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.

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