Among Prince William County high school football teams, Gar-Field is the only lock as of now for a playoff berth.
Patriot, Battlefield and Brentsville remain in the mix, but certain scenarios must play out first before anything is settled going into the final week of the regular season.
With teams only playing a maximum of six regular-season games in battling for four regional berths, the margin for error is much smaller.
This season, the top four advance from each region based on power points instead of the usual eight. Even if teams only lose once, it might be enough to keep them out.
The Virginia High School League will release the official matchups Sunday afternoon.
In Class 6 Region B, there are only two spots left.
Gar-Field (5-0) is back in for the second straight season regardless of Friday’s outcome against 1-4 Woodbridge. A win, though, gives the Indians home-field advantage for the region semifinals and final. A win also gives Gar-Field its first undefeated regular-season since 1985.
If Gar-Field loses to Woodbridge, Massaponax (6-0), who has also qualified for the postseason and whose regular season is done, moves up from No. 2 to No. 1.
Patriot (4-0) is back in for the fifth straight season with a win Thursday over Battlefield (4-1) and should secure the No. 3 seed. If the Pioneers lose, they can still secure the No. 4 seed if Riverbend loses to North Stafford.
Patriot has only played four regular-season games going into Thursday’s finale after its contest against Osbourn was not rescheduled.
Battlefield should qualify with a win over Patriot, but will need help if it loses to the Pioneers.
Riverbend (4-1) is in as the No. 4 seed with a win Thursday over North Stafford (1-4).
CLASS 3 REGION B
Brentsville’s road to the playoffs hinges on either Skyline or George Mason losing. The Tigers' (5-1) regular season came to a close Wednesday when Manassas Park (1-5) forfeited Thursday's game due to low numbers caused by injuries, Manassas Park activities director Dan Forgas said.
Forgas said the Cougars had 20 players available for last Saturday's game against George Mason, but saw that number drop even more Monday and Tuesday.
If Brentsville qualifies for the postseason, it will most likely be as the No. 4 seed and will travel to No. 1 Goochland.
Skyline (4-1) finishes Thursday against 1-4 Warren County and George Mason (4-1) plays 6A Langley (1-4).
George Mason picked up the Saxons after its original opponent, William Monroe, canceled because of COVID-protocols. By beating a higher classification team, George Mason picks up more points to have enough to pass Brentsville.
If George Mason had only played five games, Brentsville would have gained more points. The Tigers can clinch the Class 3 Northwestern District title if Skyline loses and George Mason wins. Brentsville beat George Mason in both team’s opener.
Independence (3-1) is done for the regular season and should stay at No. 2.
A number of football teams are taking advantage of the VHSL’s “Championships +1” model that allows non-postseason qualifiers a chance to add one extra game to the schedule if they choose to do so this season.
Despite the forfeit to Brentsville, Manassas Park is hoping to still have one more game April 8 at Lightridge in Loudoun County (4:30 p.m.), Forgas said. On April 9, Osbourn Park is at North Stafford (7 p.m.).
Forest Park will host Osbourn either Thursday or Friday of next week depending on officials availability.
Hylton will meet John Champe at a date, time and location to be determined.
Hylton was originally scheduled to play Unity Reed April 9. Unity Reed, however, cancelled that game and its matchup April 1 against John Champe. With its season over, Unity Reed finishes with a 1-4 record.
"A large number of our parents and students chose to sit out after a recent COVID exposure incident," Unity Reed activities director Kevin Turner said. "We were left with only 16 players, which is not enough to play varsity football."