PCA, Briarfield hope to clear up playoff picture

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2003

[10/3/03]In the confusing, topsy-turvy world of Conference 5-A football, the standings are a strange study in frustration.

A quick glance reveals one undefeated team, three others with one loss each, and another with two losses. A look at the schedule for the last month of the season shows tons of games that will influence the playoff race, with plenty of possibilities and scenarios.

No one is sure what all of them are, or what it all means. All the players and coaches know is that every game from here on is a must-win, beginning with tonight’s matchup between Porters Chapel (3-3, 2-1 in conference play) and Briarfield (5-1, 3-0).

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“For us to contend for the conference title, we have to beat them. We know it’s a big game,” PCA coach Bubba Mims said, adding his team can’t afford a second conference loss. “I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but it would make it real tough.”

For Briarfield, winning is the only goal at the moment. The Rebels’ last two games are against Sharkey-Issaquena and Tallulah, each of whom have only one loss.

A win this week could eliminate one competitor, but Briarfield coach Lance Prine said there are still too many others out there to think about playoff possibilities just yet.

“It’s still wide open. We’ve got three district games left the three toughest,” Prine said. “It’d definitely help (beating PCA), but it’s too early to even think about anything like that.”

That’s also due in part to some of Prine’s other concerns, like whether or not he’ll have several injured starters back for tonight’s game.

Starting quarterback J.D. Kiefer has a knee injury and may not play, and right guard Major Tanksley is out with a torn Achilles tendon.

“When you’ve only got 13, it affects you a lot,” Prine said. “If one can’t go, we’re going to shuffle this way. If they can, we’re going to shuffle that way.”