'The 256' Coverage

District Finals Pre-Game: Divisions 1-8

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DIVISION 1

R1-D1 Hudsonville (7-3) 77.222 at Rockford (7-3) 79.653 F 7:00 PM
Rockford won a thriller to end the regular season 28-27 and now, just 2 weeks later, the O-K Red rivals will meet again.  Ironically, this will be the third year in a row that the two will face off in the District Championship.  Both of the previous years, Rockford won in the regular season and then lost in the playoffs.  Last year Rockford won in the regular season 28-27, same as 2 weeks ago.  This is a true toss-up but I think the law of averages will win out over the trend.  Projection:  Rockford

R1-D2 Brighton (9-1) 101.889 at Grand Ledge (10-0) 103.111 F 7:00 PM
The two programs met in the post-season in 1999 and 2000 with both teams getting a victory a piece.  Grand Ledge hasn’t won a district title since 2005, the same for Brighton.  Grand Ledge is trying to keep an undefeated season alive having only won by less than double digits only once all year.  Brighton avenged their only loss in the regular season to Hartland in a big way last week, 35-0.  Both teams have a common opponent in Howell.  Brighton won 14-11, while Grand Ledge trounced the Highlanders 34-2 last week.  I think the competition was a bit more difficult this year for Brighton but you don’t control the destiny of the teams you play, you go out and win the game in front of you.  That’s how I feel about Grand Ledge this year. regardless of their schedule, this is just a really good football team, a complete team that has a lot of potential to advance in November.  Projection:  Grand Ledge

R2-D1 Romeo (9-1) 100.111 at Lapeer (10-0) 105.778 F 7:00 PM
This game is another toss-up, one of many this weekend.  Romeo will be out for revenge after Lapeer knocked them out of the post-season last year.  Lapeer has steam-rolled through the season but there’s no arguing what Romeo has had to go through to get 9 wins, facing one of the toughest schedules around, including some very impressive wins against teams still in the playoffs.  I think even more than the schedule, preparing them for the post-season, the hunger and sting of last year’s loss may be the difference in this game.  Projection:  Romeo

R2-D2 Novi (6-4) 63.000 at Detroit Catholic Central (8-2) 82.528 F 7:00 PM
Novi is coming off, what would be to date, a season defining victory by knocking off one of the favorites to reach Ford Field, West Bloomfield, last week in a 31-28 thriller.  Detroit CC cruised through their playoff opener.  The programs have met two other times in the post-season, both DCC wins.  This year, this week, Novi will be heavy underdogs again but the game direction will come down, at least early, if the Wildcats can carry momentum with them or if last week’s dramatic win will be somewhat of a hangover.  Projection:  Detroit CC

R3-D1 Canton (8-2) 88.111 at Northville (10-0) 110.222 F 7:00 PM
The two teams may be in different ‘Divisions’ now but used to be league-mates about 9 years ago.  Canton knocked Northville out of the post-season last year, with Northville doing the same the year prior.  Canton seems to have righted their wrongs of week 6 and 7, while Northville is going for an 11th win on the season.  One of Canton’s 2 losses, came to Plymouth, whom Northville defeated 23-20.  Based on the entire body of work, Northville would seem to have the edge but it’s about now and the momentum and it’s hard to argue what Canton has done in the last few weeks.  Projection:  Canton

R3-D2 Ann Arbor Pioneer (7-3) 74.542 at Saline (9-0) 105.778 F 7:00 PM
The SEC Red rivals will square off again this season, with Saline getting the best of Pioneer, 37-21 in the regular season.  The Hornets have won the last three regular season and post-season meetings between the two and appear to be trying to pick up where they left off last year, with a Finals appearance.  Pioneer will have an uphill battle to climb but sometimes it’s a bit easier when get a 2nd shot at a team and one that you are familiar with, sometimes.  Projection:  Saline

