Steamboat Springs Sailors head coach Mark Drake has a simple plan for getting his team to the state playoffs this season beat Delta.
"If we win this Friday, it will be pretty cut and dry," the coach said on Tuesday. "If we don't, then the whole thing gets pretty confusing."
The Steamboat Springs High School football team, 4-2 this season in league play, holds sole possession of third place in the Western Slope standings.
Palisade and Rifle, the two teams that will battle for the league title this Thursday night, have already consumed two of three playoff berths that are available.
The final spot, which will most likely be determined on the football field this Friday, will be decided by the outcome of the Steamboat-Delta game.
If Steamboat wins then Delta and Moffat County will both be eliminated.
If Delta, which is tied with Moffat County at 3-3, wins, "We could have three teams tied with 4-3 records," Drake said.
In fact, Steamboat, Moffat County and Delta could all finish the regular season with 4-3 marks. Delta will need to beat Steamboat and Moffat County needs to top winless Montezuma-Cortez in the regular season finals.
If that happens,
the Steamboat coach explained that a series of tie-breakers would be used to determine which team would earn the final playoff spot.
First the three teams' points against one another will be tallied. The team with the fewest points will be eliminated.
Then the two remaining teams will use the score from their regular-season meeting to determine which team advances to the first round of the state playoffs.
But Drake said the key for Steamboat is winning Friday night's game and avoiding any tie-breaking measures. Kickoff for that game will be at 7 p.m. in Delta.
"Delta has a very good ballclub," Drake said. "We can't make the kind of mistakes that we made last weekend in Rifle if we want to beat them. We had three turnovers that cost us points."
Both Steamboat and Delta were defeated last weekend. Rifle beat Steamboat in a 23-13 contest in Rifle. Delta lost to the Moffat County Bulldogs 14-11 in Craig Friday.
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