The Waterville football team is still in the hunt for a Class C North Big 11 Conference playoff berth thanks to a a 27-7 victory over Nokomis on Saturday.

If Waterville wins its regular season finale against rival Winslow on Saturday and Medomak Valley (2-5) loses to Oceanside (4-3), the Panthers are in. If Waterville (2-5) falls to the 6-1 Black Raiders, it needs not only a Medomak Valley loss, but some help in the Crabtree Point standings.

“We were a bit deflated coming into the week because we really let one slip through our hands. We were owners of our own fate, and we sort of made the trip harder,” Waterville coach Matt Gilley said, referring to his team’s 25-21 loss at Madison in Week 6. “We’re taking a look and seeing who’s doing what, but it’s Winslow week… If we take care of business there, we know we’re in.”

Playoff seeding is determined by Crabtree Points, which add a team’s winning percentage to the combined winning percentage of each of its opponents. Both Waterville and Medomak Valley are 2-5, for a .286 winning percentage. Medomak’s opponents thus far are 29-27, good for a .518 winning percentage. Waterville’s seven opponents are 27-29, a .482 winning percentage.

Waterville and Medomak Valley do not play each other. They have six common opponents: Oceanside, Hermon, John Bapst, MCI, Nokomis, and Winslow. So whatever happens to those six teams affects both playoff hopefuls.

Waterville played Mt. Desert Island (1-6) and Madison (2-5). Medomak Valley played Belfast (4-3) and Morse (1-6). Mt. Desert Island and Belfast play each other this week. Madison plays Mountain Valley, while Morse plays undefeated Leavitt. One scenario could mean going down the list of tiebreakers to determine if Waterville or Medomak Valley earns the playoff spot.

If both lose and finish 2-6, and Mt. Desert Island beats Belfast, and Leavitt beats Morse, then Waterville and Medomak Valley’s opponents will have an identical record. Then, we start going down the list of tiebreakers. The first is head to head, which in this case does not apply. Second is division record within the conference. With both Waterville and Medomak Valley carrying two Big 11 Conference wins, this also is a wash. The third tiebreaker is Heal Points, and that likely benefits Medomak Valley. Heal Points factor in the quality of wins, and since Medomak Valley beat a 4-3 Belfast team, which beat a 4-3 Oceanside, Medomak Valley would get a bump.

If Heal Points do nothing to break the tie, it comes down to a coin flip. Gilley knows his team has a challenge in a very strong Winslow team, but he also knows it can save itself a lot of scoreboard watching with a win.

“They (Winslow) stay pretty consistent. You know what formations and plays they’re going to be running, but what’s the mix they’ve chosen to go with this year? Hey, we’ve got to play football at 110 percent. If we do that, we’ll let the chips fall as they may, and we’ll play whoever we’re allowed to play,” Gilley said.

• • •

Nokomis coach Jake Rogers knew long before the season started he’d have a young team. Last season’s Class C state championship winner was a senior-heavy squad. It turns out, injuries made the Warriors even younger than Rogers ever expected.

Senior Andy Hopkins, a three-year starter at center and also a defensive lineman, missed the entire season suffering the effects of a concussion suffered during basketball season last winter. Senior running back Beau Briggs was injured in a car accident early in the regular season. Briggs tried to come back for the Warriors’ game against Old Town on Oct. 4, but was not ready.

“(Briggs) went out and tried to run last week. I just wanted the kids to see him out there, It give them a little bit of confidence when they see him out there,” Rogers said. “That was a real significant car wreck he was in. He was lucky to make it out alive.”

Senior wide receiver Jayden Brooks senior running back Shane Shorette were each lost to a knee injury early in the season. In Saturday’s loss to Waterville, senior lineman Nick Lincoln went down with a leg injury.

“We started out with a low number of upperclassmen and it keeps getting lower. The younger guys are making strides. This week was their best week. They got out early to practice. They went on the Jugs machine on their own,” Rogers said. “They’re understanding it takes a lot to compete playing high school sports. You can’t just show up. We keep trying to instill that in them. It takes a lot of work to be good.”

Nokomis (0-7) closes the season Friday night against John Bapst (5-2) at Keyes Field in Fairfield, the Warriors home this season while their field undergoes renovations.

• • •

Headed for home-field advantage for the first round of the PTC B playoffs, Lawrence may have gotten a preview of the type of game they can expect to play. The Bulldogs prevailed in a tough battle with Windham, winning 25-18 at Keyes Field Friday.

“That’s exactly what we were talking about as coaches after,” coach John Hersom said. “(It’s) kind of fortunate that we had that type of a game, where we were challenged throughout. We had to be certainly playing our best to beat them.”

Indeed, the Eagles didn’t make it easy. Lawrence scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter on a 53-yard pass from Dylan Coombs to Zach Nickerson, but had to buckle down for a defensive stop deep in its own territory in the closing minutes as Windham looked to even the score. The Bulldogs forced an incompletion from the 8-yard line on fourth down with 1:46 to play.

“Definitely, for our defense, where we’ve been kind of a work in progress … we showed some improvement,” Hersom said. “We’re getting better, forcing teams to earn everything. We just want to continue to play that type of defense.”

 

Staff writer Drew Bonifant contributed to this report.

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