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Playoff picture getting clearer for local teams

The playoffs picture for Queens’ high school football programs is becoming clearer as the season enters its final weekend, as teams in both the Catholic High School Football League and the Public School Athletic League jockey for postseason position.

In the PSAL, Bayside (3-4) has the most power points in the borough with 91 and would have been the No. 8 seeded team in the playoffs had the season ended following this past weekend’s games. But even so, Commodores coach Joe Capuana was fairly certain his team needed to win its game Sunday with August Martin to ensure a playoff spot.

Martin (4-3) would be the 12th seeded team with 80 power points and certainly needs the game more than the Commodores to make the playoffs, despite owning a better record.

“I think we’re the two best teams in Queens,” Capuana said. “It’s a showdown. We’re probably two evenly matched teams. Every time we play each other it’s always a war.”

The importance was not lost on Martin coach Mike Greene.

“Bayside is important,” Greene said. “They beat Magnet and Beach Channel and we have to beat Bayside. That’s a tough game.”

The two teams split the last two meetings, with Martin winning a 6-0 OT game two years ago at Ralph Jones Memorial Field and Bayside winning a 6-0 decision last season at Bayside. This year’s game will again be played at Martin, which, Capuana said, could give the Falcons the edge.

“We have not been able to beat them there,” he said. “It’s going to be a good game. They keep talking about how young they are, but if you’re young and good, you’re better than having old and no good.”

New Utrecht and Midwood are the two teams behind Martin in the run for the playoffs.

Prior to this season, the PSAL playoffs included 16 teams and could have included any team in the five boroughs. But following several severe blowouts in last year’s opening round, the PSAL eliminated two playoffs spots, leaving only 14 playoffs teams, with the top two teams receiving first-round byes.

The PSAL’s power points system rates teams either 1, 3 or 5 based on strength prior to the season and with each win a team collects its opponent’s power points. The elimination of two playoff spots was instituted to, by and large, exclude any team rated as a 1, but two Queens teams are still alive with a 1 rating.

Far Rockaway (6-1) has 87 points and Bryant (4-3) has 68, which made them 11th and 15th in the points race after last week, Both are still long shots to make the playoffs - even if they win.

The other Queens PSAL teams vying for playoffs positions are Beach Channel (90) and Campus Magnet (66). The two teams, both 3-rated teams, will play this weekend in a game that should eliminate the loser from the postseason. Beach Channel was 10th in points and Magnet 16th heading into the game, to be played at Beach Channel.

In the CHSFL, both Christ the King and St. Francis Prep should make the elite AAA playoffs. They are currently ranked fourth and fifth. St. Anthony’s, Iona Prep and Chaminade occupy the three top slots.

Holy Cross is currently seeded 11th among the top 14 teams eligible for the AAA playoffs - the highest playoff level. A win this weekend over Chaminade may give the Knights the top seed in the AA’s, but coach Tom Pugh is not expecting a fourth trip to the AAA’s.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

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