Last chance: 4-1A teams battle for district championship, playoff position

The District 4-1A football race will come down to the final day of the season, with three teams in position to earn a share of the title.

Grand Lake, Basile and Hamilton Christian can claim a share of the title tonight. The Hornets (7-1, 5-1) host East Beauregard (4-5, 3-3) while Hamilton (6-2, 5-1) will play Merryville (2-7, 2-4) at LaGrange’s John J. Mims Stadium. Basile (5-4, 5-1) hosts Oberlin (4-5, 3-3).

Grand Lake, the state runner-up last season, is in position to make another playoff run. The Hornets are second in the Class 1A power ratings, a hundredth of a point ahead of defending champion Oak Grove. Should seeds hold, the second seed would be at home in the semifinal round of the playoffs.

Tonight the Hornets will have to slow East Beauregard’s offense, which is averaging 41 points per game in district play. Grand Lake’s Brycen Guillory and Brent Hardesty have combined for 553 yards and six touchdowns over the past two weeks.

Hamilton Christian is 13th in the Division IV ratings and will more than likely be on the road for the first round of the playoffs. The Warriors have won five games in a row and scored 127 points over the past two weeks. Last week Ze’beian Doffney, Elijah Belton and Logan Richard combined to run for 431 yards and scored nine touchdowns. Doffney led the way with 190 yards and six scores.

Merryville entered last week on the playoff bubble but gave itself some security with a 20-19 win over Oberlin. The win broke a three-game losing streak and moved the Panthers up to 21st in the power ratings, with the top 24 making the postseason. Cam’ron Williams ran for 138 yards and a touchdown in the win. He has reached triple digits in each game while totaling 1,271 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Bearcats have won four in a row since losing to Grand Lake in Week 5. Ethan Bazinet has run for 552 yards and 12 touchdowns in the streak. He has scored eight touchdowns over the past two weeks.

Basile is in line to host its first-round playoff game as the 10th seed. The Bearcats could earn a first-round bye if it finishes in the top eight.

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