The Dominion Post  

Mohigans still hoping for playoff berth at 4-6

Created on:   Sat, Oct 28, 2017   12:48 AM

Last modified:   Sat, Oct 28, 2017   12:48 AM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — Now that its regular season is over, all the Morgantown High football team can do is wait.

The Mohigans (4-6) entered the Oct. 27 contest against crosstown rival University (10-0) ranked 13th in the WVSSAC playoff ratings. With their loss to the Hawks combined with a bye week to close the regular season, MHS is in danger of falling out of the top 16, ending its playoff hopes.

“We still have a chance to make the playoffs at 4-6, as crazy as that is,” Mohigans head coach Matt Lacy said. “We’ll see where we are numbers-wise after all these games tonight, where they may project us. We’ve got next week to practice and stay ready, so if we do get in, we’re still fresh.”

For the Mohigans, the mind set must be that they’ll be competing in two weeks’ time.

“It’s definitely tough,” Lacy said of the challenge of practicing without knowing whether there will be another game or not. “That’s our job as coaches, to keep the morale high and come in with a practice plan. It’s also a real good time to work on fundamentals.”

MHS will benefit from a tough regular season schedule. MHS’s six losses entering this weekend were against teams with a combined 45-9 record on the year, with three of the opposing schools (UHS, John Marshall and Martinsburg) ranked in the top 10 in Class AAA. In addition, two of the squads (Steubenville, Ohio, and North Allegheny, Pa.) look to be serious playoff contenders in their home states.

In addition, the Mohigans have decisive victories over fourth-ranked Musselman and 14th-ranked Wheeling Park.

“If you look, the Musselman game was a bunch of (ratings) points for us, so that’ll help, and Park has won some games,” Lacy said. “Losing three in a row and limping into the playoffs isn’t where anyone wants to be, but we’ll regroup and come up with a game plan.”

With only 29 teams in Class AAA football in West Virginia, it’s not unheard-of for a squad to finish at or under .500 on the year and still earn a playoff bid. Last year’s 16th seed, Hedgesville, entered at 5-5, failing to earn a winning season. The Eagles fell to eventual state champion Martinsburg, 69-0, in the first round.

“Usually, 5-5 squeaks in; 4-6 isn’t as common, but if we get in, we’ll be proud,” Lacy said. “You always have a chance to make some noise once you’re in the playoffs.”

If the Mohigans do earn a bid with one of the bottom spots, they’ll likely travel to face Huntington or Martinsburg in the opening round. MHS has already fallen to Martinsburg once on the year, suffering a 51-7 loss, in Week 5.

“We’ve went on the road six times this year, so if we do get in we’ll continue to be road warriors,” Lacy said.