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Week 11 of the high school football season will be far from a ho-hum night in Southwest Virginia, but there will be almost no big-picture drama on the final night of the regular season in Region C, Division 1.
With all six playoff spots already locked up, the only thing left is dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. That, and working out little details such as who plays whom in the first round next week.
One thing is for certain – Galax is not only in the postseason for the first time since 2002, but waaaay in, either as a No. 2 or No. 3 seed.
(As an aside, there is this guy down in Grundy who is either a football/mathematics whiz or has too much free time on his hands, or both. Maintaining a Web site under the screen name of VHSL Helper, he is profoundly helpful to sportswriters, coaches and fans near and far this time of year with clearing up possible playoff scenarios in regions C, D and IV, going as far as mapping out possible point totals for every team, win or lose, in the final couple of weeks of the season. Helper calls it his ‘Cheat Sheet.’ Though unaffiliated with the VHSL, his phone calls to Charlottesville often correct mistakes made by the official folks up there. All playoff scenario information herein is credited to VHSL Helper.)
With the top spot locked up forever ago by Eastern Montgomery, Galax and Bath County will decide tonight who gets the No. 2 seed and the first-round bye that goes with it. In a virtual deadlock with Bath (the Chargers are percentage points ahead after nine games), Galax (6-3 overall, 2-1 district) has the easier path to the second seed with a Mountain Empire District game tonight at Narrows (2-7, 1-2). Bath County will need at win on the road at Pendleton County, W.Va. (7-2) to hang on to the No. 2 position.
Galax will enter the playoffs seeded no lower than No. 3 and would host either Covington, Craig County or Rural Retreat should that be the Maroon Tide’s fate, but a No. 2 spot would be more than worthwhile as it would put off a meeting with EastMont until the region championship game.
While Narrows will be closing the curtain on its 2010 season, Galax will be tuning up for the weeks to come. The Maroon Tide has ripped off two impressive wins since a 20-16 setback at Fort Chiswell and is returning to full strength, with runningback/linebacker Jordan Vaughan cleared to play last week after suffering a broken foot on Sept. 24 against Craig County.
If anything good has come from the injury it is the fact that the Tide has discovered remarkable depth at the runningback position. Both Jacob Fisher and Steven Peoples have had 100-yard rushing efforts during Vaughan’s absence, and Deion George has taken up some of the slack by emerging as a serious big-play threat at wideout with 33 catches on the year for 666 yards, including 16 receptions for 305 yards in the four games since Vaughan’s injury.
All that could be disconcerting to Narrows, which continues to struggle defensively. The Green Wave has allowed an average of 44 points in its seven losses, including a season-high 54 last week against Grayson County. Narrows surrendered nearly 300 yards on the ground in the loss to the Blue Devils.
Traditionally a little on the porous side itself on defense, Galax has made serious strides on that side of the ball in 2010 and has given up more than 20 points just three times in nine outings. After allowing an average of about 25 points per game over the past five seasons, Galax has whacked that average to just 14 points per game this year.
Galax (6-3, 2-1) at Narrows (2-7, 1-2)
Friday, 7:30 p.m., Ragsdale Field
Radio: WWWJ 1360AM
Galax defeated Bland County 32-7
Narrows lost to Grayson County 54-14
2009 (Galax won 35-6)
Last Narrows win
Galax lost 38-26 Sept. 10
Narrows lost 48-6 Sept. 3
Galax won 30-21 Sept. 24
Narrows lost 34-6 Sept. 10
Galax won 34-6 Oct. 22
Narrows lost 36-20 Oct. 1
Galax lost 20-16 Oct. 15
Narrows lost 48-8 Oct. 22
Galax won 23-14 Oct. 8
Narrows lost 54-14 last week
D Northwood 45-0 8/27 L to JmsMonroe, WV 46-8
D Alleghany NC 35-0 9/3 L to EastMont 48-6
L to EastMont 38-26 9/10 L to Craig Co. 34-6
L to Radford 27-21 9/17 L to Giles 42-14
D Craig County 30-21 9/24 D Auburn 20-14
Open 10/1 L to Covington 36-20
D Grayson Co. 23-14 10/8 Open
L to Ft. Chiswell 20-16 10/15 D Bland Co. 20-13
D Covington 34-6 10/22 L to Ft. Chiswell 48-8
D Bland County 32-7 10/29 L to Grayson Co. 54-14
at Narrows 11/3 Galax
The series (since 1970)
#Region C playoffs
Narrows leads 22-19-1