SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

October 17, 2013

With two weeks left, football playoffs coming into focus (with video podcast)

(Continued)

It’s a be-careful-what-you-wish-for situation for Peabody, because snaring the No. 8 seed would mean a date with powerhouse Everett. If they somehow get to No. 7, that would be even better. Still, the possibility of a playoff appearance and a winning record in Year 1 under coach Mark Bettencourt is within reach if the Tanners win their next two at Revere and at home vs. Salem.

DIVISION 3 NORTHEAST

Beverly: With eight of 11 in the bracket getting postseason invites, it’s good news for Beverly. Revere and Dracut are winless and Somerville and Salem have just one win each, so you can book the 2-3 Panthers for the playoffs. Courtesy of last week’s win over Marblehead, Beverly is now in the hunt for a home game.

A win over upper-division Lynn English (worth 12 points) would probably catapult the Black-and-Orange into the top four should they beat 1-4 Swampscott the following week. They’re also still in the hunt for the NEC North championship as four teams (Beverly, Marblehead, English and Gloucester) currently have one league loss.

The Panthers’ games against fellow Division 3 Northeast dwellers Danvers, Marblehead and Gloucester all came down to the final possession, so finishing strong and securing home field could be important for the group.

Danvers: A win over Salem this week would guarantee Danvers a playoff spot as it would sew up a share of the NEC South championship. In reality, they’re in even without the NEC South title, but the prospect of hanging a league championship banner in the gym for the first time since 2005 has to make the Falcons happy.

Two more wins would put Danvers in position to earn the No. 2 or No. 3 seed, and that means the Falcons would earn at least one home game. A potential rematch with Marblehead looms in the semifinals if the Magicians wind up No. 2. Losses would send Danvers on the the road, but there’s no way they fall out of the top eight.

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