All-Lake Area: Division 5-6 Team

  • This is the third installment of the fourth-annual Lake Michigan Football Report post-season honors, the Division 3-4 All-Lake Team. Following will be the Division 7-8, Underclassman, Class of 2017 and Overall All-Area Offensive and Defensive Teams. Unlike the LMFR’s prospect rankings, the All-Lake teams are based on players’ performances in the 2015 season, not college potential.

OL Cameron Wright 6-3 290 Sr Grant
OL Jacob McDowell 6-2 290 Sr Lawton
OL Claude Ockert  6-1  200  Jr  Kingsley
OL Joe Marsh 6-3 235 Sr Montague
OL Taylor Pelton 6-2 200 Sr Reed City
QB Spencer Peterson 6-5 230 Sr Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
RB Malik Smith 5-9 210 Sr Boyne City
RB Cameron Brayman 5-10 195 Sr Montague
RB Andre Jones 5-6 160 Sr Reed City
WR TJ Swore 6-2 200 Sr Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
WR James Cooper 6-3 165 Sr Muskegon Oakridge

Offensive MVP: Jacob Buchberger 6-1 185 Sr QB  Montague

DL Dalton Riddle 6-1 190 Jr Buchanan
DL David Curl 6-3 250 Sr Watervliet
DL Dru McFadden  6-0  275  Sr  Traverse City St. Francis
DL Tanner Kruzel 6-2 200 Sr Boyne City
LB Steven Spenner 6-3 215 Jr Berrien Springs
LB Char Willekes 6-1 200 Jr Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
LB Tyler Picardat  5-11  180  Sr  Traverse City St. Francis
LB Sam Neville 6-3 195 Jr Grand Rapids West Catholic
DB Gabe Callery 5-9 190 Jr Traverse City St. Francis
DB Ricky Clark 6-0 180 Jr Schoolcraft
DB Nate Wahr 6-3 175 Sr Muskegon Oakridge

Defensive MVP: Carl Myers 6-3 260 Sr DL Grand Rapids West Catholic

Coach of the Year: Dan Rohn, Grand Rapids West Catholic

All-Lake Area: Division 3-4 Team

  • This is the second installment of the fourth-annual Lake Michigan Football Report post-season honors, the Division 3-4 All-Lake Team. Following will be the Division 5-6, Division 7-8, Underclassman, Class of 2017 and Overall All-Area Offensive and Defensive Teams. Unlike the LMFR’s prospect rankings, the All-Lake teams are based on players’ performances in the 2015 season, not college potential.

OL Sam Balke 6-2 235 Sr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern
OL Kyle Augustine 6-3 320 Sr Gaylord
OL Case Overweg 62- 260 Sr Hudsonville Unity Christian
OL James Haverkamp 6-6 260 Sr Grand Rapids Christian
OL Patrick DiPiazza 6-3 260 Jr Cedar Springs
TE Jayk Slager 6-4 230 Jr Zeeland West
QB Casey Brinks 6-0 170 Sr Zeeland West
RB Darius Perisee 5-8 160 Sr Zeeland West
RB Brent Murray 5-10 190 Sr Petoskey
WR Ryan Knight 6-2 205 Sr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern
WR Jordan Brewer 6-2 180 Sr St. Joseph

Offensive MVP: Pat Naughton 6-2 200 Sr QB Comstock Park

DL Johnathan Berghorst 6-3 260 Jr Zeeland East
DL Brendan Oosse 6-2 240 Sr East Grand Rapids
DL Taylor VanDyke 6-3 215 Sr Cedar Springs
DL Nate Lay 6-0 250 Sr Zeeland West
LB Joe Dault 6-1 190 Sr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern
LB Tyler Lamica 6-3 205 Sr Grand Rapids Christian
LB Jared Mika 6-0 195 Sr Grand Rapids Catholic Central
DB Dakota Geurink 6-0 185 Sr Zeeland West
DB Michael Clifford 6-0 165 Sr East Grand Rapids
DB Dante Razzano 6-2 190 Sr Sr Edwardsburg
DB Garret Lundteigen 5-10 165 Sr Petoskey

Defensive MVP: Zach VanValkenburg 6-4 240 Sr DL Zeeland West

Coach of the Year: Gandalf Church, St. Joseph

All-Lake Area: Division 1-2 Team

  • This is the first installment of the fourth-annual Lake Michigan Football Report post-season honors, the Division 1-2 All-Lake Team. Following will be the Division 3-4, Division 5-6, Division 7-8, Underclassman, Class of 2017 and Overall All-Area Offensive and Defensive Teams. The All-Lake teams are based on players’ performances in the 2015 season, not college potential.

