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High school football playoff picture taking shape

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With two weeks left in the regular-season, a lot is on the line for high school football teams.

For Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (6-1) and Kimball/White Lake (5-1), a top seed is high on the list. The Class 9AA teams face off at 7 tonight in Kimball.

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The Seahawks are the top seed in Region 4 heading into this week. Postseason seeding is calculated on a power point scale, in which teams earn points for wins and losses. In power points, Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (48.571) edges Kimball/White Lake (48.167). Power points are the average of power points earned divided by the number of games played.

Today’s game is the Seahawks’ final game of the regular season as they have a bye next week. Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan head coach Jeff VanLeur said with the game being the last one for the Seahawks, it plays a much bigger role for his team from a mental standpoint.

“This game's big for us,” he said. “This is our last game of the season and I’d like to roll into the playoffs with a win. We want to go into the playoffs on a big note.

“Both of us are looking at hosting first-round playoff games. It’s the picture after that when they reseed.”

The WiLdKats have a tall order in front of them to gain the top spot in the region and needs to win their final two regular-season games over the Seahawks and Corsica/Stickney to have a chance to claim the top seed in the region.

“This week’s game is pretty big,” WiLdKats head coach Dale Taylor said. “If we can get us a win, it puts us in a better position for the playoffs, but we still need to win out.”

Last season, Kimball/White Lake edged Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan 26-22 last year in Ethan. Both coaches expect another battle tonight.

Through the first five games of the season, the WiLdkats were led by senior quarterback Riley Talbot, who completed 18 of 49 passes for 36 percent, 264 yards and six touchdowns. On the ground, he had 31 carries for 197 yards and six touchdowns. Junior running back Turner Blasius racked up 380 yards and four touchdowns on 77 carries. Blasius also leads the team in tackles.

The Seahawks are led by senior running back Wade Miller with 905 rushing yards, while junior running back Jordan Grosdidier has rushed for 713 yards. Senior first-year quarterback Blake Bartscher has thrown for 392 yards and Tyler Myers leads the defense with 64 tackles.

“We’ve got to take care of the line of scrimmage and take advantage of that,” VanLeur said. “Coach Taylor does a great job with his players and it’s going to be another good game.”

High school football playoff picture

With two weeks left in the regular season, here are teams which would be in the playoffs in Classes 9B, 9A, 9AA and 11B. Class 11A isn’t listed because all 16 teams qualify for the postseason.

The top three teams from each region based on highest power point average will automatically qualify for the first round of the playoffs. The next four highest power rated teams, regardless of region, will be selected as at-large qualifiers. The teams from each region are listed with their record and power point average. At-large teams also have region listed.

Class 9B Region 1 1. Faulkton Area, 5-1, 53.0

2. Eureka/Bowdle, 4-2, 52.5

3. Waverly-South Shore, 5-2, 52.286

Region 2 1. Hamlin, 7-0, 56.857

2. Dell Rapids St. Mary, 5-1, 49.833

3. Castlewood, 2-4, 46.0

Region 3 1. Avon, 7-0, 55.571

2. Burke/South Central, 4-2, 50.167

3. Canistota, 3-3, 46.667

Region 4 1. Harding County, 5-1, 54.5

2. Faith, 6-0, 54.0

3. Wall, 5-0, 52.4

At-large teams 1. Hitchcock-Tulare, 5-1, 51.5, Region 1

2. Kadoka Area, 5-1, 50.5, Region 4

3. Langford Area, 4-2, 48.833, Region 1

4. Estelline, 3-3, 44.667, Region 2

Just out of at-large bid 5. Scotland, 3-4, 44.143, Region 3

Class 9A Region 1 1. Leola/Frederick, 7-0, 53.857

2. Herreid/Selby Area, 5-1, 49.333

3. Tri-State, 4-3, 47.143

Region 2 1. Howard, 6-0, 54.5

2. Alcester-Hudson, 5-1, 51.167

3. Viborg-Hurley, 3-3, 45.167

Region 3 1. Potter County, 5-1, 52.5

2. Wolsey-Wessington, 6-0, 49.333

3. Colome, 5-1, 49.0

Region 4 1. New Underwood, 5-0, 52.8

2. Philip, 3-3, 45.5

3. Lemmon/McIntosh, 43.833

At-large teams 1. Corsica/Stickney, 4-2, 47.667, Region 3

2. Chester Area, 2-4, 43.667, Region 2

3. Newell, 4-3, 42.429, Region 4

4. Hanson, 1-5, 42.0, Region 2

Just out of at-large bid

5. Sully Buttes, 3-4, 41.571, Region 3

6. Andes Central, 2-4, 40.833

Class 9AA Region 1 1. Arlington, 7-0, 53.143

2. Clark/Willow Lake, 6-1, 50.714

3. Deubrook Area, 6-1, 50.714

Region 2 1. Garretson, 6-0, 53.5

2. Parker, 5-1, 49.667

3. Elkton-Lake Benton, 4-2, 45.33

Region 3 1. Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan, 6-1, 48.571

2. Kimball/White Lake, 5-1, 48.167

3. Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central, 4-2, 45.333

Region 4 1. Gregory, 6-1, 52.857

2. Hill City, 5-1, 46.667

3. Miller, 1-5, 38.333

At-large teams 1. Webster Area, 5-2, 47.857, Region 1

2. Deuel, 3-4, 43.857, Region 1

3. Menno/Marion, 3-3, 42.5, Region 2

4. De Smet/Iroquois, 3-3, 41.0, Region 1

Just out of at-large bid 5. Florence/Henry, 2-5, 39.714, Region 1

6. Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian, 2-4, 39.167, Region 3

Class 11B Region 1 1. Aberdeen Roncalli, 6-0, 53.833

2. Redfield/Doland, 6-1, 50.714

3. Mobridge-Pollock, 2-4, 42.0

Region 2 1. Canton, 5-1, 52.0

2. Flandreau, 3-3, 42.833

3. Tri-Valley, 3-4, 41.714

Region 3 1. Winner, 6-0, 55.833

2. Parkston, 5-1, 51.167

3. Wagner, 48.667

Region 4 1. St. Thomas More, 5-1, 52.5

2. Bennett County, 5-1, 51.333

3. Custer, 5-1, 50.833

At-large teams 1. Bon Homme, 4-2, 47.833, Region 3

2. Beresford, 4-2, 45.833, Region 3

3. Groton Area, 2-4, 41.5, Region 1

4. Red Cloud, 3-3, 43.167, Region 4

Just out of at-large bid 5. McCook Central/Montrose, 2-4, 39.667, Region 2

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Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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