R4-D1 Utica Eisenhower (7-3) 87.222 at Macomb Dakota (8-2) 97.333 F 7:00 PM
Another match-up of league rivals.  Dakota is currently on a 5 game winning streak against Eisenhower, winning 48-21 earlier this season.  They also bounced Ike from the post-season last year.  Eisenhower will have to come back quickly, after winning in stunning fashion last week, 23-20 to Chippewa Valley.  Eisenhower has been on fire lately, in the previous 4 weeks, after a loss.  They handed Romeo their only loss of the year 2 weeks ago and trounced Warren Mott but 21, who so happened to be a team that Dakota lost to, earlier in the year.  I think the 2nd time around is going to be much closer but Dakota is money in the post-season.  Projection:  Dakota

R4-D2 Dearborn Fordson (6-4) 62.778 at Detroit Cass Tech (8-2) 88.222 S 1:00 PM
Cass Tech may not be the Cass Tech of 2-3 years ago but they aren’t far off.  They have 2 losses on the season but both at the hands of arguably the best team in the state this year, in Detroit King.  And the losses were both by a combined 5 points.  Since 2009, the Technicians have knocked Fordson out of the post-season 4 times.  Projection:  Cass Tech

My Original D1 District Champion Projected Winners from October 30th:  Rockford, Grand Ledge, Lapeer, Detroit CC, Canton, Saline, Dakota, Cass Tech.

DIVISION 2

R1-D1 Muskegon (8-2) 91.333 at Muskegon Mona Shores (10-0) 112.000 S 5:00 PM
The game last month was a classic, with New Kid on the Block, Mona Shores taking the game 21-18.  Muskegon, the traditional power will look to get revenge this Saturday late afternoon.  The Big Reds will try to avert a 3 game losing streak to the Sailors.  Both teams made it to the finals a year ago, Mona Shores fell in D2, while Muskegon lost a heart-breaker, 7-0 in D3.  This will be one of the best games of the entire weekend and is another toss-up.  Projection:  I’m sticking with Mona Shores, which I predicted a week ago but not by much.

R1-D2 Byron Center (8-2) 77.111 at Lowell (9-1) 101.333 F 7:00 PM
This will be the first ever meeting between the upstart Byron Center Bulldogs and the powerhouse program Lowell.  Byron Center went on the road last week and pulled off the upset.  This week will be an even taller challenge.  Lowell hasn’t lost since the season opener, a two point loss to undefeated Walled Lake Western.  Projection:  Lowell

R2-D1 Midland Dow (9-1) 94.000 at Fenton (9-1) 101.778 F 7:00 PM
This will be the third match-up between the two programs.  Fenton knocked Dow out of the playoffs in 2010, en-route to a Semi-Finals appearance and Dow returned the favor 2 years ago.  Fenton is coming off of a narrow, stopped 2 point conversion away from going home win over Holly.  Dow trounced bitter rival Midland High by 35 points.  While that may setup a prediction on who should win, last week won’t mean a thing once both teams take the field in Fenton on Friday night.  However, Dow week 1 vs. week 11 shows us 2 completely and teams, one that has vastly improved into a contender.  Projection:  Midland Dow

R2-D2 Birmingham Groves (10-0) 105.778 at Walled Lake Western (10-0) 112.222 F 7:00 PM
A couple of 10 teams going at it for the District title will be one heck of a treat here.  Some thought Groves might not make it past Harrison but a defensive masterpiece propelled them to this match-up.  WLW hasn’t looked back since their season opening win against state power, Lowell.  This game could go either way in a first ever meeting between the two programs.  Projection:  Walled Lake Western

R3-D1 Livonia Franklin (7-3) 67.556 at Jackson (8-2) 76.000 F 7:00 PM
Jackson hasn’t won a playoff game since 1999 and this is their first trip back to the post-season in 9 years.  The program, however, has come a long way and is a force to be reckoned with.  Their regular season ending, 1 point win over Lumen Christi gave them a lot of resolve in winning the close ones.  Franklin is in the playoffs for the first time since 2010 and hasn’t faced Jackson since 1962.  The Patriots have been on the upswing and haven’t lost since a 4 point defeat to Plymouth in 5.  They were sitting at 2-3 and on the outside looking in with a small shot at the post-season.  That’s when they reeled off 4 straight wins and kept the momentum going last week with a first round 3 point win.  Yet another toss-up and almost impossible game to pick.  Projection:  Franklin

