 PM

It’s just past the halfway point in high school football’s regular season, but the playoff picture is starting to take a little shape.

REGION 2D PROJECTIONS

In Region 2D, Ridgeview is the favorite to win out, finish the regular season undefeated and earn the region’s No. 1 seed for the postseason.

The Wolfpack faces its biggest challenge on the road on Oct. 19 against Class 3 Abingdon. Even with a loss to the Falcons, it’s likely Ridgeview, at worst, would be a No. 2 seed in the playoffs.

Winning out for Union would mean the Bears finish as a No. 2 seed, assuming Ridgeview wins out. A slip by Ridgeview at Abingdon and Union winning out would mean a close call for the No. 1 seed. Of course, Union still has an Oct. 26 play date at home against Abingdon.

The bottom of the playoff picture in Region 2D is just as crowded as the top.

Lee High and Marion are tied for the eighth and final spot in the VHSL power points ratings. Each team has four games remaining and each one is critical, as are the four remaining games for Tazewell, which could sneak in the back way.

REGION 1D PLAYOFF SCENE

Chilhowie is the prohibitive favorite to end the season as the No. 1 seed. The defending region champion Warriors are also favored by most to win the 1D title once again.

Patrick Henry is the second seed with seven games already in the books. The Rebels face Chilhowie later in the season and would gain the No. 1 seed with the upset.

Grundy and J.I. Burton face off Friday night in a game that will have a big impact on the power points race. Grundy stands third and Burton fifth.

Thomas Walker, which plays Burton the final week of the regular season, is in fourth.

Twin Valley is in the eighth spot. Eastside, Castlewood and Hurley are on the outside looking in but could make the climb to the eighth spot depending on how they fare in the next four weeks.

KEY GAMES

Grundy at J.I. Burton — The third meeting in two years between the squads boasts major implications in the power points race.

Grundy won the regular-season matchup last year in Buchanan County, but Burton returned to Grundy in the postseason and took the Region 1D playoff game.

A win by the Golden Wave would just about secure a home game for them in the first week of the regional playoffs.

Burton faces almost a must-win situation if the Raiders hope to host a playoff game in November.

Gate City at Lee High — Both teams have struggled this season and both would see a win as huge boost.

Gate City, which is still looking for its first victory of the season, had a huge comeback effort against Marion last weekend before falling short against the Scarlet Hurricane.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Avery Jenkins, Union

Jenkins started slow last Friday but turned the game around in the sec ond quarter when he scored three touchdowns.

The senior rushed for 190 yards in the Bears’ 42-7 win over Lee High despite playing sparingly in second half.

TOP SIX PICKS

Ridgeview continues to hold down the top spot in Southwest Virginia.

Here’s a look at the top Southwest Virginia high school football teams in the region with their ranking, ranking from last week, record heading into this week’s game and how they fared last week.

1) Ridgeview (1) (6-0) did not play

2) Union (2) (5-1) beat Lee High 42-7

3) Chilhowie (3) (6-0) did not play

4) Graham (4) (5-1) beat Lebanon 50-13

5) Patrick Henry (5) (7-0) beat Holston 22-8

6) Abingdon (6) (5-2) beat Virginia High 14-6

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