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I realize there is one more week of regular season left but I think its safe to say that Dunmore and GAR will get the 1 and 2 spots and receive a bye the first week.
Let's get some opinions on the rest of the teams.
Who's gonna make it? and What are their chances for the long haul?
Personally I think GAR looks real good to go the distance. They have gotten consistently better since the start of their season. Their coaches seem to have them really prepared for every opponent and they have depth. They are more than a one man show as they are spreading the ball around more and more. Ryan Womack is the real deal but GAR is smart enough to know that no team will make it very far if they depend on only one player which is evident by the way they have spread the ball around and kept opponents guessing. There defense is also solid and very impressive.
Lehman has an extremelly talented team also but seem to have a hard time making the big play when facing a strong opponent. I know its been said over and over but I do believe the weak schedule they were dealt may haved done them more harm than good in the long run. Their defense hadn't really been tested for most of the season. Hanover and GAR were the only two teams that were really a test for them. They only beat Hanover by a field goal and GAR of course everyone knows what happened with that one. This is no way meant to offend Lehman because I truly believe they have an outstanding team and very talented athletes. Their offense is well rounded with a strong mix of run and pass. I just think they may have been better off if they had gotten more experience on defense with stronger opponents. I know there is nothing they can do but play the schedule they were given. At any rate, I would not count them out to go the distance in playoffs because they do have the talent.
GAR is very talented. Their defense really rose to the occasion facing Lehman's powerful offense. Lehman did move the ball, and overall had better stats than GAR, but GAR forced four turnovers. Three of the turnovers were on great first down plays by Lehman. Really brings a team down. But I still think GAR is pretty much a one man show. They had 288 yards of offense (to Lehman's 369) and 170 of it was Womack rushing. Only 19 yards passing. I don't know Tandoh's numbers, but I know he had one big run of 40 yards. For the most part, a defense has to shut down Womack to have a chance against GAR. But good luck doing that.
Lehman is not in a bad position in the playoffs. I believe they will be the #3 seed. They will host a first round game. #3 hosts #6 and #4 hosts #5. Then, in the semi's, #1 hosts the 4/5 winner and #2 hosts the 3/6 winner. So Lehman will not have to face Dunmore until the finals. Their chance of making the finals vs. #6 and then #2 GAR are much better than having to to get Dunmore in the semi's.
Lehman may not get past the first round. Dont forget Lakeland and Valley View may be the other two teams that get in. Valley View had Dunmore on the ropes 20-19 with 2:00 minutes left. They also had a Abington beat until a late fumble running out the clock. Riverside and Valley View tied 20-20 with 6:00 minutes to go in the 4th. Valley View scrimmaged Lehman in August it was a very competitive scrimage. I believe each team had one touchdown.
Lakeland is very powerful huge line, huge fullback. They "Pound that Rockl". Just saying give a little respect to the Lackawanna league.
I totally agree. I see Lehamn losing in the first round if they have to play Valley View or Carbondale. This Lehamn team reminds me of the hoban team from a few years ago. They ran through a soft WVC schedule and got stomped by a Lackawanna League team (Dunmore) at WB memorial.
I doubt Lehamn will see Lakeland in the first round tho. It looks like Lakeland will be 4 seed. It's either Hanover, Carbondale or Valley View for Lehamn.
I fully expect a tough first round game. Valley View and Lakeland are playing top notch football right now. Lakeland took a few lumps early in the season, but have really turned it on. Valley View and Lehman know each other a little, since we have been scrimmaging for the past few seasons. I was just saying that Lehman's 3rd seed is better than a 4th seed because of the potential semi matchup.
Update - I just looked at the D2 AA standings, points and this week's games. The points are the killer. In the top 8, all should be favorites except Valley View. They are playing Scranton. But even if they lose, they should not fall out of the top 6. They will just switch places with Hanover. Carbondale and Mid Valley would be sitting at 7 and 8, with a better record than Valley View.
The D2 AA playoffs can be described in one word:
D U N M O R E
Unless Dunmore totally chokes, everyone else is playing for 2nd.
The way the seeding fell out, it is really the Wyoming Valley Conference and the Lackawanna League each having their own playoff, and the winners are each in the D2 finals. From the WVC perspective, maybe somebody like Lakeland or Valley View can knock off Dunmore in the semi's. It is a long-shot, but one can wish.