R3-D2 Southfield (7-3) 75.556 at Berkley (8-2) 76.889 @ Anderson MS F 7:00 PM
The two former conference foes haven’t met since their 2009 playoff meeting, resulting in a Southfield win.  Berkley had the better regular season but Southfield seems to be coming on strong, avenging a 36 point loss in week 8, with a 24 point win last week against Oak Park.  Projection:  Southfield

R4-D1 Wyandotte Roosevelt (8-2) 83.111 at Detroit Martin Luther King (10-0) 114.222 S 1:00 PM
This will be the 3rd meeting between the two programs, all since 2011.  King has bounced Roosevelt from the post-season both times, including a 6-0 slugfest in 2013.  King, arguably one of the state’s best overall teams will have to be guarded but will also be a heavy favorite going into this one.  Projection:  MLK

R4-D2 Detroit East English (8-2) 74.667 at Grosse Pointe South (7-3) 77.222 F 7:00 PM
East English just knocked the defending champ out last week, De La Salle, GPS was almost as impressive with a 34 point opening round win.  This week, all of that is in the past and we should have a very good game on our hands.  Like a few others mentioned already, when you have an ‘upset’ like that, you have to worry about the emotional hangover.  Projection:  East English

My Original D2 District Champion Projected Winners from October 30th:  Mona Shores, Lowell, Midland High, Walled Lake Western, Franklin, Berkley, King, De La Salle

DIVISION 3

R1-D1 Petoskey (8-2) 76.111 at Mt Pleasant (8-2) 79.778 S 1:00 PM
Will be the 3rd playoff meeting between the 2 since 2011.  Petoskey knocked MTP out of the post-season last year, the Oilers were on the winning end in 2011.  Mt. Pleasant cannot start like they did last week against Gaylord or Petoskey will make them pay.  This will be a great Saturday afternoon game that should come down to the wire.  Projection:  Mt. Pleasant

R1-D2 Zeeland East (7-3) 78.000 at East Grand Rapids (7-3) 78.333 F 7:00 PM
It wasn’t too long ago that East Grand Rapids reeled off 5 straight title wins.  Then found themselves 2 years in a row out of the playoffs.  Last year, they made it back to the post-season but suffered a heart-breaking 1 point defeat to rival Lowell.  This year they have gone at least a step further and are positioning themselves for a District Title.  Zeeland East will be looking to get a bit of revenge after getting knocked out of the playoffs by EGR in 2010.  The Chix have bounced back nicely after a 3 game losing streak in the middle of the year.  Projection:  EGR

R2-D1 St Johns (7-3) 76.889 at DeWitt (9-1) 104.000 F 7:00 PM
District 1 ended up becoming the CAAC Red post-season tourney.  St. Johns and DeWitt made it through with the same results that they had against their foes in the regular season and now the 1st and 2nd place teams in the league will square off again and again in DeWitt.  Injuries have hampered St. Johns a bit this year but they have done well to overcome.  DeWitt will be looking to get their 7th win in a row against their conference rival.  No. 6 was a 49-21 win over the Redwings last month.  Projection:  DeWitt

R2-D2 Linden (8-2) 86.000 at Orchard Lake St Mary’s (8-1) 101.889 F 7:00 PM
Another monumental task for an opponent of OLSM.  The Eaglets are D3 title favorites and look to knock out anything in their way.  The two haven’t met since the 2011 Region Finals, which was a 49-7 Orchard Lake win.  The Eaglets don’t do a lot of fancy things but what they do, do, they are exceptional at and have the personal to go with it.  Linden will have to do their best to spread the Eaglets out and protect the ball or this could get away from them early.  Projection:  OLSM