OL Mike Bordeaux 6-3 280 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
OL Jake Boonstra 6-4 285 Sr Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills
OL Jacob Steelman  6-1  270  Sr Traverse City Central
OL Jake Babb 6-3 230 Sr Caledonia
OL Juanye Johnson 6-2 275 Sr Muskegon
TE Keidren Davis 6-5 230 Sr Grand Rapids Union
QB Kalil Pimpleton 5-7 150 Jr Muskegon
RB Brandon Sturgeon 5-10 190 Sr Portage Central
RB Michael Williams 5-9 175 Sr Wyoming
WR Daryn Snow 6-3 190 Sr Portage Northern
WR Adam Farah 6-1 180 Sr Grand Rapdis Forest Hills Northern

Offensive MVP: Ryan Stevens  6-2  175  Sr  QB  Lowell

DL Christian Boyd 6-2 285 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
DL Gabe Bauman 6-3 260 Sr Rockford
DL Johnathan Berghorst 6-3 260 Jr Zeeland East
LB Dalton Agers 5-10 185 Jr Hudsonville
LB Terrion Hill-McKay 6-2 205 Sr Muskegon
LB Braden King 5-9 175 Sr Rockford
LB Tyler Lyle 6-1 215 Sr Kalamazoo Central
DB Derek Massey 5-7 155 Sr Lowell
DB Marlon Dorsey 6-1 175 Sr East Kentwood
DB Darece Roberson 5-9 160 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
DB Devante Walker 5-8 160 Jr Traverse City Central

Defensive MVP: Dom Shermeta  6-0  220  Sr  LB  Muskegon Mona Shores

Coach of the Year: Eric Shugars, Traverse City Central

Playoff Picks: State Semifinals

  • Predicted winners are italicized.
  • All games are 1 pm Saturday unless otherwise noted.
  • Playoff picks record: 64-14.

Division 2

Lowell 11-1 vs. Walled Lake Western 12-0 @Alma College: These teams began the season together, with Western winning 42-40 in August, and now one of them will see the the other’s season end. Lowell hasn’t given up anything like 40 points since then, and had one of the state’s most impressive regional wins beating Muskegon 36-7. While both teams can pound it, they also feature two of the state’s most dangerous receivers in Lowell senior Gabe Steed and WLW’s Cody White, who both have QBs more than capable of getting it there in Lowell’s Ryan Stevens and the Warriors’ Kyle Thomas.

Division 3

East Grand Rapids 9-3 vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 11-1 @ Howell: The only surprise about these teams meeting is that it’s in the state semifinals and not the final, where they’ve met three times previously.

Division 4

Forest Hills Eastern 11-1 vs. Zeeland West 12-0 @ East Kentwood: Was West’s regional win over Unity Christian by a mere touchdown a blip on the screen, or indicative of a chink in the armor? We’ll go with the former, and postseason pedigree has to count here too. This is the fourth semifinal in five years for the Dux, while FHE has never made it this far.

Division 5

Grand Rapids West Catholic 10-2 vs. Lansing Catholic 11-1 @ Greenville: These teams met 51 weeks ago at Ford Field, where West Catholic won its second straight state title 24-20. It was in that game where Lansing Catholic QB Tony Poljan showed his D1 bona fides on the big stage. He’s back, having committed to Minnesota in the interim. Most high school linemen are mere nuisances to the big signal-caller. But not West Catholic senior Carl Myers, a recent U-M commitment who has the strength to tangle with him.

Division 6

Traverse City St. Francis 12-0 vs. Ithaca 12-0 @ Clare: These are two of the state’s elite programs of the modern era, Ithaca with four championships in the 21st century and St. Francis three. Ithaca has five shutouts this season and St. Francis six, though the Glads will be seeing an elite QB for the first time in Ithaca junior Jake Smith.

Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian 12-0 vs. Clinton 12-0 noon @ Battle Creek Harper Creek: NorthPointe Christian is living right, both lucky and good to beat Constantine, in overtime, for the regional crown. How many more Sports Center catches are left in TJ Swore’s hands? And does NorthPointe have anyone who can keep up with Clinton running back Matthew Sexton?

Division 8

Muskegon Catholic Central 9-2 vs. St. Ignace 11-1 @ Thirlby Field: Catholic Central is taking another trip Up North after needing a fourth-quarter comeback to win the regional at Frankfort, their closest call in the past three playoffs. St. Ignace has the best player on the field, senior QB Gage Kreski. Conversely, St. Ignace hasn’t seen the overall speed of a team like MCC.


Lake Area Honors: Week 12

Lake Area Offensive Player of the Week

Ryan Knight  6-2  205  Sr  WR  Forest Hills Eastern: A big target who has made life easier for now two standout FHE QBs, Luke Wilkerson then Jack Clark. In FHE’s Divisoin 4 regional win over Chippewa Hills, Knight caught six passes from Clark for 169 yards including TDs covering 74 and 26 yards.

Lake Area Defensive Players of the Week

Michael Clifford 6-0 165 Sr DB & Matt Soberg 5-6 150 Sr DB East Grand Rapids: The Pioneers’ defense hasn’t allowed a score in its last two games, against Zeeland East in the district final then Mt. Pleasant in the regional. Clifford and Soberg did their part in the 35-0 Division 3 win at Mt. Pleasant, both picking off a pair of passes.

Lake Area Small School Player of the Week

Kyler Dunn  6-1  160  Sr  WR/DB  Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian: Dunn’s tackle on a two-point conversion attempt by Constantine preserved NorthPointe Christian’s 35-34 overtime win in a Division 6 regional final. Dunn also caught five passes for 82 yards and a TD.

Lake Area Northern Michigan Player of the Week

Nate Frieswyk   Sr  QB  Frankfort: Though Frankfort fell short, it battled more than many may have expected leading Muskegon Catholic Central, the school that has dominated the Division 8 field, into the fourth quarter before losing 22-12. Frieswyk was 17-for-30 passing for 215 yards and a TD.

Lake Area Coach of the Week

Peter Stuursma, East Grand Rapids: Now in his 16th season at EGR. While 9-3 and a regional championship shutout of Mt. Pleasant isn’t quite the days of undefeated state title teams, the Pioneers hadn’t one a playoff game since 2011 and missed the postseason entirely twice since then. They’ll now reunite with playoff rival Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, a team Stuursma has defeated in three state championship games.

Playoff Picks: Regionals

  • Predicted winners are italicized.
  • All games are 7 pm Friday unless otherwise noted.
  • Rankings are from the end of the regular season, and for Lake Area teams only.
  • Playoff picks record: 54-11.

Division 1

No. 1 Rockford 8-3 @ Grand Ledge 11-0: This will be Rockford’s first time seeing an opponent outside the O-K Red since September. The Rams’ Tyler Bradfield can seemingly do it all. But Rockford will have to keep the moonlighting QB out of passing situations.

Division 2

No. 3 Muskegon 9-2 @ No. 1 Lowell 10-1: Two of the true standard-bearers of Lake Area football. While it’s fun to appreciate the talent of Muskegon and schemes of Lowell, the defining characteristic of this postseason rivalry is the fight in the players.

Division 3

No. 2 East Grand Rapids 8-3 @ Mt. Pleasant 9-2: Defense gets it done on the road, and EGR won’t let it come down to heartbreak time like Petoskey did last week.

Coldwater 11-0 @ No. 1 St. Joseph 10-1: This is the best team Coldwater has had, but St. Joseph has already beaten undefeated teams Portage Central and Edwardsburg. St. Joe relies heavily on getting the ball to D1-caliber receiver Jordan Brewer, so Lake Michigan weather could be a factor.

Division 4

Chippewa Hills 9-2 @ No. 3 Forest Hills Eastern 10-1: What a season for Chippewa Hills, with its first distict title. Everyone knows about FHE’s Jack Clark, but Chippewa Hills has a dangerous two-way QB of its own in junior DJ Lowery. But Eastern, making history of its own by winning one then two playoff games, has faced too tough a road and has too many options.

Hudsonville Unity Christian 8-3 @ No. 1 Zeeland West 11-0: West won this same matchup less than a month ago 52-6. The Dux have averaged 55 in the playoffs and this could be the best defense they’ve had.

