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Final week of regular season to have big impact on football playoffs

Kevin Mays • Nov 6, 2019 at 12:30 PM

There are plenty of signs that the holiday season is quickly approaching in Southwest Virginia: leaves turning colors and falling off the trees, the first frost, deer season photos take over social media postings and the high school football regular season coming to an end.

The latter of the four comes to pass this weekend with most prep teams ending their regular-season gridiron seasons Friday night.

Castlewood and Eastside end their regular season Saturday afternoon in one of many key games that will have an impact on the regional playoff picture.

The football postseason begins Nov. 16 in Southwest Virginia, right about the same time folks begin shopping for that Thanksgiving turkey and the perfect Christmas gift.

ALL ABOUT SEEDING

The Castlewood-Eastside game is one of the most impactful games on the postseason.

Both the Blue Devils and the Spartans are in the playoffs, barring a string of major upsets on Friday night. Very much at question, however, is where each team will be playing.

Again, barring upsets, the top three spots are set in the Region 1D playoffs with Patrick Henry the top seed, J.I. Burton the likely No. 2 seed and Chilhowie coming in at No. 3.

The valuable No. 4 spot, and a home playoff game in the regional quarterfinals, is on the line when Eastside hosts the rival Blue Devils on Saturday at 3 p.m.

An Eastside win would put the Spartans at home a week from Saturday in the playoffs, while first-year coach Chris Lark’s Castlewood squad would drop to the No. 7 spot in the eight-team field.

By contrast, the Blue Devils would be comfortably in the No. 4 seed with a win over Eastside, while the Spartans would likely drop to the No. 7 spot.

Holston is the likely No. 5 seed, while No. 6 would go Thomas Walker.

The eighth and final spot is likely to go to Black Diamond District champion Honaker. The Tigers are probably the only BDD squad that will make the playoff scene this year.

OUTSIDE SHOT

Twin Springs has been on the bubble most of the season and has an outside chance of making the Region 1D picture. The Titans will have to beat rival Rye Cove on Friday and then hope for a lot of upsets and strange outcomes this weekend in order to out-point Honaker.

A LITTLE CLEARER

The Region 2D playoff picture is a little clearer heading into the final week of the regular season.

Just like Region 1D, barring any major upsets, Ridgeview will have the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row, while Union, Graham and Wise Central will likely have the 2-4 spots.

Richlands should beat Virginia High and jump over Tazewell in the process for the No. 5 spot.

Tazewell, Gate City and Marion will complete the eight-team Region 2D playoff field.

VOLLEYBALL, CROSS COUNTRY REGIONAL PLAY

With football a week away from the regional playoffs, prep volleyball and cross country are in the heart of regional competition.

Both the Region 2D, at Lebanon, and Region 1D, at Wise, cross country championships are scheduled for Wednesday.

The Region 2D volleyball quarterfinals are also scheduled for Wednesday. The 2D regional volleyball semifinals will be played at Virginia High in Bristol on Saturday, with the championship scheduled at Virginia High on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

On the Region 1D volleyball level, the quarterfinals are slated for Thursday with the semifinals set for Nov. 12 at Eastside High in Coeburn. The championship is scheduled for Nov. 13 at Eastside.

FOOTBALL

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

5-Star — Corbin Kilgore, RB/LB, Twin Springs Titans

The senior leader had a big night for the Titans in a Cumberland District 35-13 upset win over Thomas Walker. He finished with 197 yards rushing and three touchdowns on offense and recorded 11 tackles on defense.

4-Star — Mason Polier, RB/LB, Union Bears

The senior NCAA prospect had 181 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries and was a defensive leader for the Bears in a 28-21 2OT win over Abingdon.

3-Star — Jeremiah Allen, RB, Castlewood Blue Devils

It was another standout night for the junior who finished with 181 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the Blue Devils’ 44-12 win over Twin Valley.

2-Star — C.J. Crabtree, RB, Wise Central Warriors

In a key Mountain 7 District contest, the junior had 138 yards rushing on 21 carries to lead a trio of Warrior runners around the 100-yard rushing mark in Central’s 35-21 win over Gate City.

1-Star — Esau Teasley, RB, J.I. Burton Raiders

The sophomore had a big night in a balanced rushing attack for Burton. He finished night with 101 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the Raiders to a big 39-6 win over Rye Cove.

TOP TEN

Graham and Union kept the top two spots in the weekly top 10 football rankings, while Castlewood moved into the No. 10 spot. Here’s a look at this week’s top 10, with the team’s record, how they fared this past weekend and their ranking from last week.

1) Graham (7-2) beat Fort Chiswell 50-6 – 1

2) Union (7-2) beat Abingdon 28-21 in 2OT – 2

3) Patrick Henry (9-0) beat Chilhowie 16-13 – 4

4) Ridgeview (7-2) lost to Pikeville, Ky. 67-28 – 3

5) Wise Central (7-2) beat Gate City 35-21 – 5

6) Richlands (5-4) beat Lebanon 28-7 – 6

7) Chilhowie (7-2) lost to Patrick Henry 16-13 – 8

8) J.I. Burton (7-2) beat Rye Cove 39-6 – 9

9) Tazewell (6-3) beat Grundy 42-18 – 10

10) Castlewood (6-3) beat Twin Valley 44-12 – NR

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