It was yet another weekend of shifting standings in the Pacific Northwest Division II Men’s clubs league and with about half of the schedule in the books, teams are starting to get geared up for playoffs.
In the South Division, two teams already have the league title in their sights. ORSU took out the Tsunamis 19-10 and Snake River blew out the Eastside Axemen 54-13.
With the wins, ORSU (8-1) sits atop the league standings going into next weekend’s game against the Pacific Rovers. Meanwhile, Snake River (7-1) is in second place and will host Tacoma (1-10) at home in Boise, ID.
Should those two games go as expected, both teams will remain with just the one loss. The only wrinkle is Snake River’s schedule; which has them playing three games in two weekends.
After Tacoma, they must play Tsunamis on the 24th, then turn right around and play ORSU the next day. If Snake River wins both games, and then their matchup with ORSU is that much more intriguing. Any loss in between means ORSU controls its own destiny and could clinch against the Rovers.
“We’ve just been taking it one week at a time because if you don’t, in this league, it will hurt you,” ORSU head coach Mike Lewis said. “Got a great bunch of guys with experience mixed with some fresh faces as long as we keep playing our game, hopefully the wins will come.”
Playing two games in one weekend isn’t a new thing for Snake. The Idaho club frequently does this to ease their travel burden. Still, that Sunday game against ORSU will be tough.
“Playing back-to-back games in a weekend is a Snake River tradition; it gets us fired up,” captain John Tansey said. “We will key on three points: keeping the focus of being successful as a unit of 15; creating opportunities by taking our opponents through phases as oppose to relying on a big play to put points on the board; and merciless defense.”
Up in the North Division, things are getting interesting. Valley (7-5) is leading the division, but lost this past weekend, 18-3 to the Pacific Rovers (6-4). Should the Rovers beat ORSU in their showdown this weekend, it would slingshot them into first place outright with them owning the tiebreaker over Valley.
If the Rovers lose, they would still control second place in league and play Chuckanut at the end of the year to try to clinch first.
The Axemen, on the other hand, need a win against winless Chuckanut this weekend to stay in the race. If they win, it would set up a showdown with Portland next weekend and would need a miracle from Chuckanut to force a tie with the Rovers for second place.