Division 5

No. 1 Grand Rapids West Catholic 9-2 @ Menominee 11-0 1 pm Saturday: They’re annual November get-together, and West Catholic looks poised to end Menominee’s season a fifth straight time.

No. 4 Buchanan 11-0 @ Ida 11-0: Buchanan dominated defensively in their 35-0 district final win over Berrien Springs. They’ll have to figure out how to slow down Ida running back Eric Bugg.

Division 6

No. 1 Boyne City 10-1 @ No. 1 Traverse City St. Francis 11-0: No love lost here from their Lake Michigan Conference days. In the regular season St. Francis capitalized on Boyne City turnovers to give the Ramblers’ their only loss to date 32-13.

Constantine 7-4 vs No. 2 NorthPointe Christian 11-0 1 pm Saturday @ Comstock Park: This is the second undefeated team Constantine will see after qualifying at 5-4. And the most talented.

Division 7

No. 4 McBain 8-3 @ Ishpeming 10-0: Neither team is particularly explosive on offense, first to 20 wins as Ishpeming takes another step towards a return to Ford Field.

No. 5 Cassopolis 9-2 @ Pewamo-Westphalia 11-0: P-W is unbeaten and looks poised for a second straight regional crown.

Division 8

No. 1 Muskegon Catholic Central 8-2 @ Frankfort 9-2 1 pm Saturday: Winning the coin flip to host, at least there won’t be a sad bus ride back for the Panthers. Up North, Frankfort hasn’t yet seen a team with as many legit options as Catholic Central where QB Christian Martinez has backs LaTommy Scott, Walter Christoffersen and Logan Helton.

Lake Area Honors: Week 11

Lake Area Offensive Player of the Week

Connor Hellemans  Sr  K  Hudsonville Unity Christian: If not for a missed extra point, Unity Christian would have been tied with Grand Rapids Catholic Central with six seconds to play. Instead it was 21-20. But Connor Hellemans made amends and nailed a 26-yard field goal and Unity won the first district title in school history.

Lake Area Defensive Player of the Week

Luke Sage  6-1  195  Sr  LB  Boyne City: Against a big, physical Calumet team, Sage wore them down with 18 tackles. Boyne City won the Division 6 district final 20-8.

Lake Area Small School Player of the Week

LaTommy Scott  5-7  160  Jr  RB  Muskegon Catholic Central: All it took was 10 carries for Scott to rack up 202 yards and three TDs in Catholic Central’s 48-13 Division 8 win over Beal City.

Lake Area Northern Michigan Player of the Week

Gabe Callery  5-9  175  RB/DB  Traverse City St. Francis: He returned an interception 99 yards for a TD and also ran for TDs of 53 and 25 yards in St. Francis’ 61-12 Division 6 win over Mason County Central.

Lake Area Coach of the Week

Shawn Griffith, Constantine: Griffith always has Constantine ready for the second season. They got into the Division 6 playoffs at 5-4 to first beat 9-0 Schoolcraft then 9-1 Watervliet in one of the most entertaining games the Lake Area has seen this year 49-48.

Playoff Picks: District Finals

  • Predicted winners are italicized.
  • All games are 7 pm Friday unless otherwise noted.
  • Rankings are from the end of the regular season, and for Lake Area teams only.
  • Last week’s record: 36-6.

Division 1

No. 4 Hudsonville 7-3 @ No. 1 Rockford 7-3: Hudsonville had to pull off an instant classic 42-38 comeback win over EK just to get here, the unofficial O-K Red championship game. One would have to expect another great one here, as two weeks ago Rockford held off the Eagles 28-27. Rockford’s Tyler Bradfield has done a commendable job filling in at QB since then, and there are worse fates than increasing the touches of one of the Lake Area’s most talented players.

Division 2

No. 3 Muskegon 8-2 @ No. 1 Mona Shores 10-0 5 pm Saturday: A rematch from a couple weeks ago when Mona Shores won 21-18 to claim the O-K Black title. While known for all their playmaking athletes, it was the grinding running of Dom Shermeta that carried the Sailors in that one.

