With playoff seeding on the line, Panthers head to Evanston

Posted 10/22/20

Entering the final game of the regular season, the Panther football squad has locked up a spot in the playoffs. However, Friday’s conference matchup against the Evanston Red Devils could …

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With playoff seeding on the line, Panthers head to Evanston

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Entering the final game of the regular season, the Panther football squad has locked up a spot in the playoffs. However, Friday’s conference matchup against the Evanston Red Devils could determine Powell High School’s seeding for the postseason, as a loss could knock the hometown team down to the fourth and final seed from Class 3A West.

“We’ve got to take care of business in Evanston,” said PHS head coach Chase Kistler.

It is possible that the Panthers (5-2 overall, 2-2 in conference play) could lose and still claim the No. 3 seed — but only if Green River (2-5, 1-3) upsets Star Valley (3-5, 2-2) in Afton. And Coach Kistler has no interest in scoreboard watching. He wants his squad to simply close out the season with a win.

“I’d rather finish it … when we have control of what we need to take care of,” Kistler said.

The Red Devils have struggled this season, posting a 1-7 overall record and they have yet to win a conference game. But Evanston Coach Jim Burton told the Uinta County Herald that his squad will come to play against the Panthers.

“They’re gonna come fight every week — that’s what these kids are good at, and that’s what they do well,” Burton told the Herald.

The Red Devils aren’t the only ones looking to play the role of spoilers.

Entering Friday night’s games, Jackson (7-1, 4-0) holds the top seed in 3A West, followed by Cody (6-1, 3-1), Powell and Star Valley. However, Green River will get a shot at taking Star Valley’s playoff berth — and the CHS Broncs have a chance to dislodge the JHHS Broncs from the top spot in Jackson.

Depending on this week’s results, the Panthers could wind up in a couple different three-way ties, but both scenarios end with PHS making the playoffs.

Sportswriter Patrick Schmiedt explained the situation on Wyoming-Football.com: If Jackson, Star Valley and Powell all win and finish 3-2 in conference play, Cody takes the No. 2 seed due to a score differential of +5 (Powell 0, Star Valley -5) and Powell takes the third seed by having beat Star Valley. Alternately, if Powell loses and Green River takes down Star Valley — putting all three teams at 2-3 — Powell wins the tiebreaker and the third seed because of victories over both teams, Schmiedt wrote.

However, a Powell loss and a Star Valley win would put Powell in slot No. 4 and force a first-round matchup with the undefeated Douglas Bearcats, the No. 1 team from 3A East. If the Panthers claim the No. 3 seed, meanwhile, they would face Lander.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Friday in Evanston.

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