Bloom-Carroll’s Playoff Hopes On the Line

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Bloom-Carroll (5-4, 3-3) goes into senior night on Friday with one thing in mind: get to the playoffs. The Bulldogs currently sit in ninth in Division IV Region 13, one spot out of postseason play. They will have one last chance to improve their rating against the Fairfield Union Falcons (4-5, 2-4).

“It’s a win or go home mentality,” Bloom-Carroll coach Wade Bartholomew said. “It makes this game a whole lot more important for our kids, and I think they’re already in that playoff state of mind.”

The Falcons are out of the playoff hunt, but they have plenty to play for as well. They have a chance to get back to .500 after a long run of losing records.

“I can’t tell you the last time we had a chance to go .500,” Fairfield Union coach Tim Bahen said. “I told the guys, ‘You get this win, you may not have a winning record, but you won’t have a losing record either.’”

Both teams will be pushing hard for a win, but they will be going about it in vastly different ways. Bloom-Carroll likes to spread the field and run a fast-paced offense, where Fairfield Union controls the clock with its ground game.

The Falcons will look to slow the game down, put some long drives together and keep the potent Bulldog offense off the field. With the combination of Alex Ritton, Ray Petros and Brayden Heston running the ball, they’ll have plenty of fresh legs to run at the defense.

Bloom-Carroll started off the year 5-2, but has since lost two straight. The Bulldogs need a win to not only put them back in the hunt for a postseason birth, but give them some momentum heading into playoffs, should they make it.

“Our offense has moved the ball at times,” Bartholomew said. “We just haven’t been able to put together scoring drives the last few weeks. Our defense has played pretty well, we just need to be more consistent offensively.”

Both teams have a lot riding on this final regular season game, so expect the players and coaches to be even more intense than usual. The stands will be rocking for this MSL-Buckeye battle that could turn into an offensive shootout.

Kickoff is set for Friday at 7 p.m. at Bloom-Carroll High School.