Week 5 separated groups in the race for the playoffs. Teams clinched, other teams drew closer, as other teams saw their hopes for extra football go by the wayside.
Below are the latest region standings as released by the Virginia High School League (VHSL) office on Monday. You'll also read our exclusive analysis on what is left to be done for teams to make the postseason, and, for those who have punched their ticket, what they may expect for the region semifinal round.
Teams who have clinched playoff bids are listed in bold.
CLASS 6, REGION A:
1) Oscar Smith: 30.0
2) Thomas Dale: 29.5
3) Franklin County: 26.2
4) Ocean Lakes: 23.0
5) Grassfield: 22.0
6) Western Branch: 21.2
7) James River: 21.0
ANALYSIS: The Tigers, a perennial power in Class 6, finish with 3-2 Indian River, while the Knights host Dinwiddie, who, at 4-1, must win to have any playoff aspirations in Class 4, Region B. Should both teams win, they'll be tied for first. It will come down to bonus points earned by teams on their schedules. Remember, you earn two points for each win by a team you've defeated.
Franklin County is the only team in the top four projected to play all six of their scheduled games. They'll open the Region 6A playoffs with a trip to the eventual #2 seed. Ocean Lakes' season is done. A Great Bridge win over Grassfield and a Deep Creek victory over Western Branch likely clinches the #4 seed for the Dolphins. James River must upset 5-0 Monacan and get wins from Great Bridge and Deep Creek to have a hope for a miracle move from seventh to fourth right at the wire.
CLASS 5, REGION B:
1) Hermitage: 28.0
2) Manchester: 27.0
3) Highland Springs: 26.4
4) Prince George: 25.2
5) Midlothian: 24.4
6) Varina: 24.2
7) Glen Allen: 22.4
8) Deep Run: 20.4
ANALYSIS: NOTE: THESE NUMBERS WILL CHANGE AFTER HENRICO/GODWIN GAME MONDAY NIGHT.
There's a lot to unpack here. The good news here is everyone is playing their sixth game. It makes it much easier to add and divide once all the numbers are in come Friday night.
First, Hermitage. The Panthers have winless J.R. Tucker in the Cat Bowl Friday. With a win, they'll have 164 points. Remember, all point totals here would be divided by six to get the rating you see above. Hermitage will get two points each for the winners of Glen Allen/Henrico and Deep Run/Mills Godwin. That's 168. If Varina beats Highland Springs, they finish with 170.
Manchester finishes Thursday night at winless Cosby. With a win, they'll be at 161 points. The Lancers will earn one point if Monacan beats James River, two if the Rapids pull off the upset. They'll get two points from the winner of Midlothian/Powhatan, two more should Clover Hill defeat L.C. Bird. Their maximum possible total is 167.
Speaking of the Springers, they begin at 132 points. Defeating Varina puts them at 164. They'll earn two points each from the winners of Mills Godwin/Deep Run and Henrico/Glen Allen. That would be 168. If J.R. Tucker stuns Hermitage, make it 170, and, yes, the Springers would draw the top seed. Now, if they lose to the Blue Devils, they would be at 149 points, a guaranteed 153 points, a maximum of 155.
Let's talk Prince George. They, too, have a winless opponent this week: Meadowbrook. Thus, only 24 points for a win, putting the Royals at 150. They'll earn two points from the winner of Colonial Heights/Petersburg, two for a Dinwiddie win, one for a Thomas Dale win, and two points if Matoaca defeats Hopewell. Their maximum is 156, but could finish with as few as 153.
Don't forget about Midlothian. The Trojans travel to a very good 3-2 Powhatan team who saw their playoff hopes in Class 4, Region B go by the boards last Friday, falling to Monacan. Any team coached by Mike Henderson will be ready to play. With a win, the Trojans move to 152 points. Midlothian earns one point if Manchester beats Cosby, two if the Titans pull off the upset. They'd also earn two points for victories by Clover Hill (L.C. Bird), Meadowbrook (Prince George), and James River (Monacan). A realistic final total might be 155. Their maximum is 160. Can Midlothian overtake Prince George if both teams win? They could, but they'll need Thomas Dale and Hopewell to both win.
For Varina, it's pretty cut and dry. By defeating Highland Springs, they'll vault up to 155 points. The Blue Devils get one point if Hermitage wins, two if Tucker pulls the upset, two if Henrico beats Glen Allen, two should Deep Run defeat Mills Godwin. Douglas Freeman's season is already over. Their maximum is 161, but 157 or 159 is more likely. If Varina loses, they're out.
