Week 12 Picks & Previews: Playoff gameplan – just win

cffoot-11catchPlayoff position for local football teams in the final week of the regular season could come down to a series of tedious tiebreakers and complex mathematical equations. Or it could come down to one simple word – win.

A victory Friday night would go a long way toward determining the playoff fates of several area teams and avoiding a list of three-way tiebreakers, points-allowed differentials and even a selection committee. That’s the situation for Carolina Forest, which can book its postseason plans by defeating Region 6-5A champion Sumter at The Black Hole. If not, the Panthers face the possibility of missing out on an automatic bid and placing their fate in the hands of a selection committee for an at-large playoff berth. Look for the Panthers to take the simple route. … Carolina Forest 27, Sumter 24.

* Conway at South Florence: The Tigers can take the short cut to the No. 2 seed (and the first-round home playoff game that comes with it) by beating the Bruins on the field and avoid a tiebreaker that involves points allowed and an abacus. Conway’s two triple-overtime games greatly skewed its points-allowed differential, so the simplest route to a playoff bid starts with a big win in Florence. … Conway 34, South Florence 23.

* Myrtle Beach at Marlboro County: The No. 2-ranked and undefeated Seahawks can clinch the Region 7-4A title outright with a win over the Bulldogs, or by simply not getting blown out. Myrtle Beach has a serious edge in a potential three-way tiebreaker via points-allowed differential. Look for the Seahawks to take care of business in Bennettsville. … Myrtle Beach 28, Marlboro County 16.

* Wilson at North Myrtle Beach: regardless of what happens in Bennettsville, the Chiefs can wrap up the No. 2 seed and a first-round home playoff game by defeating the Tigers. A bye week gave injured quarterback Ronnie Bass more time to heal and get ready for a playoff tune-up, but backup Cason McClendon has filled in admirably. No matter which one sees the most playing time, the Chiefs get it done. … North Myrtle Beach 31, Wilson 13.

* West Florence at Socastee: The season ends mercifully for the young and banged-up Braves, who are out of the playoff picture but can make one last stand and statement by knocking off the Knights. But West Florence is battling for a playoff spot and won’t slip up at The Reservation. … West Florence 27, Conway 22.

Last week 2-1; Overall 36-12

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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