Oh baby! Can you feel it? The intensity is so high; airplanes taking off and landing will have to watch out for football players and their coaches. Weâ€™ve waited for the playoffs to start for months and now theyâ€™re here. Enjoy every minute of it, because everything can be over with one play. Take it one play at a time, boys, because youâ€™ll never forget these games. I know I havenâ€™t forgotten our first round playoff loss to Harrison when I was a player. I also want to say good luck to you high school students taking the ACT this Saturday morning. Donâ€™t freak out, itâ€™s just a test.
Yesterday was a weird day for me. It was the first Wednesday in a couple of months that I havenâ€™t had a football game. My boys battled hard all season though. If they work hard in the offseason, they should be ready to win a lot of games next year. We beat ourselves most of the season. Oh well, thatâ€™s what happens to young players. Letâ€™s get into playoffs, week one.
Battle Creek Central at Holt (Division 1)
This is quite an interesting game. Holt comes in with a 9-0 record but is in a tough district. Theyâ€™ve dropped two of the three games theyâ€™ve played against BCC, the last one being in the 2004 first round. Holt has one of their best teams in the past decade according to coach Mike Smith. They wonâ€™t be blowing teams out like they did in the regular season, thatâ€™s for sure.
Battle Creek has a tough job ahead of them. They have to travel to Holt and knock off a team who has steamrolled everyone theyâ€™ve played. The Bearcats have three losses on the season, one against a tough Jackson Lumen Christi team, and another against undefeated Saint Joseph (a 18-19 game), and Portage Central. All three teams are in the playoffs. The winner of this game will play the winner of the Traverse City West vs. Rockford game.
Melvindale at Allen Park (Division 3)
For two towns so close to one another, they havenâ€™t played since Devilâ€™s Night/Angelâ€™s Night 1998. Melvindale has the edge when it comes to speed, as they proved with a share of the Mega Blue Conference Championship. This is the fifth playoff appearance in the past decade including the past three seasons. Theyâ€™ll have to play a heck of a game to beat the tough Allen Park Jaguars.
Allen Park comes into the game with a two game win streak and a whole lot of playoff experience. For nine straight seasons, the final game of the season hasnâ€™t been on the schedule at the beginning of the season. This wonâ€™t be an easy game though. Melvindale has really put together a program and they are looking to make it deep into the playoffs. Like I said though, Allen Park has a lot of playoff experience and it will make the game difficult for Melvindale.
Kingsley at Suttons Bay (Division 6)
A rematch of the game I wanted to go to the night before my wedding this past September. My wife said no (hmmâ€¦sheâ€™s said that to me a few times since as wellâ€¦hmmmâ€¦) and I missed the game for our rehearsal dinner. Kingsley gave Suttons Bay their only loss of the season 26-21. The season hasnâ€™t gone well in the month of October; theyâ€™ve lost three straight. The Stags had better forget all that and bring their best on Friday night.
Suttons Bayâ€™s only loss on the season came at the hands of Kingsley. They are hoping to make it deep into the playoffs again this season and do what they couldnâ€™t last season; make it to the finals. These two teams have met in the playoffs every season since 2003 with each team winning two of the four games. The winner will take on the Montague vs. Evart winner.
Lawrence at Climax-Scotts (Division 8 )
Lawrence has had a pretty good season. They ended up 6-3 with two of the losses coming in the Southwestern Conference South Division. The Tigers have a few studs on their squad, including middle linebacker/tight end Spencer Whittington. He helped lead the team to their first playoff appearance since 2002. Lawrence won the 1997 Class DD State Championship.
Climax-Scotts have been a great team since 2003. They had nine winning seasons from 1970 through 2002. Now they are in the midst of a 45 game regular season winning streak. The quarterback for the Panthers, Jordan Langs averages 14.2 yards per carry to go along with his 15 touchdowns. Five of those have been on punt returns. I guess when you have a small school, you put the best players on the field, no matter what position.