No. 8 Byron Center 8-2 @ No. 1 Lowell 9-1: Byron Center flexed its O-K muscle in the opening round with a 34-21 win at Portage Central. MAC coaches need to know about the Bulldogs 6-4 junior receiver Brayden Smith. But this just isn’t the kind of game a Noel Dean team loses.

Division 3

No. 7 Petoskey 8-2 @ Mt. Pleasant 8-2 1 pm Saturday: Petoskey’s program has modeled consistency under coach Kerry VanOrman. The Northmen were 18-28 in his first five seaons then 61-21 with seven playoff appearances since 2008. Now they’re trying to knock out Mt. Pleasant from the district final like they did last year. Their defense, strong all year, will face their toughest test as the Oilers have two MAC commitments at the skill positions. CMU’s Hunter Buczkowski is a load running the ball and WMU’s Kalebb Perry can beat you from QB or catching the ball.

No. 5 Zeeland East 7-3 @ No. 2 East Grand Rapids 7-3: The players weren’t around, but this could be looked at as a grudge match from the 2010 playoffs when EGR pulled out a late but controversial win. The Chix have lost only to the very best — Zeeland West, Mona Shores and Muskegon — and showed talent both up front and on the ends in the Chix’ opening round win over Cedar Springs.

Edwardsburg 10-0 @ No. 1 St. Joseph 9-1: So far so good for Edwardsburg after being bumped up to Division 3, but this could be the game where it catches up to them.

Vicksburg 8-2 @ Coldwater 10-0: It’s all coming together for Coldwater, which last week won a playoff game for the first time in school history, which meant a 10-0 record for the first time in school history.

Division 4

Big Rapids 7-3 @ No. 9 Chippewa Hills 8-2: Take this prediction under advisement, we picked neither team to win last week. Big Rapids has won three straight since losing at Chippewa Hills 26-7.

No. 4 Comstock Park 8-2 @ No. 3 Forest Hills Eastern 9-1: Both teams have senior QBs who can make plays but just as importantly really know how to utilize the talent around them. FHE’s Jack Clark and Comstock Park’s Pat Naughton. Clark is a great high school QB with 37 total TDs while Naughton is the position’s best college prospect in the Lake Area. Terrific matchup, this just seems like Eastern’s year.

No. 7 Benton Harbor 6-4 @ No. 1 Zeeland West 10-0: Benton Harbor’s human interest story is nice, but won’t matter between the lines. This one will be over early.

No., 6 Hudsonville Unity Christian 7-3 vs No. 4 Grand Rapids Catholic Central 9-1 @ Grand Rapids Christian: Catholic Central has won nine straight. The defense just gets better and better, having not allowed more than a TD in the past five contests.

Division 5

No. 1 Grand Rapids West Catholic 8-2 @ No. 3 Reed City 10-0: West Catholic’s postseason pedigree more than offsets any homefield advantage or undefeated swagger for Reed City, and they have outlier talent on the line in senior Carl Myers and in junior receiver Sam Neville.

No. 5 Berrien Springs 9-1 @ No. 4 Buchanan 10-0: Berrien Springs has revenge on the mind. When they met in the regular season Buchanan ended the Shamrocks’ shot at an undefeated season by stoning a two-point attempt for a 21-19 win.

Division 6

Calumet 8-2 @ No. 6 Boyne City 9-1 1 pm Saturday: This district final features two all-state candidates at running back. Boyne City senior Malik Smith has rushed for 1,549 yards and 22 TDs while for Calumet senior Robert Erkkila comes in with 1,336 and 21 TDs.

No. 7 Mason County Central 7-3 @ No. 1 Traverse City St. Francis 10-0: Mason County Central beat Lake City last week 42-19 but could be on the short end of a similar deficit here as TCSF won’t give up big plays like Lake City did.

No. 3 Montague 10-0 vs No. 2 NorthPointe Christian 10-0 @ Comstock Park: Montague didn’t need injured senior running back Cameron Brayman and his 1,470 yards and 19 TDs in the opening round against Delton Kellogg but can’t afford that kind of cushion against NorthPointe. A dominant, athletic, senior QB can take a team all the way at this level and both teams have one, Montague’s Jacob Buchberger and NorthPointe Christian’s Spencer Peterson.

No. 8 Constantine 6-4 @ No. 5 Watervliet 9-1: Despite coming into the postseason at 5-4, Constantine showed the championship pedigree of the program taking it up a notch to avenge a regular season loss to previously undefeated Schoolcraft. they also lost big to Watervliet in the regular season, 55-34.

