When you play in a district with just two other teams, the task becomes clear quickly: beat both of them and you’re the champion.
That was the formula for Melbourne Central Catholic, and the Hustlers completed it Friday with a 52-7 win over John Carroll. MCC, as a result, claimed the District 6-3A title, a playoff spot and a first-round home game.
Most of the 16 other teams in the county have unfinished business, other than those already eliminated. Here’s a look at where each race stands:
Viera’s 55-24 win over Martin County means the Hawks can win the district outright by beating South Fork on Oct. 28. The other game that night in this four-team district is Melbourne at Martin County, and a Bulldogs win, combined with a Hawks win, would create a three-way tie for the second playoff spot. If Melbourne loses, the Bulldogs are out.
Likewise, if Viera loses on the 28th, there would be a three-way tie for first if Martin County beats Melbourne. A Melbourne win and a Hawks loss means Viera finishes second to South Fork.
This could be the year without playoffs for Brevard teams from this district, but Eau Gallie can prevent that Friday. The Commodores visit Okeechobee, and the winner will be one of the top two teams in the standings at 3-1. Sebastian River, 3-0 after a Friday win over Heritage, was scheduled to host Bayside on Monday. The Sharks were heavy favorites in that postponed game.
It’s too early to count out Heritage, but the Panthers need help after losing two of their first three in 14-6A play. The first was a 7-6 loss at Okeechobee, and the 5-1 Brahmans have to be favored to take the runner-up spot unless the Commodores upset them this week.
Regardless of what happens Friday, there will still be a week of district games to play.
It appears that the district title will be decided by the game most expected to decide it, unless an upstart makes trouble for the leaders down the road.
Merritt Island hasn’t lost a district game since 2010, but Palm Bay will be the home team Friday when the two play. The Pirates are 6-0 and ranked fourth in the state in Class 5A, but the Mustangs won there, 31-0, in 2014.
When Merritt Island lost two of its first three this fall, it looked like a rough year was coming, but the Mustangs are making their annual mid-season charge to the finish line. They’ve won four in a row, and their Week 8 win over Titusville, 14-12, may have indicated that they’re already thinking about Palm Bay.
But wait. Even if Merritt Island beats Palm Bay, an improving Rockledge team is 2-1 in 14-5A and will host the Mustangs on Oct. 28. First, the Raiders have to get past the Terriers, in Titusville.
The bottom line is that this district is still far from settled, but this week will clear it up considerably.
Cocoa is in control. If the Tigers win at Astronaut, they’ll just need a little help to clinch the championship. A win by Orlando Jones over Port Orange Atlantic, also Friday, would mean no team could pass or tie Cocoa in the standings. Even with a Cocoa win over the War Eagles, an Atlantic defeat of Jones would leave a number of possibilities.
Holy Trinity plays John Carroll in Fort Pierce on Oct. 28 with a simple task. Win, and the Tigers make the playoffs.
Some scenarios are that clear.
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or email@example.com. Follow facebook.com/FLtoday.brianmccallum and @Brian_McCallum on Twitter.