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Five teams battle for one spot on Halloween night

East County football teams chase last guaranteed spot into the 6A bracket

A wild chase for the playoffs finds five East County teams battling for one guaranteed spot when the regular season wraps up Friday night.

Plenty of scenarios are in play Friday night, but barring any upsets, the winner of the Gresham at Centennial game will likely keep their season alive.

“Every year, it’s a big game when we meet, but even more is at stake this year — that’s what high school football is all about,” Centennial coach Chris Knudsen said.

The Gophers suffered a five-game skid to start league, but stayed in the playoff mix with a blowout 33-7 win over David Douglas last week.

With a win in its finale, the only way Centennial misses out is if Barlow pulls an upset over an Oregon City squad that has won five straight.

“Anybody can beat anyone else on any given Friday, and that’s proven out this year,” Knudsen said. “It’s been a crazy year with it coming down to who’s most ready to play on a Friday night.”

Reynolds High kept its hopes alive with a late two-point conversion to knock off Barlow 36-35 last week. The Raiders will have to pull off a bigger surprise tonight going up against No. 10 Clackamas. Although the Cavs have lost two of their last three, needing some good fortune and overtime to get past Gresham for their only win during that recent stretch.

“These kids have shown the ability to compete and rise to adversity all year,” Raiders coach Dustin Janz said. “They are really hungry to grab that spot.”

The Raiders were within a point of Clackamas at halftime before losing to the Cavs last year.

“If we’re making it hard on the other team to score points, we’ll know that we are playing well and in position to win,” Janz said.

Missing out on fourth place won’t necessarily end a team’s season, as eight wildcard spots, based on OSAA ranking, will be awarded to round out the 6A bracket.

Look for live in-game updates from tonight's games on Twitter @parkerscottlee and @DaveBallSports

In addition to the last guaranteed spot out of the MHC, eight wildcard spots will be awarded based on final OSAA rankings.

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