Playoffs in reach for Bears, Saints and Eagles

Published 11:14 pm Thursday, October 24, 2013

Selma running back Adam Bruno, Keith quarterback Maurice Crumpton and Ellwood Christian quarterback Jalen Furlow hope to guide their teams to the playoffs on Friday night. If the Saints and Bears win, they are playoff bound. Furlow and the Eagles need to win and get help from others in their region.--Daniel Evans

Selma running back Adam Bruno hopse to guide his team to the playoffs on Friday night. If the Saints and Bears win, they are playoff bound. Furlow and the Eagles need to win and get help from others in their region.–Daniel Evans

With the playoffs in sight, Keith, Selma and Ellwood Christian all go into Friday night in need of big wins.

The scenarios that could end up being factors are endless, but with their playoff hopes up in the air all three teams are only focused on the teams they’ll face on the field Friday.

It doesn’t get more simple than the scenario in front of the Selma Saints, who know a win over Satsuma will put them into the postseason.

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“They understand the magnitude of the game and what this game means to this program and what this game means to this team,” Selma head coach Leroy Miles said.

Satsumsa has had a rough season, with their only region win coming at Sumter Central.

However, Miles knows Satsuma isn’t going to just roll over and make things easy for the Saints.

“I don’t think they are going to give the game to us,” Miles said. “We’ve got to come out and execute our game plan.”

Unlike many other teams in the state, Miles is happy that the Saints control their own destiny.

“When you control your own destiny you aren’t banking on someone else winning or the different scenarios at hand,” Miles said.

“They are aware of the situation at hand and they know they control their own destiny.”

If all of the cards fall just right, the Saints could end up as the No. 3 seed in Class 5A, Region 3, meaning they would avoid getting matched up against Class 5A, Region 1’s No. 1 seed.

A three way tie for third between Selma, Demopolis and Greenville would likely fall the Saints way due to their non-region record. Demopolis lost Thursday night to Jackson, meaning Selma and Greenville wins on Friday night would create a three way tie for third.

Selma can also make the playoffs if Greenville loses to Sumter Central, but that would be a surprising upset considering the Cougars are winless in region play so far this year.

Meanwhile, Keith is in the same “win and in” situation, except the caliber of opponent the Bears are playing appears to be a slight upgrade over what the Saints will face in Satsuma. If Keith can defeat No. 2 Maplesville — undefeated on the season and one of the frontrunners for a state championship in Class 1A — the Bears will make the playoffs, but a win over the Red Devils would be the first in school history.

Keith head coach Harry Crum said he is well aware of how big a win over Maplesville would be.

“It would be the biggest win in the history of Keith High School,” Crum said.

Beyond just winning the game, Keith has multiple other scenarios that can get the Bears into the playoffs. If Keith loses at Maplesville, the Bears will need Ellwood Christian to lose at Akron to get into the playoffs. Since Keith has defeated both Sunshine and Akron this season, the Bears are in good shape if a tie occurs with either of those teams.

For Ellwood Christian, the playoff scenarios get a little wild. The Eagles need a victory over Akron, plus Keith and Sunshine losses to get into the playoffs. Considering the Bears and Tigers are taking on the top two teams in Class 1A, Region 3 — Maplesville and Autaugaville — the scenario doesn’t sound farfetched.

“We have to take care of our part and let the puzzle pieces fall where they may,” Ellwood Christian head coach Mike Stokes said.

“As long as we handle our part and do what we are supposed to do, I think we will be okay.”

The Eagles have lost five consecutive games, so Stokes said his team is focused on turning that around, ending the season on a good note and hoping other games fall in their favor.

“I don’t think they want to go out without going to the playoffs, so hopefully the young guys and seniors come together and go out and play the kind of football we know we can play,” Stokes said.

“The last five games we haven’t been in sync.”