R3-D1 Edwardsburg (10-0) 97.778 at St Joseph (9-1) 100.111 F 7:00 PM
This will be another great game.  Two outstanding programs that both had wonderful seasons.  After Friday night however, one will move on and one will be doing locker room cleanup.   This will be the first ever meeting between the two programs but they do have a common opponent this year.  St. Joseph’s only loss came to Lakeshore, a team that Edwardsburg defeated by 13 in last week’s opening round.  That was a long time ago in football weeks and will mean very little in this toss-up of a game come 7PM.  Projection:  St. Joseph (Coin Flip)

R3-D2 Vicksburg (8-2) 71.667 at Coldwater (10-0) 97.778 F 7:00 PM
Another first ever meeting between the two programs.  Hard to judge this match-up because of Vicksburg’s 9 game schedule against conference opponents.  They both played Marshall however and both games have resulted in 1 score victories for both.  Could go either way.  Projection:  Coldwater

R4-D1 Chelsea (9-1) 84.778 at Trenton (9-1) 95.889 F 7:00 PM
First every meeting between the programs and should be a darn good one.  Trenton has had arguably the tougher path to the same 9-1 record as Chelsea but we soon will see.  Projection:  Chelsea

R4-D2 Redford Thurston (6-4) 63.111 at Allen Park (9-1) 96.667 F 7:00 PM
Thurston got in with 4 wins and didn’t stop there, proving that with a 34 point upset win over Fitzgerald last week.  Allen Park has only won loss which was 9 weeks ago and hasn’t looked back since.  Thurston will be again in the underdog roll but Allen Park has their attention after the first round result.  Projection:  Allen Park

My Original D3 District Champion Projected Winners from October 30th:  Mt. Pleasant, East Grand Rapids, DeWitt, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Coldwater, St. Joseph, Chelsea, Allen Park

DIVISION 4

R1-D1 Big Rapids (7-3) 58.889 at Remus Chippewa Hills (8-2) 70.889 F 7:00 PM
Regular season rematch in which Chippewa Hills won 26-7.  Big Rapids will have to use the underdog role if they want to exact revenge on their conference foe that they haven’t defeated since 2012.  Projection:  Chippewa Hills

R1-D2 Comstock Park (8-2) 76.222 at Ada Forest Hills Eastern (9-1) 91.333 F 7:00 PM
Forest Hills Eastern cruised past Alma last week but Comstock Park had their hands full with Swan Valley and escaped with a 3 point win.  The two have only faced each other one other time, back in 2006.  This is an extremely tough one to pick because FHE’s lone loss was a 2 point defeat to rival FHN and the two losses on Comstock Park’s record are to powerhouse Zeeland West and West Catholic.  FHE did defeat West Catholic by 33 points earlier in the season however.  Projection:  Forest Hills Eastern

R2-D1 Benton Harbor (6-4) 63.222 at Zeeland West (10-0) 104.889 F 7:00 PM
What a story for Benton Harbor, after getting their first win in post-season history.  Now they get to face the Dux, who have won 3 state titles in the past decade.  Zeeland West only has 2 losses since August of 2013!  Projection:  Zeeland West

R2-D2 Hudsonville Unity Christian (7-3) 60.000 at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (9-1) 92.111 @ Grand Rapids Christian HS F 7:00 PM
Grand Rapids CC hasn’t lost since the opening week of the season to EGR, they haven’t looked back since and have been on a roll, along with state title aspirations.  Projection:  Grand Rapids CC

R3-D1 Lake Fenton (6-4) 51.847 at Flint Powers Catholic (8-2) 75.778 F 7:00 PM
Lake Fenton pulled a mild upset last week in a thrilling win over over foe Corunna.  This week, there will be nothing mild about the upset if they pull it off.  Powers, D4, plays in a conference against D1-D3 teams and held their own.  They now have goals of winning another state title.  The Chargers claimed the D5 crown back in 2012.  The Blue Devils will look to reach the Regional Round for the first time since 2006.  Projection:  Powers

R3-D2 Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (8-2) 82.222 at Richmond (9-1) 86.000 F 7:00 PM
The first meeting ever, between the two programs.  Richmond will try to reach the Regional Final for the 2nd straight season.  ND Prep hasn’t made it to the third round since 2004.  ND Prep may have 2 losses but they both came to powerhouse Loyola.  This will be a dandy of a game.  Projection:  ND Prep

