No football player, coach or fan wants to have their team’s playoff fate determined by a coin flip, but that could happen in Western Class B after tonight’s final regular-season games.

Every league in the state is starting its playoffs this week except Western Class B, which plays nine regular-season games, with four of the 10 teams making the playoffs.

Mountain Valley at 8-0 and Wells at 7-1 have secured the top two seeds. That leaves Cape Elizabeth (6-2), Greely (6-2) and Falmouth (5-3) competing for the final two berths.

Should all three finish at 6-3, a coin flip would be needed because head-to-head competition, the league’s first tiebreaker, wouldn’t settle it.

All three would have a combination of victories against each other. Cape beat Falmouth. Greely beat Cape. Cape plays at favored Mountain Valley tonight and Falmouth is at Greely.

Greely can head to the playoffs as the third seed by beating the Yachtsmen. The Rangers would miss the playoffs if they lose to Falmouth and Cape beats Mountain Valley.

Wells Coach Tim Roche and York Athletic Director Ted Welch, a former football coach, refer to the tiebreaker process as “the dreaded coin flip.”

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Roche. “To tell kids who have worked their butts off and whose team has the same number of wins that they won’t be going to the playoffs because of a coin flip is pretty bad.”

Roche said Wells has been involved in two coin flips in his 12 seasons as head coach. One was to make the playoffs and the other was for seeding. The Warriors won the flip to get into he playoffs, then lost the one for the higher seeding.

“One time we had the coin flip in a parking lot,” said Welch.

Unfair or not, that’s the way the league settles ties when head-to-head competition isn’t decisive.

The other five leagues in the state use Crabtree points, which measures strength of schedule. Since the teams in Western Class B all play each other, teams with identical records would also have the same strength of schedule, so the Crabtree system won’t work to break ties.

If Cape, Greely and Falmouth end with the same record, the coin flip likely would be Saturday night or Sunday morning, with the odd team losing out. The seedings of the two remaining schools would be determined by head-to-head play.

“The reason we play nine games is the majority of coaches in the league prefer it that way,” said Welch. “Everyone gets to play everyone else. The coaches like to go head to head.”

Head-to-head competition is always the best way to break ties, but this season it could come down to a coin flip. That’s not the best way, but the most expedient one.

 

BIDDEFORD WILL go into its first home playoff game in six years with sophomore quarterback Nick Leblond getting the start.

Leblond was pressed into action because the Tigers’ starting quarterback, Tyler Audie, was suspended after breaking the school’s code of conduct.

It’s been an emotional week for the team, but Coach Scott Descoteaux is confident Leblond will do well.

The Tigers also have two other players suspended.

“We have confidence in him,” Descoteaux said of Leblond. “Obviously it’s a gigantic situation for him to step into, but we have a senior offensive line and a lot of seniors whose responsibility is to pick things up. Nick is a super kid and very bright.”

Leblond has seen some action at cornerback and special teams. Descoteaux noted that he completed a pass against Sanford on a third-and-20 play to keep a drive alive when the Tigers needed to score.

The excitement of beating Thornton Academy for the first time in five years last Friday was quickly replaced with the disappointment of the events that led to the suspensions of the players.

The fourth-ranked Tigers (7-1) are looking to regroup and win their first home playoff game since 2003. It won’t be easy. Scarborough (7-1), seeded fifth, beat the Tigers 21-9 in the regular season.

“Scarborough has a lot of good athletes,” said Descoteaux. “They hurt us with three long passes. Hopefully we’re more prepared this time.”

 

TRAIP ACADEMY’S turnaround season will continue Saturday with its first playoff game since 1991.

A 6-2 season earned the Rangers the fourth seed in the Western Class C playoffs. Traip will meet fifth-seeded Oak Hill (4-4) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Kittery.

“With what we’ve been through, it feels better than good,” said Coach Ron Ross, in his eighth season. “The kids have worked hard and put us in a good spot.”

Traip’s offense is led by quarterback Matt Clifford and running back Alex Gamester. Traip and Oak Hill (4-4) didn’t play in the regular season.

 

TONY DIBIASE, an assistant coach at Portland, and Joey DiBiase, his son and a running back for South Portland, faced each other, so to speak, last Saturday in the annual Battle of the Bridge, won 13-7 by South Portland.

Joey DiBiase scored South Portland’s first touchdown on a 34-yard run.

With Portland out of the playoffs, Tony DiBiase will be able to watch his son play at second-seeded Bonny Eagle (7-1) tonight.

The Red Riots (5-3) are seeded seventh.

Tony DiBiase said he’s been able to watch his son play a few times this season.

The atmosphere in the household last week leading up to the Battle of the Bridge might have been a little different, but not appreciably so.

“We made it fun and did the best we could,” said Tony DiBiase. “Joey might have been a little more into it. He probably ran with a little more extra power.

“He loves to play football. I enjoy the game and watching him play. It’s high school football. It should be fun.”

Tony DiBiase pointed out that he works with the Bulldogs’ offense.

“I have no dealings with the defense,” he said.

Thus, he wasn’t devising ways to stop his son.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]