Division 7:

No. 4 McBain 7-3 @ Saginaw Nouvel 9-1: Nouvel has won nine straight games. McBain may not have seen an athlete quite the caliber of Nouvel’s Jason Russell, who in last week’s win over Lincoln Alcona made eight catches for 254 yards and four TDs.

No. 1 Saugatuck 10-0 @ Pewamo-Westphalia 10-0: Blake Dunn’s supporting cast is stronger than some may give credit and could be just enough for another road win against another undefeated opponent. The Indians whupped previously 9-0 Hesperia last week 42-7, but P-Dub is a different kind of undefeated.

No. 5 Cassopolis 8-2 @ No. 3 Bridgman 9-1: This is a rematch of last year’s district final, which Bridgman won 17-14. The Bees’ defense will need to be swarming against AJ Green, Cass’ senior 1,000-yard rusher. Meanwhile, Cassopolis can’t shoot him but must do something to stop the Sherriff. Bridgman senior Julian Sherriff has run for 1,547 yards and 20 TDs.

Division 8:

St. Ignace 9-1 @ No. 2 Johannesburg-Lewiston 9-1: St. Ignace senior Gage Kreski is the best athlete on the field, an advantage that is just exacerbated with that kind of talent on a Division 8 field.

No. 3 Onekama 9-1 @ No. 4 Frankfort 8-2: The traditional power playing at home holds off upstart Onekama.

No. 1 Muskegon Catholic Central 7-2 @ Beal City 9-1: Catholic Central will go for the Mt. Pleasant City Title after knocking off Sacred Heart last week 49-7.

Lake Area Honors: Week 10

Lake Area Offensive Player of the Week

CJ Otteman  6-0  180  Sr  QB  Zeeland East: In a terrific Division 4 opener, Zeeland East beat Cedar Springs 43-29. Otteman was 12-of-20 passing for 314 yards and five TDs. One of the scores covered 97 yards to Khylin Barton.

Lake Area Defensive Player of the Week

Nate Jones  6-0  210  Sr  LB  Muskegon Catholic Central: Jones had double the touchdowns of Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart in MCC’s 49-7 Division 8 win. And he did it as a linebacker. In the game’s opening three minutes. Jones had two interceptions, and returned both for scores.

Lake Area Small School Player of the Week

Jon Acton  5-9  150  Sr  RB/DB  Onekama: It was Onekama’s first playoff win of the 21st century, blanking Central Lake 27-0 in Division 8. Acton rushed for 207 yards and two TDs on 17 carries and on defense made two interceptions.

Lake Area Northern Michigan Player of the Week

Evan Whitmore  6-3  210  Sr  QB  Petoskey: How efficient was Whitmore? In the Northmen’s 34-7 Division 3 win over Sault Ste. Marie he completed 6-of-7 throws for 141 yards and and two TDs. He’s now passed for 25 career TDs, a Petoskey school record.

Lake Area Coach of the Week

Elliot Uzelac, Benton Harbor: The Tigers’ opener with Dowagiac was the first playoff game in school history. Which means their 28-7 Division 3 win was the first in school history. Uzelac is a first-year coach at Benton Harbor, but is formerly the head coach at WMU and the Naval Academy.

Playoff Picks: Opening Round

Predicted winners are italicized.

All games are 7 pm Friday unless otherwise noted.

Division 1

No. 2 Grandville 6-3 @ No. 1 Rockford 6-3: The Bulldogs were shutout by Rockford in the midst of a three-game losing streak then ended up sharing the O-K title with the Rams. But that was without Nolan Meekhof, and the best running back in the Lake Area means there’s upset potential here.

No. 3 East Kentwood 6-3 @ No. 4 Hudsonville 6-3: The Falcons find the Eagles on a two-game losing streak, and knock them out of the playoffs again.

Division 2

No. 6 Forest Hills Northern 7-2 @ No. 1 Mona Shores 9-0: Forest Hills Northern may be playing for pride in this one against a Mona team even better than last year’s state runner-up, but the Huskies showed they had a ton of it last week when they deprived Forest Hills Eastern an undefeated regular season.

