Jackson football cannot avoid a letdown against one-win Boardman in Week 8 if it hopes to make the playoffs.
KEYS TO A JACKSON VICTORY
The playoffs are within reach for Jackson, but making the postseason will likely require winning all three of its remaining games. Any necessary motivation shouldn't be difficult to find, as the three remaining teams on the schedule are a combined 4-17 and comprise a winnable finish to the season that could return the Polar Bears to the playoffs.
Boardman has consistently struggled to score points this season and the Jackson offense cannot allow the Spartans to gain any confidence with early success.
Boardman has scored 14 points or fewer in all seven of its games and for a Jackson defense that has struggled to get off the field much of the time, the Spartans present a great opportunity for success.
After having not allowed fewer than 20 points in any of its first seven games, the defense faces a Boardman attack that managed just 14 yards passing in a Week 6 loss to North Canton Hoover.
Jackson's passing connection of senior quarterback Tyler Langenfeld and senior receiver Shane Ridgway hooked up for three first-quarter touchdowns against Northwest last week and should find room to operate against Boardman. Ricky Spradling continues to bring balance to the Jackson attack and after notching 150 yards against Northwest, he is well on his way to a 1,000-yard campaign.
Playing at home against a team that cannot score consistently, Jackson has the potential to post an early lead and use the resulting pressure to bury the Spartans.
The Polar Bears currently hold the 16th and final playoff spot in Division I, Region 1. They are currently 0.0019 points ahead of Brunswick and less than one point ahead of Green. The top 16 teams in each of Division I's two regions will make the postseason.