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Tonight’s regular-season finales to determine postseason berths

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The final regular-season Region 6 and Region 7 football games are being played tonight. Each game is big.

Only three of Utah Valley's 12 teams have determined their post-season seeding. The Springville Red Devils at 4-0 in league play will be the No. 1 seed from Region 6 — regardless of tonight's outcome — because of their huge win a few weeks ago over Timpview. A victory over Spanish Fork, however, gives them the league title outright. The Red Devils will get a first-round home game against either Logan or Sky View.

Timpview, by virtue of beating American Fork two weeks ago, is also set as the No. 2 seed from Region 6. The T-Birds will get a first-round home game against whichever Region 4 team that Springville doesn't get.

Pleasant Grove is the other team that knows its fate. The Vikings finished the season winless and are done for the year.

The remaining teams don't know their playoff seeding, and some haven't yet secured a post-season spot — three more teams will be eliminated by this time next week. Each region gets three spots, and a play-in game is set for Tuesday between both leagues' No. 4 seeds for the valley's seventh playoff team. Both regions could have a logjam at that No. 4 seed. In fact, it's very likely in Region 6.

Here's the possible playoff seeds and play-in game scenarios.

First, Region 6. If Provo beats American Fork and Spanish Fork and Payson lose, the Bulldogs earn the No. 3 seed and the Cavemen get the play-in fourth spot — Payson and Spanish Fork would be eliminated. A Cavemen win over Provo gives them the No. 3 seed. If Spanish Fork beats Springville and Provo and Payson lose, American Fork gets the No. 3 seed and the Dons get the fourth seed. The same happens for the Lions if Payson wins and Provo and Spanish Fork lose.

What will likely happen is this — Provo, Payson and Spanish Fork are all underdogs tonight and likely will finish tied for fourth at 1-4. This logjam will necessitate a Saturday tie-breaker playoff fest at Provo High. Payson would play Provo for two quarters, with the winner of that half game advancing to face Spanish Fork, with the winner of that half earning a spot in Tuesday's play-in game with Region 7's No. 4 seed.

In that scenario, one Region 6 team might have to play 12 quarters of football in less than a week just to earn a matchup next Friday with possibly Highland — a powerful team that will surely clobber them.

In Region 7, Orem wins the league title if the Tigers beat Mountain View. An Orem win combined with a Timpanogos win knots the second through fourth spots, creating a need for a coin flip to determine those seeds. If Mountain View and Lone Peak both win, the Bruins, Tigers and Knights share the title, and a coin flip will determine seeds. If the Bruins beat Orem and Lone Peak loses to Timpanogos, the Bruins are the region champs, Orem the No. 2 seed, Timpanogos the No. 3 seed and Lone Peak No. 4. If Orem wins and Lone Peak wins, the Tigers are the No. 1 seed, the Knights the No. 2 seed, the Bruins the No. 3 seed and the T-Wolves the No. 4 seed. Going by predictions, that's the likely finish.

Lehi's post-season picture is a little clearer. The Pioneers should beat Emery tonight, which means if Delta defeats North Sanpete, Lehi gets Region 8's No. 2 seed and a first-round home game with either Cedar or Snow Canyon. If North Sanpete wins, a coin flip will determine whether the Pioneers have the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 seed. Coach Joe Hayes got stuck with the No. 3 seed last year — and a road game at Morgan — through the same process.

Realistically, the playoff run starts today.


E-mail: jimr@desnews.com