Playoff Picks: State Semifinals Edition

Winners are italicized.
All games 1 pm Saturday unless noted.
Playoff pick record: 66-12.

Division 1
East Kentwood 11-1 vs. Clarkston 12-0 at Brighton
Clarkston’s physicality and explosive offense is nothing new for EK other than the uniforms. The Falcons are from the O-K Red after all. If the weather allows Kyle Friberg to put the ball up like he did last week against Hudsonville, opening it up for Michael Ivy to surpass 2,000 yards, there will be a new champion crowned in Division 1.

Division 2
Muskegon Mona Shores 11-1 vs. Farmington Hills Harrison 10-2 at Howell
Playing away from home against an Eastside power won’t intimidate Mona Shores. They began the season with a win at Saline, which is now in the Division 1 semifinals, and in the district final won at Midland Dow 41-14. With QB Tyree Jackson at the helm, the Sailors are one of the state’s most entertaining, explosive offensive units since Harrison’s 2001 state championship team. Harrison is still without injured starting QB Jevon Shaw, while Mona Shores has leading tackler Dom Shermeta back.

Division 3
Muskegon 11-1 vs. Zeeland West 12-0 at Greenville
Old school meets the nouveau riche, Muskegon the state’s standard from the 20th century and Zeeland West going for its fourth state title in just the school’s first decade of existence. After rolling through the O-K Green in the regular season, West has been tested the last two weeks by Lowell and Stevensville Lakeshore. This will be Muskegon’s stiffest test since they dropped the regular season finale to Mona Shores. Many may assume Muskegon has a serious speed advantage, but that’s not really the case and if the Dux use said speed to contain the big play they’re headed back to Ford Field.

Division 4
Grand Rapids South Christian 10-2 vs. Edwardsburg 11-1 3 pm Saturday at Jackson
This is where the O-K pedigree kicks in, and South Christian will have another shot in the state title game.

Division 5
Menominee 12-0 vs. Grand Rapids West Catholic 12-0 11 am Saturday at the Superior Dome
Not even the long trip over the Bridge can slow down West Catholic QB Travis Russell, coming off an eight TD effort last week against Reed City. Menominee has an outstanding senior QB itself in Justin Brilinski.

Division 6
Boyne City 12-0 vs. Ithaca 12-0 2 pm Saturday at Midland
You want to say Ithaca isn’t as strong as recent vintages, but here they are having won a nation-best 68 in row. Boyne City has just won a mere dozen straight behind tough defense and a diverse running game. Our hearts say Boyne Tough pulls off the legendary upset. Our heads say numbers don’t lie.

Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian 11-1 vs. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 11-1 at Battle Creek Harper Creek
A hail mary from St. Mary was fitting, and NorthPointe hopes they’re out of miracles after QB Bryce Windham’s fourth-down scrable and toss saved the day last week against Lumen Christi. But with SMCC’s bruising offensive line, they may not need divine intervention.

Division 8
Muskegon Catholic Central 12-0 vs. Harbor Beach 12-0 at Alma College
Welcome back Harbor Beach, the school that beat Muskegon Catholic Central in the 2012 Division 8 semifinals took a year off to Division 7 where they lost in the semifinals to Ithaca. HB won D8 in 2012, as did MCC last year. If Harbor Beach can stop MCC’s fast, physical running game, they’d be the first to do so.

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