R4-D1 Detroit Denby (6-4) 57.667 at Milan (8-2) 74.333 F 6:30 PM
Another first ever meeting between two programs.  Tough to gauge Denby’s 4 losses because most of them were against really good teams in higher divisions.  Projection:  Milan

R4-D2 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood (9-1) 72.000 at Detroit Country Day (9-1) 89.778 S 1:00 PM
This won’t be the first meeting between the two programs, not by a long shot but they haven’t met since 1995.  Country Day is one of the favorites to reach the Final, C-K will have to no doubt have to play the game of their lives to move on to the regionals.  Projection:  DCD

My Original D4 District Champion Projected Winners from October 30th:  Whitehall, Forest Hills Eastern, Zeeland West, Grand Rapids CC, Powers, Richmond, Detroit Collegiate, Country Day

DIVISION 5

R1-D1 Kingsford (7-3) 63.611 at Menominee (10-0) 104.889 S 12:00 PM
It’s a Great Northern UP rematch that if is anything like the regular season game, we are in for a treat.  Menominee’s closest margin of victory this year was by 3 points, against Kingsford in Week 5.  Menominee hasn’t lost to Kingsford since 2012 and they avenged that in the post-season.  Kingsford has the potential to be a deep playoff team but by the luck of the draw and being in the same area/division as the Maroons, they have a steep hill to climb, just to get out of the districts.  Projection:  Menominee

R1-D2 Grand Rapids West Catholic (8-2) 75.111 at Reed City (10-0) 89.333 F 7:00 PM
Reed City has had a heck of a year and it’s not often that a 10-0 team would be an underdog to a 8-2 team but we are talking about the twice defending D5 Champ, West Catholic.  A shaky 1-2 start by the Falcons put a bid for third straight title in jeopardy but West Catholic has since, ripped off 7 straight wins.  Projection:  West Catholic

R2-D1 Lansing Catholic (9-1) 85.333 at Portland (10-0) 107.556 F 7:00 PM
CAAC White rivals are set to go about this again.  Portland and LC have been one of the area’s best rivalries, switching places year after year on who’s in top slot of the conference standings.  LC has made the finals 2 times in the last 4 years, dropping a heart breaker to West Catholic last year in the final moments of the game.  Portland won the D5 title in 2012.  In their regular season match-up, Portland topped Lansing Catholic 28-6 but that was back in September.  Not that Portland has gotten any worse, in fact that have stayed up at the top but LC has dominated the competition since the 22 point loss.  Projection:  Portland

R2-D2 Frankenmuth (9-1) 80.889 at Freeland (10-0) 100.444 F 7:00 PM
The two Tri-Valley champions met just two weeks ago.  Freeland turned a competitive game in the first half into a 2nd half blowout.  Frankenmuth will indeed be out to avenge the trouncing and their only loss of the season.  Freeland had a couple of really close calls early in the season, including a 24-22 last second win over Ovid-Elsie in what ultimately decided the conference title.  The Falcons have gotten better each week but may find it hard to get much better than their last two weeks, which have included the 42-7 win over Frankenmuth and an opening round 68-12 win over Garber.  Projection:  Freeland

R3-D1 Berrien Springs (9-1) 80.000 at Buchanan (10-0) 91.556 F 7:00 PM
This will undoubtedly be a good one.  Three weeks ago, Berrien Springs dropped a heart-breaker to Buchanan, 21-19, which decided the conference championship and gave Berrien Springs the only loss between the two teams.  This is a toss-up game in a weekend of toss-ups.  Just about every cliche applies to what will determine the outcome of this game.  Projection:  Buchanan

R3-D2 Dearborn Heights Robichaud (8-2) 67.889 at Ida (10-0) 92.444 F 7:00 PM
Only the 2nd time these two programs will have met, the last being in 1978.  Ida has had a special season but don’t sleep on Robichaud, their two losses have come to D1 playoff teams.  It already has appeared that Robichaud’s ‘bigger’ competition has paid dividends, with their impressive first round win.  Never under estimate playing at home in the post-season however, especially with a team that’s going for a storybook season.  Ida hadn’t won more than 8 games in a season until this year.  Projection:  Ida

