Week 9 of the high school football season came oh-so-close to being very clear, as far as postseason berths are concerned.
But then Kelso went and beat Mountain View on Friday.
Had Mountain View won, then it would have been Columbia River vs. Mountain View 7 p.m. at McKenzie Stadium for the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League title. And Kelso would have played Prairie in Battle Ground for third place.
But the Hilanders’ win Friday on a soggy field in Kelso muddied the playoff picture heading into the final week of the regular season.
Here are the possibilities:
• Columbia River and Kelso win: Columbia River is No. 1 at 5-0, Kelso is No. 2 at 4-1 and Mountain View is third at 3-2.
• Mountain View and Prairie win: Mountain View is No. 1 at 4-1, Columbia River is No. 2 at 4-1 and Prairie is No. 3 at 3-2.
Now the more complicated scenarios.
• Mountain View and Kelso win: Mountain View, Kelso and Columbia River tie at 4-1. All three teams would advance to the 3A state preliminary round, but a tiebreaker would be needed to determine seeding. The top two seeds would host playoff games next week.
• Columbia River and Prairie win. Columbia River is No. 1 at 5-0. Kelso, Mountain View and Prairie would tie at 3-2, needing a tiebreaker to determine which two teams advance to the playoff and which team has its season end.
The postseason possibilities in the other area leagues are much clearer.
n4A GSHL: Camas has clinched the No. 1 seed and will host a state preliminary game in Week 10. Union faces Skyview Friday at Kiggns Bowl to determine the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds to the playoffs. The 4A GSHL No. 2 team will host a playoff game.
n2A GSHL: Mark Morris is locked into the No. 1 seed to the 2A district playoffs, and Ridgefield is locked in at No. 2. Hockinson will clinch the No. 3 seed with a win over Washougal or an R.A. Long loss to Mark Morris. R.A. Long needs both a win Friday and a Washougal win over the Hawks to advance.
n1A Trico: La Center and Woodland meet Friday in Woodland to determine the Trico League championship and Nos. 1 and 2 seeds to the district playoffs. Toledo and Castle Rock meet to determine the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds.
To follow along with all the scores and updates, go to columbian.com on Friday and follow along with our Friday Football Scoreboard and Live Chat.
League play concludes this week for soccer teams, and the district playoffs begin in Class 2A on Saturday.
Hockinson hosts Washougal on Tuesday. A win by the Hawks would give them the 2A GSHL title and a home match Saturday against the No. 4 team from the Evergreen Conference.
However, a Washougal win could set up the possibility of a three-way tie for first place in the 2A GSHL among Washougal, Ridgefield and Hockinson. That scenario would eliminate Mark Morris from the postseason discussion. In the two teams’ first meeting of the season, Hockinson beat Washougal 8-0.
If Hockinson wins, that would set Ridgefield up to snare the No. 2 seed and a home playoff game against the Evergreen Conference’s No. 3 team on Saturday. It would also set up a tie between Washougal and Mark Morris for third place. That tie would need be broken before Saturday’s playoffs. Both teams have 1-0 wins in the season series between Washougal and Mark Morris.
The 4A GSHL title likely will be decided Thursday at McKenzie Stadium when Camas faces Union.
Camas holds a three-point lead in the standings heading into the week, meaning the Papermakers could secure the league title with a win, while Union may need a win to force a tie.
In the 3A GSHL, Columbia River holds a three-point lead over Kelso heading into the final two games of league play, as well as the tiebreaker with one win and tie against the Hilanders this season.
In the 1A Trico, La Center needs two wins to lock up the league title this week. The tougher win could come Thursday when the Wildcats travel to meet third-place King’s Way Christian. Woodland sits in second place.
Camas would clinch its first 4A GSHL title with a win at Heritage on Tuesday.
Likewise, Prairie would clinch the 3A GSHL title with a win at home against Hudson’s Bay on Tuesday.
In the 2A GSHL, unbeaten Ridgefield has already clinched the league title.
The Trico League tournament will be played Saturday in Woodland.
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.