By Charles Prince
The North Jefferson News
The Mortimer Jordan Blue Devils' hopes of reaching the 5A state playoffs hinge on something the Alabama High School Athletic Association calls tiebreaker “L.”
As stated in the AHSAA Fall Sports guidebook, tiebreaker L states the following: “The team whose defeated opponents in class and above have the most victories if all teams involved in the tie play an equal number of games.”
Going into this week's play, Gardendale, Mortimer Jordan and Springville sit in a three-way tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in 5A, Region 6 with 3-4 records in region play. Gardendale defeated Springville, Springville defeated Mortimer Jordan and Mortimer Jordan defeated Gardendale in region play.
Using tiebreaker L, Gardendale has 10 points, Mortimer Jordan has 10 points and Springville has seven points.
Gardendale has victories over one-win Hayden, two-win Curry, three-win Springville and four-win Pinson Valley, for a total of 10. Mortimer Jordan has victories over one-win Hayden, two-win Curry, two-win John Carroll and five-win Gardendale for a total of 10 points. Springville has victories over one-win Hayden, two-win Curry and four-win Mortimer Jordan for a total of seven points.
Should Gardendale defeat John Carroll this Friday and Mortimer Jordan defeat previously unbeaten Oxford, the two clubs would be tied with 12 points. Oxford, who had a 9-0 record, had their record changed to 2-7 on Monday by the AHSAA for rules violations.
In this case, Gardendale which would have six victories, would earn the playoff spot because of tiebreaker M, which states: “The team with the most victories if all teams involved in the tie play an equal number of games.”
Should Gardendale lose and Mortimer Jordan win, the Blue Devils would be in, by picking up two points from Oxford's two wins and getting in through tiebreaker L.
However, the Blue Devils aren't worried about tiebreakers now, they're concentrating on the Oxford Yellow Jackets right now.
“On the field, they're an unbeaten 6A team,” Mortimer Jordan head coach Greg Watts said. “That tells you they're a strong football team.”
Watts said how the Yellow Jackets react to the AHSAA stripping them of seven wins on Monday could play a factor in Friday’s outcome.
“Will they come in here mad about losing their wins?,” Watts asked. “Or, will they come in here discouraged because they lost out on a chance at the playoffs? Who knows what's going to happen to them mentally?”
The Blue Devils fell to Springville last week, after taking a 19-6 lead in the second quarter of play. Brent Nation led the offense with 232 total yards and Skylar Myrick led the defense with 12 tackles and some big hits.
“Our guys are disappointed in how we played last week,” Watts said. “But they know they've still have a chance for a playoff spot, so I'm expecting to see nothing short of their best performance Friday night.”
“I know this we need to win to have any chance of getting in and that’s what we’re going to try to do Friday night, try to get a win and see if we get in,” Watts said.
By Charles Prince