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Sports

October 17, 2013

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

(Continued)

DIVISION 4 NORTH

Swampscott: Though an uncharacteristic 1-4, the Big Blue may be able to control their own destiny by grabbing wins over Gloucester and Beverly the next two weeks. In doing so, they’d be handing those teams their second league loss and putting themselves in position to finish second in the NEC North and snag a possible automatic qualifier. Those wins would also each be worth 12 points since they’d come against upper division foes.

Division 4 North has 16 teams with eight qualifying, so it’ll be one of the more difficult brackets to crack statewide. The Big Blue know one more loss would almost surely put them in the consolation bracket; they are alive, however, if they take care of their own business on the field.

Hamilton-Wenham: Wins the next two weeks over Lynnfield and Georgetown would probably be enough to get the Generals (2-3) in the field. The bad news is that unbeaten Lynnfield is one of the better teams in Division 4 statewide, so H-W will have to earn their berth the hard way.

The CAL Small standings are fairly tight, with Amesbury and H-W each having one league loss behind the Pioneers. If the Indians stumble and the Generals wind up second in the league, that might be their clearest path to a postseason berth. Amesbury did beat H-W, however, in a game that could loom large in potential CAL tiebreakers.

Ipswich: The Tigers (1-4) have a steep hill to climb in that they’ll need to defeat Manchester Essex tomorrow night and follow that up with a victory over powerhouse Lynnfield next weekend to give themselves a chance. It looks like Ipswich will be destined for the consolation bracket, which won’t be a bad thing because it may give them an opportunity to play close games against teams like CAL-newcomer Saugus.

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