R4-D1 Detroit University Prep (7-3) 55.444 at River Rouge (9-1) 84.222 F 7:00 PM
River Rouge is in the midst of the best 4 year run in program history.  U Prep has won 5 straight after starting the season off 2-3.  Both met in the Districts last year, with River Rouge knocking out U Prep 8-0.  Projection:  River Rouge

R4-D2 Almont (8-2) 70.667 at Algonac (9-1) 80.778 F 7:00 PM
In a rematch of the October 9th game in which Algonac won 21-7, the two league foes will square off again, this time with a District title on the line.  Before Algonac’s win this year, Almont had a 10 game winning streak in the series, including a 72-7 drubbing last year.  While Almont may want revenge for earlier this year, Algonac will be hard pressed to forget last year’s outcome if they need to search for inspiration on Friday Night.  Projection:  Algonac

My Original D5 District Champion Projected Winners from October 30th:  Menominee, West Catholic, Portland, Freeland, Buchanan, Ida, River Rouge, Algonac

DIVISION 6

R1-D1 Calumet (8-2) 59.319 at Boyne City (9-1) 72.889 S 1:00 PM
Calumet started the season 1-2 but since has rattled off 7 straight wins, including a payback win over Negaunee who gave them their first loss of the year.  Boyne City has had one heck of a season with just one loss on the year, coming to St. Francis, one of the best pound for pound teams in the state.  This should be a pretty good game!  Projection:  Boyne City

R1-D2 Mason County Central (7-3) 56.333 at Traverse City St Francis (10-0) 93.667 F 7:00 PM
Mason County Central has a heck of a lot to be proud of this year but now must face off against one of the big favorites in D6.  Both programs have faced each other 6 times but not since 1965, 50 years ago.  Projection:  St. Francis

R2-D1 Sanford Meridian Early College (10-0) 85.333 at Ithaca (10-0) 88.000 F 7:00 PM
Meridian had on the of the year’s best overall comebacks, rallying from 4 scores down last week against Millington in the 2nd half.  The gift for that epic comeback.  A date with Ithaca, the most dominant program in the state, pound for pound over the past 5 years.  I would say that last week’s Meridian game gave them a big test and earned them some resolve in the process but Ithaca, although pulled away from Vassar eventually, the first half was close enough to wake up the Yellowjackets.  Projection:  Ithaca

R2-D2 Laingsburg (7-3) 44.000 at Montrose (6-4) 47.000 F 7:00 PM
Montrose snuck into the playoffs with an at-large bid and now after a win last week and the favorites role this week, a 4 loss Ram team is a win away from the Region Finals and another shot at Ithaca.  First things first, a good Laingsburg team stands in the way with something to say about it.  The teams have met only one other time, back in 1954.  Projection:  Montrose

R3-D1 Montague (10-0) 85.333 at Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian (10-0) 86.222 @ Comstock Park HS F 7:00 PM
Talk about a game to watch.  Both teams are contenders for the state title this year and will face off, just two weeks into the post-season.  NorthPointe is off to their best season in the program’s young history, starting back in 2008.  The Mustangs reached the semis last year before bowing out to the eventual champ, SMCC.  Montague won back to back title in 2008-09 but actually went through a three year period before last week’s district win, where they didn’t win a post-season game.  There’s two different types of experience at play here.  Montague’s program experience of being a top tier program for so long and a staff that knows how to win.  Against a team that went to the final four last year and is hungry and has had the taste of success.  This game should be a dandy.  Projection:  Montague

R3-D2 Constantine (6-4) 51.889 at Watervliet (9-1) 78.222 F 7:00 PM
Constantine is coming off of a huge upset win over previously undefeated Schoolcraft and now faces another SWAC conference foe, once defeated Watervliet.  Watervliet won the first match-up this year by 21 but that didn’t help Schoolcraft last week against the Falcons.  Projection:  Watervliet