No. 3 Muskegon 7-2 @ No. 4 Traverse City Central 9-0: This one is for the old heads, a renewal of the Lake Michigan rivalry of the 1960s-80s between two of the state’s most storied programs. In the 21st century version, it’s not that Muskegon is that much faster than Traverse City Central, but how quickly they start playing at the Big Reds’ speed..

Battle Creek Lakeview 6-3 @ No. 2 Lowell 8-1: The Red Arrows haven’t lost a game since August, and it’s not going to happen in October, either.

No. 8 Byron Center 7-2 @ No. 5 Portage Central 8-1: Byron Center lost to Zeeland West 42-13, and could similarly have its collective arms full with Portage Central’s veer offense where Brandon Sturgeon and Theo Kizer pile up yards. There are two very athletic juniors at receiver, and college coaches will want to try and convince Byron Center’s Brayden Smith and Portage Central’s Austin McCullough to forego the hardwood for the pads.

Division 3

No. 8 Gaylord 6-3 @ Mt. Pleasant 7-2, 1 pm Saturday: While they haven’t had the postseason success of smaller neighboring schools like Ithaca and Beal City, the Oilers are battle-tested in the Saginaw Valley and have a monster at linebacker in Hunter Buczkowski and breakout threat at QB in Kalebb Perry.

Sault Ste. Marie 6-3 @ No. 7 Petoskey 7-2: It will be bookends for the Sault, with Petoskey both beginning and ending their season with a loss. It ws 42-14 the first time around.

No. 3 Grand Rapids Christian 5-4 @ No. 2 East Grand Rapids 6-3: Their regular season contest left EGR bitter after squandering a 26-0 lead only to lose 39-33 in overtime.

No. 4 Cedar Springs 6-3 @ No. 5 Zeeland East 6-3, 1 pm Saturday: East’s rep is built as much on losing to quality competition like Muskegon, Mona Shores and Grand Rapids Christian, as it did in beating good competition, as Hudsonville is the only W that made the playoffs. If healthy, Cedar Springs may have the athletes on defense to stymie the Chix’ CJ Otteman to Khylin Barton connection that had 14 regular season TDs, but could struggle up front if junior lineman Patrick DePiazza is out.

Sturgis 6-3 @ No. 1 St. Joseph 8-1: Speaking of QB to receiver combos, St. Joe’s Griffin Baudette to Jordan Brewer is hot right now, which complements a rushing attack with three backs with at least 400 yards and five TDs.

No. 10 Stevensville Lakeshore 6-3 @ No. 6 Edwardsburg 9-0: The streak is now 18 playoff appearances for Lakeshore. Their defense will have to slowdown a wing-T offense so potent that at times it has Edwardsburg looking the Zeeland West of the borderlands.

Vicksburg 7-2 @ Marshall 7-2, 1 pm Saturday: Ryan VanDyke is not coming through that door.

Division 4

No. 5 Whitehall 6-3 @ No. 9 Chippewa Hills 7-2: Between the Aylor Bros. Connection and tough play up front, Whitehall won three straight to make the playoffs.

Big Rapids 6-3 @ Escanaba 5-4: There are road trips, and then there’s this one.

Plainwell 5-4 @ No. 1 Zeeland West 9-0: West isn’t just the favorite in this game, but to win the entire Division 4 field.

No. 8 Wyoming Godwin Heights 6-3 vs No. 4 Grand Rapids Catholic Central 8-1 @ Grand Rapids Christian: Godwin is in the playoffs for the first time in over a quarter century. Three years ago, they had to cancel their season. Now they go up against one of the Lake Area’s bluebloods, coming off yet another O-K Gold title.

Alma 6-3 @ No. 3 Forest Hills Eastern 8-1: FHE should regroup from its first loss, and the O-K conference pedigree should mean they roll here.

Saginaw Swan Valley 6-3 @ No. 4 Comstock Park 7-2: CP’s only losses are to teams that could very well be hoisting hardware championship weekend, Zeeland West (just a 10-point loss and the only game the Dux scored under 40 points) and West Catholic.

No. 10 Dowagiac 6-3 @ No. 7 Benton Harbor 5-4: Elliot Uzelac’s first season as Benton Harbor’s coach coincides with the school’s first-ever playoff appearance. Despite being a five-win qualifier the Tigers play host in the opener thanks to wins over bigger schools.

