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With playoff spots on line, who’s in, who’s out?

We’ve reached the last week of the regular season. And while compared to recent years, 2019 has probably been somewhat of a disappointing season for many of the area teams, there’s still quite a bit to play for as we reach the regular-season finish line.

Outside of Tipton, who already clinched last week, the only “local” team who can win a district is Hobart, which is about an hour north of Lawton. However, district championships aren’t the end-all, be-all necessarily. As I’ve talked about in other recent columns, being able to host a playoff game can be a big deal, as can the ability to avoid certain teams in the first round.

For other teams, just getting into the playoffs will suffice. But just because some games have more playoff implications than other doesn’t mean the players and coaches will be giving any less effort. Keep in mind that this will be the last time many of these players throw on their school colors. At every stadium in Oklahoma where a football game will be played, Friday night will be special.

And we get to arguably the most important game of the week in the area. First of all, I was very impressed with Cache in its win over Elgin on Friday night. If the Bulldogs play like that (minus some of the penalties), they can play with just about anyone.

While the home crowd was enjoying a rivalry win, more good news was delivered from the public address system: Chickasha was beating Clinton late in the game. And once that score went final, the scenario was in concrete: winner of this week’s game at the Tornado Bowl claims second place and hosts a first-round playoff game.

Having seen each of these teams play this year, this should be interesting. Each team can be really good when it wants to be, but has had issues with penalties at times. Maybe it’s some recency bias, but I just think Cache is playing such good football right now. But more than anything, I was impressed with how ready Faron Griffin had his team last week. I wouldn’t expect anything different this week. I’m going for it: Cache 19, CLINTON 14.

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