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October 23, 2013

Football playoff picture still blurry, but starting to clear up

EDITORS NOTE: This is a corrected version of the story. The original story did not factor in Triton’s previous four wins, meaning Masconomet can earn 20 points with a win Friday not eight and still has a chance to move into the No. 4 seed and ahead of Gloucester.

The short but confusing Massachusetts high school football regular season is coming to an end this weekend with the sectional quarterfinals looming the following week.

After seven weeks of number crunching, Gloucester and Manchester Essex’s playoff picture is starting to come into focus, sort of. With just one week to go before the playoffs start there is still much to be ironed out in both Division 3 Northeast, where the Fishermen play, and Division 5 North, where Manchester Essex plays, and the possibilities are endless.

Here’s a look at where each team stands, what it needs to do, and who it needs to watch in Week 7.

Gloucester (5-2)

With 91 points, the Fishermen currently sit in third place in Division 3 Northeast. It’s power rating (points per week), however, is 13 which puts it in a tie for the No. 4 seed with Beverly. With 89 points and a favorable matchup against Winthrop on Friday, Danvers (5-1, 14.83 power rating) will most likely move past Gloucester and into the No. 3 seed, while Tewksbury (6-0, 21 power rating) and Marblehead (5-1, 16.33 power rating) have essentially locked up the No. 1 and No. 2 spots respectively as long as each team takes care of business this weekend.

Gloucester has locked down a playoff spot but its opponent and seed are still up for grabs. Beverly (3-3, 13 power rating) or Masconomet (4-2, 12.83 power rating) are still in the running for that No. 4 seed depending on several scenarios this weekend. Here is where things get really complicated.

Although Gloucester has a bye this week and has to sit back and watch teams pick up points, it can still gain points of its own and its power rating can only go up this weekend. The Fishermen can earn three points with wins from Lynn Classical over Revere, Lynn English over Marblehead, Salem over Peabody and whichever team wins the Beverly vs. Swampscott matchup. Gloucester can also earn a point with a Marblehead win over Lynn English or a Masconomet win over Triton.

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