Of the other Division 4 teams, Watertown (4-1, 2-1) seems likely to earn an automatic berth for finishing in the top two spots in Middlesex Conference Freedom. Bedford (3-1, 1-1) is in the hunt for a top-two seed in the DCL Small. Winthrop (3-2, 2-1) currently sits in second place in the Northeastern Conference Small.
So, that’s seven spots accounted for by teams ranking in the top two spots in their respective conferences. That leaves one wildcard spot. If the season ended today, that spot would go to Triton (3-2, 1-2), the highest ranked team among the remaining Division 4 squads.
Onto the picks.
Masconomet at Newburyport, 7
I would like Newburyport in this game even if Masco had its injured running back, Mike Tivinis. The Clippers have played really well since an opening-week loss to Lynnfield, with big wins over North Reading and Triton coming in the last three weeks. Newburyport probably has enough on its resume to get into the Division 4 playoffs as a wildcard, but I like the Clippers to secure an automatic berth with this win and another next week against Saugus.
The pick: Newburyport 20, Masconomet 9
North Reading at Triton, 7
The Vikings absolutely needs this win with Masconomet waiting on the schedule next week. The Vikings have started a not-so-great trend of losing the close ones and winning by huge margins. It would be nice to see Triton win a close one before the Masco contest, although I think the Vikings are talented enough to win this one by a couple of touchdowns.
The pick: Triton 30, North Reading 10
Amesbury at Georgetown, 2
Historically, when Amesbury makes the playoffs — like in 2007, 2008 and 2012 — the Indians close out the regular season with nice winning streaks. Give the Indians this win and another next week against Manchester Essex, and they’ll close out this regular season with four straight wins and another playoff berth.