R4-D1 Jackson Lumen Christi (7-3) 68.000 at Manchester (9-1) 74.667 F 7:00 PM
Lumen Christi has had state title aspirations all year long and 3 losses wont damper that now that they are into the 2nd season.  It just means that they will have to get to where they want to be on the road.  This will be the first meeting between the two programs.  Manchester is no slouch, not only the 9-1 record but the lone loss game to 10-0 Clinton by a point in week one of the season.  This should be a very competitive game.  Projection:  Lumen Christi

R4-D2 Clinton (10-0) 80.000 at Madison Heights Madison (9-1) 88.889 F 7:00 PM
The District of Death continues.  Clinton had arguably the biggest win of the first round, when they came in undefeated and had to go on the road to defending champ St. Mary CC and knocked them off.  Now the Redskins have to go on the road again and face an extremely athletic Madison ballclub.  The Eagles’ lone defeat came in the season opener against Pewamo-Westphali, losing by a point.  It will be interesting to see if Clinton continues to use the chip on their shoulder, in terms of where they were placed to fuel their competitive fire.  Projection:  Clinton

My Original D6 District Champion Projected Winners from October 30th:  Boyne City, St. Francis, Ithaca, Montrose, Montague, Schoolcraft, Lumen Christi, St. Mary CC

DIVISION 7

R1-D1 Iron Mountain (7-3) 50.986 at Ishpeming (9-0) 82.667 F 7:00 PM
Ishpeming’s road to a 4th consecutive Ford Field appearance will come against a team they defeated 14-7 in week one of the season.  Iron Mountain hasn’t beaten Ishpeming since 2011.  Projection:  Ishpeming

R1-D2 McBain (7-3) 60.333 at Saginaw Nouvel (9-1) 72.889 F 7:00 PM
After week 1, we didn’t know what type of season this would be for Nouvel.  They suffered a double digit loss to New Lothrop.  Was NL that good (they are), was Nouvel just not going to be playoff bound or was it a matter of it’s just early in the season and a team has to grow?  It seemed to be a little of 2 of those.  Nouvel has steadily gotten better each week and has found the weapons they need to get points on the board to go along with a stout defense.  The traditional state power is removed enough from their last state title team in 2011 but there’s not reason that this team cannot be the next 2007 Nouvel, which won with grit, determination and a little bit of luck, like any team needs.  McBain has 3 losses but to teams that have a combined one loss between them.  Projection:  Nouvel CC

R2-D1 Cass City (8-2) 55.333 at Sandusky (10-0) 74.667 F 7:00 PM
This should be a pretty good clash between rival Greater Thumb programs.  Cass City from the West and Sandusky from the East.  Sandusky hasn’t beaten Cass City since 2011 but this team is off to the best start in program history.  Projection:  Sandusky

R2-D2 Flint Beecher (7-2) 68.778 at New Lothrop (10-0) 88.889 F 7:00 PM
This should be a fun, high scoring game to watch.  Beecher faces tougher competition, larger schools but New Lothrop’s skill and ability transcend school size.  This also happens to be the first time both programs will meet.  This game could be one of the best of the weekend.  Projection:  New Lothrop

R3-D1 Saugatuck (10-0) 72.889 at Pewamo-Westphalia (10-0) 77.333 F 7:00 PM
This will only be the 2nd meeting between the two program.  P-W won by 36 back in the 2013 post-season.  Both programs have made the Finals in the past five years but want to get over the ultimate hump.  Someone’s undefeated season will end this Friday night.  Projection:  Pewamo-Westphalia

R3-D2 Cassopolis (8-2) 57.667 at Bridgman (9-1) 59.444 F 7:00 PM
Overall, Cassopolis owns a 10-4 record against Bridgman all-time but Bridgman has won the last three meetings, including last year’s District Final.  It’s hard to gauge the two teams together because all of their losses have come to quality opponents.  Yet, another toss-up game.  Projection:  Bridgman

R4-D1 Dansville (9-1) 59.556 at Homer (8-2) 61.778 S 1:00 PM
Yes, another toss-up game, with a consistent theme, all of the losses between them coming from quality teams.  This will be the first meeting between the two programs.  Projection:  Homer

