California team faces 6-hour minimum round trip to playoff game, all because of a coin flip

Every year there’s at least one or two high school football playoff games that are most notable for the extreme travel lengths they require. Traditionally they come in Texas, but this year, the first true gas-buster comes from Southern California.

As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Lompoc will travel to take on Etiwanda, a 190-mile trip that will require more than three hours each way, particularly the road out which will include time in traffic.

Needless to say, that’s a huge home field advantage for Etiwanda.

If you think the reason Lompoc is the squad bussing more than six hours is based on record, think again. Lompoc finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 mark before whitewashing Carter in the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs, 65-0. Etiwanda? The Eagles don’t even have a winning record. The team finished the regular season at 4-6 before pulling out a 24-14 victory against Valencia.

So, why in good graces is Lompoc the team trucking across the state? It all comes down to a coin flip, so even though Lompoc had six more wins than Etiwanda in the regular season, its players will find themselves on the end of an epic journey in the second round.

If that doesn’t seem fair to you, well, it probably isn’t. But it’s also part of the great uncertainty that abounds in high school football playoffs, all of which can make the entire experience so unpredictable and thrilling … provided you aren’t one of the football players spending 7-8 hours on a bus.

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