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Sports

October 20, 2012

Playoff tickets punched for three area teams

DUNCAN — Three area teams can go ahead and start making plans for Week 11.

Duncan, Velma-Alma and Empire all locked up spots in the playoffs Thursday.

Duncan did it with a win over Southeast.

Velma-Alma did it with a win over Rush Springs.

Empire, which lost to Ringling, secured a spot thanks to Rush Springs losing.

For several other area teams, the door all but slammed shut on Thursday.

Marlow’s 22-19 loss to Little Axe didn’t completely eliminate the Outlaws from the postseason, but it made the odds slim. Marlow would need to beat Bridge Creek in its final District 3A-1 game and then have Little Axe and Bridge Creek both fall in their district finales.

Comanche is in a similar boat after falling to Hobart and falling into sixth place in the District 2A-3 standings. There are still scenarios where the Indians can climb to fourth or finish in a three-way tie for fourth, but it is no longer completely in their control as they need other games to go just right.

The game to watch this week may be Waurika and Central High’s District B-2 matchup, which could very well determine who goes to the playoffs and who goes home.

If Central High beats the Eagles, it is in. If it wins its next two games (beating Cyril in Week 10) the Bronchos will get a home playoff game. For Waurika to get in, it needs to beat Central High and then Oklahoma Christian Academy, and even then, there could be a tiebreaker scenario.

Though both teams have secured postseason spots, this week’s matchup between Empire and Velma-Alma will be very interesting as the winner could earn homefield advantage in the first round.

Ringling has put itself in line for the district title, but either Empire or Velma-Alma will soon be the only one-loss team in District A-4 and move into position for the other home playoff game.

“I think (Thursday’s win) was a huge confidence builder for us,” Velma-Alma coach Greg Gothard said. “I’ve seen Empire a little on film, but not a bunch. They’ve got several good football players and we’ve got to get after it to beat them.”

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