Division 4 Regional
Ogemaw Heights (Big North) 8-3 @
Comstock Park (O-K Blue) 10-1, 1 pm Saturday
Ogemaw Heights had a come to the football gods moment, with a 2-3 record and trailing Cadillac in Week 6. The Falcons won that game and every one since, averaging 44.5 points per game along the way. Saturday they travel to Comstock Park, which is coming off one of the biggest upsets of the playoffs, a 16-7 win over Division 4 No. 1 and previously unbeaten Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
Ogemaw plays physical, no frills football. It helps to have a likely future Big Ten recruit on the offensive line, in 6-5, 270 junior Alec Stevens. Another junior playing well up front has been 5-10, 210 center Todd Henry. They ran for 529 yards last week against Chippewa Hills. Brandon Benac, Tommy DeMatio and Devin Griffus all topped 100 rushing yards, with Benac going for 270 and three TDs. For the year the senior has run for 1,361 yards and 16 TDs. When 6-1, 170 sophomore QB Ben Hartley does have to throw it, he has a nice target in 6-3, 180 senior Jerome Hunter. He’s the Falcons’ leading receiver with 18 catches for 476 yards and six TDs.
In addition to his fullback duties DeMatio, a 5-7, 210 junior, plays defensive tackle, where he leads the team with seven sacks. Another junior, 5-10, 180 linebacker Shane Benjamin, is the Falcons’ leading tacker. Ogemaw’s D will be going up against a Comstock Park offense that doesn’t put up outrageous numbers, but can methodically move the ball and makes plays when it has to.
This is Comstock Park third-straight regional appearance, looking for its second-straight state semifinal berth. The Panthers are led by one of The Lake’s elite quarterbacks, 6-0, 205 senior Just Win Jake Brown. This will be the 10th playoff game he’s played in his three-year career. This season Brown has throw for 1,438 yards and seven TDs and run for 891 and 21 TDs. If he’s not running it in himself, Brown has a big red zone target in 6-7, 210 junior Drake Baar. His third-down back dujour is junior Jake Bush. He’s Comstock Park’s leading receiver with 591 yards and No. 2 rusher with 345 yards.
6-3, 250 senior lineman Blake Mazur leads a strong Comstock Park defense. They’ve allowed just one touchdown in each of their first two playoff games.