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Football

Friday Night Lights: Week 10

CIF playoff spots up in the air going into final regular season games

Dos Pueblos can win a share of the Channel League football title with a win at Ventura on Friday night.

A victory by the Chargers would create a three-way tie with Ventura and Santa Barbara at 3-1 and an unpleasant scenario to sort out who goes to the CIF playoffs

With the five-team Channel League guaranteed two playoff spots, one of the tri-champions — all of which are in different playoff divisions — will more than likely be staying home for the postseason.

Per the league constitution, the tie-breaking procedure order to determine playoff teams is head-to-head competition, a vote of the five school principals and a coin flip. If DP wins Friday's game, the head-to-head won’t work as Santa Barbara beat DP and Ventura defeated Santa Barbara. So it would come down to a vote for the two berths. The third team could get in the playoffs as an at-large team but only if there are openings in the bracket.

All 13 divisional playoff brackets consist of 16 teams, and the CIF fills the brackets first with league champions followed by second-place teams and, finally, third-place teams from leagues with six or more teams. In a breakdown of Division 10 provided by the Southern Section office to the Orange County Register, 14 teams already clinched playoff berths and nine teams are in line for the two remaining spots.

Dos Pueblos is one of those nine.

A Ventura win Friday would eliminate DP, give the Cougars their fourth straight league title and send them and Santa Barbara to the playoffs. Santa Barbara, which ended its regular season last week, is in Division 9 and Ventura is in Division 5.

There’s postseason drama in two other games Friday. Bishop Diego plays at Santa Paula for the Tri-Valley League’s No. 1 playoff spot —first-place Grace Brethren is ineligible for the playoffs — and Carpinteria travels to Malibu with a shot at finishing second in the Frontier League and possibly making the Division 12 playoffs.

Dos Pueblos (7-2, 2-1) at Ventura (7-2, 3-0), 7 p.m. — The Chargers need to be at their best against a Cougars team that is solid on both sides of the ball. Broc Mortensen is a handful at running back and quarterback Jack Gutierrez has been effective through the air. Middle linebacker Connor Mcdermott and 6-5 defensive end Brandon Gooding lead an aggressive defense. Ventura is coming off a bye week. The Pick: Ventura.

Bishop Diego (6-3, 1-1) at Santa Paula (5-4, 1-1), 7 p.m. Radio: 1290 AM — The winner in the battle of the Cardinals will be the No. 1 playoff representative from the Tri-Valley League. Both teams’ strength on offense is running the football. Bishop has the edge on defense. The Pick: Bishop Diego.

Carpinteria (3-6, 1-1) at Malibu (2-8, 1-1), 6:30 p.m. — Second place in the Frontier League is on the line. The Warriors’ offense clicked last week, rolling up 50 points in a win over Santa Clara. They should keep it going in their first-ever meeting with the Sharks in football. The Pick: Carpinteria

Buena (3-6, 0-3) at San Marcos (0-9, 0-3), 7 p.m.— If the Royals can contain Buena running back Juan Gaytan, they have a shot at finishing the season with a win. The Pick: Buena.

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