Monday, November 30, 2020

Western A football playoff scenarios reviewed

by Daily Inter Lake
| October 22, 2020 9:32 PM

The Western A football tiebreakers are out, and area teams need a little help from each other to make the Class A postseason.

Columbia Falls, Whitefish and Libby are all vying -- along with Frenchtown -- for spots 3-4 out of the Western A into the eight-team playoff grid. Hamilton and Dillon have clinched the top two spots.

The Hungry Horse News reports that the Wildcats need Dillon to beat Whitefish and Frenchtown to beat Libby to make the playoffs. This is backed up by the tie-breaker sent to @RedMuleSports by Whitefish activities director Aric Harris.

The Wildcats already have a win, and a 6-3 league mark, thanks to Friday’s “no contest” against Butte Central. That’s the ninth COVID-related “no-contest” game of the season for the Western A, and they count as wins for the teams still chasing playoff berths.

The above scenario puts Frenchtown (6-2) third and Columbia Falls fourth – the Wildcats then would travel to Billings Central for a playoff game. Other possibilities of course remain.

How Libby gets in: If Libby (5-3) beats Frenchtown but Whitefish (5-3) and Polson (5-3, at unbeaten Hamilton Friday) lose, there would be a three-way tie between the Loggers, Columbia Falls and Frenchtown. The tie-breaker is point differential in their games against each other, up to 14 points. Libby winning by at least five would put the Loggers and Frenchtown in and bump Columbia Falls from the playoffs.

How Whitefish gets in: If Frenchtown, Whitefish and Polson all win, then Frenchtown is three seed and Whitefish, Polson and Columbia Falls are all tied for fourth. Head-to-head between those three would eliminate Polson, and then the Bulldogs would be the No. 4 seed based on a 21-14 win over the Wildcats on Sept. 11.

If Libby, Whitefish and Polson all win we’re looking at a five-way tie for third with them along with Frenchtown and Columbia Falls. Not everyone has played each other in this scenario, so the tie-breaker is unclear.

The Eastern A berths are decided, but not the seeds: Billings Central is No. 1 and Sidney is No. 4, but Miles City and Laurel meet Friday to decide 2-3.