CLASS 4, REGION B:
1) Monacan: 27.6
2) Patrick Henry: 26.8
3) King George: 26.0
4) Louisa: 25.6
5) Dinwiddie: 22.8
ANALYSIS: With Patrick Henry's win over Hanover, Spotsylvania's win over Eastern View and Monacan's win over Powhatan, last week saw an eight-team race get trimmed down to five.
Should all four top seeds, who all enter this week 5-0, win, they'll clinch bids, and Dinwiddie's season, win or lose Thursday against Thomas Dale, will conclude.
Monacan plays James River, 2-3 in Class 6. A win earns them 30 points to move the Chiefs to 168. They'll get two points for the Manchester/Cosby winner, two for the Clover Hill/L.C. Bird winner, and two more should Powhatan defeat Midlothian. Monacan's maximum is 174 points.
Patrick Henry faces winless Mechanicsville in Tomato Bowl 62. A win puts them at 156 points. They are guaranteed four points for the winner of Atlee/Hanover, teams that the Patriots have defeated twice. Patrick Henry's maximum is 160.
King George gets Spotsylvania (3-2) in what should be a good game. A win puts the Foxes at 158 points. They'll earn two points for the Chancellor/Eastern View winner and from the Caroline/James Monroe winner. That would be 162 points, enough to grab the second seed from Patrick Henry.
Louisa takes on Albemarle, 3-2 in Class 5. A victory places the Lions at 158 points. They'll earn two points from both the Orange/Western Albemarle winner and the Monticello/Fluvanna winner. Charlottesville's season is complete. Louisa's maximum, therefore, is 162.
As you see, this puts Patrick Henry at a disadvantage due to facing an 0-5 team. They could win, and drop to fourth, which would mean a trip to Monacan in the region semifinals should the Chiefs win their finale.
Now, Dinwiddie. A win over Thomas Dale would put the Generals at 148 points. They would earn two points each from the winners of Hopewell/Matoaca and Petersburg/Colonial Heights, and two more if Prince George knocks off Meadowbrook. Their maximum is 154 points, not enough to move out of fifth place should the four unbeatens stay that way.
CLASS 3, REGION A:
1) Lafayette: 27.0
2) Phoebus: 24.667
3) Tabb: 20.0
4) New Kent: 19.6
5) Hopewell: 19.333
6) Petersburg: 18.0
ANALYSIS: The top two seeds are in and should host in region semifinal play. The intrigue is in the next three seeds. Tabb visits New Kent on Saturday afternoon. The winner is in. The loser will find themselves out should Hopewell defeat Matoaca.
Tabb goes to 106 points with a win over New Kent, earns two points if York beats Lafayette, one point should the Rams win, then two points if Grafton defeats Warhill and if Poquoson wins over King William. Their maximum is 112, but divided by five.
New Kent goes to 118 points with a win. The Trojans get one point with a Lafayette win, one if Warhill beats Grafton and two should Grafton win. Two more points come if Jamestown beats Smithfield and if Poquoson knocks off King William. Their maximum is 125 points, divided by six.
As for Hopewell, a win over Matoaca gets them to 84 points. They'll get two points if Meadowbrook or Colonial Heights win, one point should Dinwiddie beat Thomas Dale. Their maximum is 89 points, divided by four. Simply put, a win extends the season.
CLASS 3, REGION B:
1) Goochland: 26.0
2) Independence: 22.25
3T) Brentsville District: 21.6
5) George Mason: 21.2
6) Lightridge: 20.6
ANALYSIS: The Bulldogs are in, but do need a victory in their finale to ensure the top seed. Skyline's win over Brentsville last week vaults them into a tie for third.
CLASS 2, REGION A:
1) King William: 20.5
2) Nottoway: 20.0
3) Poquoson: 15.5
4) Amelia: 15.4
5) Randolph-Henry: 13.5
ANALYSIS: The top four teams square off against each other to close the regular season as King William goes to Poquoson, while Amelia goes to Nottoway. With the top two teams already punching their ticket to the postseason, it's Poquoson and Amelia who needs wins to join them. Waiting in the wings, should either or both lose, is Randolph-Henry, who need a win over Central-Lunenburg to be in the conversation come Friday night.
CLASS 1, REGION A:
1) King & Queen Central: 18.0
2) West Point: 14.2
3T) Rappahannock: 10.667
ANALYSIS: This region is pretty much set, as the top four seeds have concluded their regular season.