For those who may not have been playing real close attention the past couple months, the high school football season has been one to keep up with.
For those really out of touch, this week's games mark the 10th and final week of the regular season, which means a handful of teams will be playing for the right to play another week, while others will be putting away the helmets and pads this time next week.
Let's start with those who will be putting away the pads, because that may be simpler to write about. That list is shorter than those who may not.
Havre de Grace, Harford Tech, C. Milton Wright and Joppatowne are the four that are guaranteed not to move on. Oddly enough, HdG and Joppatowne are Harford's most successful football programs when it comes to state tournament appearances and, more importantly, state titles. HdG leads the way with 18 appearances and three state crowns, while Joppatowne has 17 appearances and two state titles.
Now, for those who are likely or guaranteed in. At the top of that list is Fallston. The Cougars roll into the final week trying to cap off an unbeaten regular season. The Cougars will likely stay atop the 2A East Region, even with a loss at Bel Air, but a win will keep the Cougars home for sure over the next two weeks.
To be honest, I'm not sure any of the remaining teams are locked in and Friday's games will loom large.
There is probably none bigger than Aberdeen's visit to Patterson Mill. Patterson Mill holds the fourth and final spot in 2A East, but a loss to Aberdeen and win by Easton could bump the Huskies out.
Don't expect the Eagles to roll over as they too, are fighting for a spot in 3A North. The Eagles are sitting fifth, just behind Dundalk. An Aberdeen win and Dundalk loss will move the Eagles up a notch.
Remember, the earlier game I referred to, the Fallston at Bel Air match-up? Right. Well, here's the deal. If Bel Air can pull the upset of the Cougars, the Bobcats, who are in a dead tie with Aberdeen, will likely overtake Aberdeen even if the Eagles win. Again, if Dundalk loses, Bel Air is likely to get into the fourth spot.
Now, staying in that region, North Harford enters the final week sitting third. The Hawks, though, are not clear of danger. If North Harford can't beat Perryville, both Aberdeen and Bel Air will jump over the Hawks and with a Dundalk loss, both Aberdeen and Bel Air could be in and North Harford and Dundalk out.
Edgewood is looming just far enough behind in 3A North that the Rams can't make up enough ground, even with a win over visiting Bo Manor. While playoffs may not be an option for the Rams, an UCBAC Susquehanna (lower) Division title is a win away.
In 1A East, a region handled by Perryville the past two years, the Panthers are still alive, but they will not have the luxury of the top seed. The Panthers are sitting third, with the possibility of moving up to second, or dropping back to fourth.
The Panthers will move up by beating North Harford and Edgewood beating Bo Manor. The Panthers will move down with a loss and a win by Kent County.
I guess it's the way week 10 should be. Enjoy whichever game you decide to see.