Compton Football Jordan Lakewood Long Beach Poly Millikan Wilson

Moore League Football Playoff Scenarios: League Reaches Decision on Tiebreaker

As the Moore League football teams reach the final week of the regular season, much has been decided, and much is still in play. Lakewood’s shutout win over Wilson clarified the postseason push, which now essentially hinges on the result of this Friday’s Lakewood vs. Compton game at John Ford Stadium.

Presuming that 9-0 Poly beats Jordan and that Millikan defeats winless Cabrillo, the Jackrabbits will be undefeated league champions and the one-seed, while Millikan will be 4-2 and the two-seed into the playoffs. The only team that could tie the Rams for second place would be Lakewood, with whom Millikan already owns the tiebreaker due to a head-to-head win.

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The third automatic playoff berth will go to the winner of this week’s Lakewood and Compton game. If Lakewood wins, they’d be tied for second with Millikan at 4-2 and be the three-seed. If Compton wins, they’d be 3-3 and in a three-way tie with Wilson and Lakewood, and would get in due to owning wins over both teams. 

Moore League secretary Lisa Ulmer said the league would opt for the head-to-head results going to Compton over an envelope draw tiebreaker. The league has previously done envelope draws for three-way ties even in the event of head to head results.

“We talked over the weekend, both schools were great and understand,” said Ulmer. “Reasonable people agreed on a reasonable solution. The only coach who could have an objection would be Justin (Utupo) and he was great, he wants it to be decided on the field, too.”

Under the envelope draw process, three teams have their names written in separate envelopes. One envelope is drawn and that team’s name is eliminated. The tiebreaker goes to the winner of the head to head game between the two remaining teams. But with last week’s results factored in, Wilson would have zero chance of winning that tiebreaker, having lost to both teams.

In the case of a tie at 3-3 due to the Lancers losing to Compton, they would still have a 33.33% chance of winning, as they’d go into the tiebreaker knowing that if Compton’s name was pulled from an envelope, Compton would be eliminated and Lakewood would own the tiebreaker over Wilson. But with a game between the two teams on the field coming, an agreement was made to let it be decided there.

“We only have a few sports with single-round competition and head to head should always prevail as the tiebreaker in those sports,” said Ulmer.

Other teams still have a chance to get in as at-larges. Jordan will have a .500 or better record, and while other teams not qualifying for the playoffs won’t, they can still apply for an at-large berth, although their chances would likely not be good.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.