So, you think your life is complicated. Well, just read this and I guarantee your head will be spinning, helmet-head fans.
It's down to the wire for high school football teams hoping to qualify for the playoffs. And after what happened statewide this weekend on the field,it's going to take a lot of luck for the winner of the celebrated Severna Park-Annapolis season finale to make the Class 4A state playoffs. That's especially true in the category of bonus points.
Upset wins by Baltimore County's Woodlawn and Paint Branch of Montgomery County, not to mention another win by Perry Hall of BaltimoreCounty, have put the Annapolis-Severna Park winner's chances in jeopardy.
Old Mill (8-1) is definitely in as the 4A Region IV championwith 98 playoff points going into the final weekend and if North County -- with 79 points -- defeats Broadneck, the Knights would be in.
The Patriots clinched the Region IV title Friday night in a 34-7 romp over winless Queen Anne's (0-8).
Old Mill is one of four who will be playing in post season; the others, with not all bonus points included, are: Region II leader High Point of Prince George's (8-1, 94 points), Quince Orchard (8-1, 92 points) and Wootton (8-1, 91 points), both from Region I Montgomery County.
The point totals are based on the games they played this past weekend and what they were worth to them individually. All point totals for Anne Arundel and Baltimore County teams are up to date.
After that, things get very confusing, football fans, so bear with me and read slowly as we try to paint a playoff picture that makes some sense.
It's all part of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association playoff points scheme. The system goes like this: points are awarded by the size of the schools, with 4A being the largest and worth 8 points; 3A (7), 2A (6) and 1A (5). But that's not all.
Football is the only MPSSAA sport that also awards bonus points. A team receives one additional point each time a team they defeated wins, and those bonus points, reflecting the toughness of schedule, separate the playoff teams from those who stay home.
There is no way runner-up North County (7-2), a 7-6 winner over Glen Burnie (4-5) Saturday, can catch the Pats in playoff points even if Glen Burnie upsets Old Mill the final game this week.
North County has 79 playoff points through the weekend and, with a victory in their final game over Broadneck (5-4) plus bonus points, they still can't catch Old Mill. Even if Old Mill loses its last game, the Pats will earn at least three bonus points.
Since Old Mill defeated North County, 3-0, a Knights win would be one bonus point, and two more will come from the Severna Park at Annapolis and Arundel at Meade games. The Pats have beaten all four of those teams.
So, even with a loss to Glen Burnie, Old Mill could still end up with 101 points. The Patriots went into this past weekend with 86 points and picked up a dozen more via the win over Queen Anne's, which was worth 8 points since the Lions are a 4A team. Four bonus points were garnered with Annapolis, North County, Severna Park and LaPlata (6-3) of Charles County all winning.
If North County loses its final gameat home to Broadneck, which, by the way, is going to be a tough gamebecause of the Bruins' defense, the Knights still might slip in at 7-3 with possibly 83 or 85 points, but will need help around the state.
The maximum number of bonus points North County could earn the final weekend would be six. That would include a Glen Burnie upset of Old Mill and wins by Chesapeake (1-8) over 2A Northeast (4-5) and Queen Anne's (0-9) over Elkton (2-7).
North County would also have tohope for Severna Park to defeat Annapolis since the Knights beat theFalcons 28-20 but lost to the Panthers, 33-7. And if Howard County'sOakland Mills (6-3) wins at Howard High (5-4), it would be one more bonus point.
The Arundel/Meade game gives the Knights a point either way because they beat both of those teams.
So, to be on the safe side, the Knights have to win over Broadneck in order to play at least one more week.
Now getting to Annapolis and Severna Park, their chances of making it with a 7-3 record were dimmed when Woodlawn (7-2) won in football-nuts Cumberland over Class 2A Fort Hill (4-5) by 14-10 Saturday night, and PaintBranch (6-3) upset the D.C. area's topranked Wootton (8-1) 14-7 on Friday night.
Annapolis coach Roy Brown was banking on Woodlawn losing at Fort Hill because, as he said so well, "it's really tough to win up there." He meant Cumberland, where they pack in 7,000 to 8,000 fans a game.
But Woodlawn was up tothe challenge and Rodney Pettit's second touchdown run of the game from two yards out in the final period lifted the Warriors.
With that win worth 10 points (2A school with four wins) and a bonus point (Dulaney over Franklin by 42-18) over the weekend, Woodlawn starts thefinal weekend with 72 points.