The 2017 high school football team will end for most schools tonight.
Vinton-Shellsburg (1-7) ends its season at Benton Community (5-3) with its last Class 3A District 3 matchup. Schools will receive new district assignments for the next two seasons.
Center Point-Urbana (4-4) ends it season at Dubuque Wahlert.
Union and Belle Plaine are the only area teams with playoff hopes at this time.
It’s been a strange season for the Knights, who spent much of the year in the Top 10 in both the Des Moines Register and Cedar Rapdids Gazette/KGYM Radio polls. The Knights, however, are in Class 2A, District, which also includes unbeaten Cascade and Waukon, which defeated Union 50-35 on Oct. 6. Cascade is ranked 3rd in the Gazette poll, and Waukon 5th. Union fell out of the DMR poll but is ranked 7th in the Gazette poll.
Union plays at Cascade tonight, with a playoff berth on the line. However, Knights Coach Joe Hadachek says the tie-breaking system which the Iowa High School Athletic Union uses to determine district winner and at-large playoff entries is too complicated for his team to know their exact playoff chances.
Hadachek says the number-crunching his staff did indicates that in order to earn an automatic playoff berth as one of the top two teams in its district, Union would have to win by nine over unbeaten Cascade. A win of fewer than nine or a loss may still allow a playoff opportunity, depending how Waukon does in its games, and other third-place teams in other district fare in their games tonight. One key tiebreaker is the point differential; Union’s is currently +1o.50.
There are seven districts in Class 2A. The top two teams in each district (determined by the 6 district games alone) will automatically advance, along with two at-large berths that will be decided by team records, head-to-head results and the tie-breaker system.
“We had a good week in practice and we are ready,” says Hadachek of his team.
Belle Plaine (6-2, and 5-1 in Class A District 5 games), plays undefeated Hudson in its regular season finale. An upset of Hudson could put Belle Plaine in the playoff picture.
The IHSAA playoff manual which includes its tie-breaker system can be seen HERE.