R4-D2 Riverview Gabriel Richard (7-3) 55.000 at Detroit Loyola (8-2) 77.750 @ Hazel Park F 7:00 PM
Let’s face it, Loyola is at worst a contender to repeat and at best, the odds on favorite in D7, again.  But upsets are not few and far in between and we only need to look to last week to show us that.  Loyola is 7-2 all-time against their former CHSL Intersectional foe and hasn’t lost to them since 2006.  Projection:  Loyola

My Original D7 District Champion Projected Winners from October 30th:  Ishpeming, Nouvel CC, Sandusky, New Lothrop, Pewamo-Westphalia, Bridgman, Homer, Loyola

DIVISION 8

R1-D1 Crystal Falls Forest Park (6-3) 44.889 at Bark River-Harris (8-2) 54.333 @ NMU Superior Dome F 7:30 PM
Forest Park will look to avenge their 1 point defeat to Bark River-Harris way back in week 1.  It was the first time BR-H had beaten FP since 2003.  Forest Park has already taken care of a loss by defeating Lake Linden-Hubbell, whom they lost to in the regular season.  This one will be a bit  harder to cross off the list however.  Projection:  Bark River-Harris

R1-D2 St Ignace (9-1) 65.764 at Johannesburg-Lewiston (9-1) 67.444 F 7:00 PM
This has the potential to be a good one in D8.  The game will be a rematch from week 5 in which La Salle defeated Johannesburg-Lewiston 27-21.  Projection:  St. Ignace La Salle

R2-D1 Onekama (9-1) 57.600 at Frankfort (8-2) 62.556 F 7:00 PM
Both teams just met 2 weeks ago, with Onekama coming out on top 21-8.  This time around, they will be playing in Frankfort again.  It’s always tough to beat the same team twice in one season, especially two teams this close.  Projection:  Frankfort

R2-D2 Muskegon Catholic Central (7-2) 62.556 at Beal City (9-1) 76.111 S 1:30 PM
This could and might very well be the best game in D8.  Muskegon CC is in the hunt for a third straight title, the first one coming against Beal City, resulting in a 35-12 win.  Beal City is no stranger to going all the way either, having made 3 trips to Ford Field, winning it all in 2009.  Projection:  Muskegon CC

R3-D1 Fowler (7-3) 43.333 at Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (9-1) 73.778 F 7:00 PM
MLS is 3-1 all-time against Fowler, but the two haven’t faced off since 1999.  MLS’s lone loss came to state power Ithaca.  The Cardinals have high hopes of at least, getting back to the Semi-Finals, where they fell 4 points short last year.  Projection:  Michigan Lutheran Seminary

R3-D2 Sterling Heights Parkway Christian (7-3) 52.444 at Waterford Our Lady (10-0) 90.667 @ Wisner Stadium, Pontiac F 7:00 PM
This will be only the 2nd meeting between the two programs, the first coming in the 2006 playoffs, with a WOLL 42-6 winner.  Our Lady is not only a favorite in this game but also one of the favorites to reach Ford Field.  Projection:  Our Lady of the Lakes

R4-D1 Pittsford (7-3) 41.778 at Climax-Scotts (10-0) 67.000 F 7:00 PM
Like Our Lady above, Climax-Scotts has big expectations to make it to the State Finals.  C-S is 15-3 all-time against Pittsford, including a win last season in the playoffs that knocked out Pittsford.  Projection:  Climax-Scotts

R4-D2 Ottawa Lake Whiteford (8-2) 52.222 at Morenci (8-2) 60.222 F 7:00 PM
Two Tri-County Conference teams will square off for the District championship.  In the regular season, it was Whiteford that came away with the 34-6 win but will have to get the post-season rematch win on the road despite coming out on top because of strength of schedule.  Projection:  Whiteford

My Original D8 District Champion Projected Winners from October 30th:  Lake Linden-Hubbell, LaSalle, Fankfort, Muskegon CC, Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Our Lady of the Lakes, Climax-Scotts, Whiteford

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