No. 6 Hudsonville Unity Christian 6-3 @ 7-2 Lakewood: If Unity Christian pulls this off, it will be their first win over a playoff qualifier.

Division 5

No. 6 Grayling 6-3 @ Menominee 9-0: Menominee plays one of the state’s unique schedules, and have come through it cleanly.

No. 7 Manistee 7-2 @ No. 3 Reed City 9-0: As always, Reed City can really run the ball. A second straight district title will be a tough order, as if the Coyotes win they face either West Catholic or Oakridge.

No. 2 Muskegon Oakridge 7-2 @ No. 1 Grand Rapids West Catholic 7-2: These two have shared the Lake Area’s top rank in Division 5 all season. West Catholic is a rare team with the size and athleticism to slow down Oakridge’s go-to target James Cooper.

Hillsdale 6-3 @ No. 4 Buchanan 9-0: Buchanan reached at least 60 points three times during their undefeated regular season.

Olivet 6-3 @ No. 5 Berrien Springs 8-1: Steven Spenner will continue his Chris Spielman impersonation for Berrien Springs.

Division 6

Oscoda 6-3 @ No. 6 Boyne City 8-1: Boyne City senior Malik Smith has run for 1,500 yards and 20 TDs.

Glen Lake 5-4 @ No. 1 Traverse City St. Francis 9-0, 1 pm Saturday: The “other” 9-0 team in TC, St. Francis, beat Glen Lake just three weeks ago 41-7.

Lake City 5-4 @ No. 7 Mason County Central 6-3: It took a season for Lake City to adjust to life without star QB Drew Marion, but after that sabbatical they’re back in the playoffs. Mason County Central was forged in the rugged West Michigan Conference, giving them the edge.

Morley Stanwood 6-3 @ No. 2 NorthPointe Christian 9-0: With a dominant defense that has allowed just over 7 points per game and a dominant QB in senior Spencer Peterson, NPC has state championship ingredients.

Delton Kellogg 5-4 @ No. 3 Montague 9-0: Few saw this coming, with Montague going from a two-win team in 2014 to an undefeated regular season in 2015.

No. 8 Constantine 5-4 @ No. 4 Schoolcraft 9-0: Despite the disparate records, Constantine is the only team to have led Schoolcraft this season, before falling 42-24. Schoolcraft has a weapon in junior QB Ricky Clark, with 2,200 yards and 30 TDs combined passing and running.

No. 9 Lawton 7-2 @ No. 5 Watervliet 8-1: Watervliet scored at least 50 points in their eight wins, largely on the arm of senior QB Blake Kiekenapp who has thrown for 1,800 yards and 28 TDs.

Division 7

Whittemore-Prescott 5-4 @ No. 4 McBain 6-3: It’s baptism by fire for McBain’s sophomore QB Alex Utecht, making just his second start.

Harbor Springs 6-3 @ Iron Mountain 6-3: A stranger to the postseason, Harbor Springs, travels over the Bridge to meet a playoff regular. Iron Mountain has pitched four shutouts while holding opponents to fewer than 10 points per game.

No. 1 Saugatuck 9-0 @ No. 2 Hesperia 9-0: Saugatuck’s Blake Dunn will continue a monster season which thus far has over 3,000 yards from under center with 45 TDs.

No. 7 Gobles 5-4 @ No. 3 Bridgman 8-1: It just continues to get better for Bridgman. Last year the Bees go the first playoff win in school history — against Gobles — and followed that up with the most regular season wins in school history.

No. 8 Hartford 5-4 @ No. 5 Cassopolis 7-2: Cassopolis’ offense is peaking, scoring 137 points in the past two games.

Division 8

Hillman 6-3 @ No. 2 Johannesburg-Lewiston 8-1: If we know one thing about this game, it’s that Jo’burg’s Logan Huff will have double-digit tackles.

Baldwin 4-4 @ No. 4 Frankfort 7-2: Frankfort went undefeated to win the Northern Michigan Football League 2.

No. 5 Central Lake 7-2 @ No. 3 Onekama 8-1: The good news for Onekama, the Portagers went undefeated in the West Michigan D League. The bad news, it was the West Michigan D League.

Sacred Heart 6-3 @ No. 1 Muskegon Catholic Central 6-2: Catholic Central is embarking on a playoff path towards a possible third-straight state championship.


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