Tuesday, October 7, 2008

{playoff race shapes up}

South Albany's Zac Hunter knocks a ball away from Silverton's Jared Hilton during the Rebels’ victory on Friday.
Albany Democrat-Herald
A significant gap has already formed in the standings just three weeks into the Mid-Willamette Conference football schedule.It appears to be a five-team race for the league’s four 5A state playoff spots.Corvallis, South Albany and West Albany all sit at 3-0, Crescent Valley at 3-1 and Silverton at 1-2.Lebanon and Dallas are 0-3 while Woodburn, which got the conference schedule started a week early with Crescent Valley, is 0-4.Top-ranked West Albany looks to be the best team, leaving the next four to battle for the three other spots with four weeks remaining.
Corvallis and South Albany each need two more wins to lock in their spots. They play each other in the season finale on Halloween.South Albany coach Tony Matta said his team has done a good job focusing despite the Rebels’ success.“Every Friday night I’m like, ‘Enjoy this one, then Sunday start thinking about the next one,’” Matta said. “We know there’s one at a time.”Crescent Valley has the toughest road left with South Albany, Corvallis and West Albany still remaining on the schedule for the Raiders.Silverton is 1-2, but that record is a little bit deceiving.
The Silver Foxes have already played (and lost to) South Albany and West Albany, with a win against Crescent Valley.The Silver Foxes’ season could come down to this Friday, when they play Corvallis.Silverton can still get to state with a 4-3 record, but 5-2 makes it a certainty.
Corvallis also has work to do, with West Albany, Crescent Valley and South Albany remaining after this week.South Albany has made one of the biggest steps forward this season, highlighted by a home win against Silverton this past Friday.The Silver Foxes defeated the Rebels in the last week of the 2007 regular season, claiming the final playoff spot and leaving South Albany on the outside.
Matta said that from the start of the season people have stopped him to ask how good his team is. He says the Rebels are a playoff team.He’s done his best to make his players believe that as well. A 5-1 record and No. 9 ranking in this week’s Associated Press poll have aided that.“I tell them every week, ‘You’re a playoff team,’” Matta says of his team. “Now you have to go out and play like one."

1 comment:

Missy said...

I love it when Zac's pic is in the paper. I feel like a proud auntie.