Week 12/Playoff 3 results

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Can you see it in your dreams? Can you smell Ford Field yet? We are so stinking close, that some people better make plans OTHER than fighting the crowds for that $100 computer the day after Thanksgiving. There were some surprises this week and a few more teams are getting ready for basketball or wrestling because football is finished. We all are anxious to see how the semifinals will shake out. By next Monday, we’ll know what teams are playing for that Michigan shaped trophy.

Division 1

Detroit Catholic Central 21 Holt 7

The season started shaky for the Shamrocks, but they are brimming with confidence after their regional win over previously unbeaten Holt. The game started out in Holt’s favor, but the second half belonged to DCC. The key play in the game, according to Coach Mach, was a third and one play during the fourth quarter. CC was up but Holt was driving. Mike Martin made a move and killed the play in the backfield, forcing the punt. The Shamrocks will face Macomb Dakota next in the semifinals.

Macomb Dakota 26 Lake Orion 14

Again, it was late in the game. Lake Orion had driven to Dakota’s 10 yard line. The score was 19-14. After getting stuffed on two running plays, they decided to run a pitch to the running back that passed it to the quarterback. Kyle DeMaster picked off the pass in the end zone and returned it back to the 43 yard line. That set up another touchdown and put the game on ice. Macomb will play Detroit Catholic Central at Troy Athens on Saturday.

Troy 34 Warren Cousino 0

The beginning was a little sloppy, but Troy came though in the end. They had built their lead up 20-0 at the half and finished up Warren after the break. They essentially took Rikki Powell out of the game. Powell ended with 139 yards and was intercepted once. Troy coach Gary Griffith credits their dedication in the weight room and his Black Stallion conditioning test. Troy was 2 for three on field goals and Nick Gallina ran in two scores for the Colts. Troy plays Livonia Stevenson Saturday.

Livonia Stevenson 10 Livonia Franklin 7

Stevenson can thank it’s defense for the victory. They came up with four turnovers, five sacks, and only allowed 160 yards of offense for Franklin. The score was tied up 7-7 at the half. Stevenson got a field goal midway through the third quarter and that proved to be the game winner. Mark Grisa, Pat York, and John Samaan came up with interceptions. Samaan’s INT came with four minutes remaining in the game and Franklin was on Stevenson’s 30 yard line. Livonia Stevenson will play in it’s first state semifinal on Saturday.

Division 2

Lowell 28 Hudsonville 13

In front of 9,000 fans, Lowell avenged their Week Two loss to Hudsonville. Kyle Nichol had 123 yards and three touchdowns. He was helped by sophomore Austin Graham’s 114 yards. 62 yards of Nichol’s 123 came on a run in the fourth quarter to seal the deal for the Red Arrows. Noel Dean, Lowell coach, got his wish; he had 10 more weeks to coach his players and they rewarded his effort by winning and putting themselves in the state semifinals once again. Lowell had 426 yards of total offense. They play Midland on Saturday at Lansing Everett High School.

Midland 7 Davison 3

Quarterback Andrew Maxwell is enjoying his season. He’s very happy that his squad has made it to the final four by beating Davison. After a field goal by Davison, Maxwell marched his team into the end zone on a one minute drive and finished with 5 seconds remaining in the half. Michael Albrecht came down with the pass in the corner of the end zone. That was all the scoring they needed to win. The “Blue Death” (that’s what it said on the shirts I saw) kept Davison out of the end zone. Now, Midland gets to play in one more big game in Lansing for the chance in at a REALLY big game in Detroit.

Rochester Adams 39 Farmington Hills Harrison 10

Another year, another trip to the semifinals for Rochester Adams. Josh Renel scored four times and had 166 yards on 18 attempts. Adams scored touchdowns on their first two plays of the second half and never trailed in the game. Legendary coach John Herrington for FHH said that they were very physical and he thinks they will go to the finals. Adams coach Patritto echoed the physical comment, saying that the line has done an outstanding job all season. Renel credits his offensive line saying that they work harder than the specialists do.

Detroit Martin Luther King 40 Dearborn 14

DMLK is trying to be the first Detroit Public School League team to make the state championship since they last made it (and lost) in 1990. Most of the players were infants back then. Donavan Dickerson passed for 168 yards and three touchdowns in the winning effort. Darrin Williams will need to have a fantastic game (Dickerson as well) in an offense built for him if they want to move past Rochester Adams and onto the big one at Ford Field.

Division 3

East Grand Rapids 52 Mount Pleasant 31

Defending champions East Grand Rapids showed why they have such a great program. They know how to turn the other team’s mistakes into points. By the end of the first half, there was a running clock. EGR took the opening kickoff in the second half kept the ball over 12 minutes (that’s a whole quarter). Mount Pleasant scored some points late when both teams subbed in players. EGR will play St. Joseph on Saturday.

St. Joseph 42 Lansing Sexton 27

Lansing Sexton took the 21-0 lead in the game, but the second half had disastrous consequences. Turnovers and penalties wreaked havoc on their team. St. Joseph took a fumble 95 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and added another right before the half to make it a close 21-14 game. The third and fourth quarter belonged to St. Joe. Utilizing a balance between the pass and the run, they scored 28 unanswered points and the momentum carried them to the win. St. Joseph will play East Grand Rapids at Otsego High School.

East Lansing 24 Chelsea 16

The improbable season continues for East Lansing. They held the awesome Chelsea offense scoreless until the fourth quarter and got their own offense clicking early. Issac Harper had 248 yards and three touchdowns running more to the inside than their normal outside running plays. Chelsea made a game of it, scoring two touchdowns and the following two point conversions in a five minute span to get close. That’s as close as they got though. The defense stiffened up and three incomplete passes ended their season. East Lansing plays Orchard Lake St. Mary’s at South Lyon Saturday.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 35 Melvindale 12

It was all fun with the run in OLSM’s win. Every possession in the first half ended in an Eaglet touchdown. A 38 yard pass moved them close and they scored again a minute before the end of the half. They came out and ate up half a quarter in a drive that scored again to put them up 28 – 6. Melvindale was impressed with the running of OLSM and said they had not been run on like that. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s will be the home team against East Lansing for the game in South Lyon.

Division 4

Kingsford 21 Coopersville 14

With 332 yards, Kingsford rushed right past Coopersville. The Flivvers were lead by Ryan Kleisner who had 113 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Dan Sjoquist added the other touchdown and nearly 100 yards on the ground. Coopersville made a game of it late and had 136 passing yards in the second half, but the Flivver defense turned back four scoring drives. Coopersville mounted a drive with less than two minutes left in the game, but were unable to convert a fourth down one play after an offensive pass interference call that would have put them in Kingsford territory. Kingsford plays Marine City on Saturday.

Marine City 46 Alma 35

The battle of the quarterbacks came out on Brendon Kay’s side. Kay had 272 yards passing on the day. Both teams battle tough but it was Marine City’s Brent Weil that came up with the Adam Follett interception. There were two minutes remaining in the game at that point. That set up a 41 yard touchdown run by Kay to finish off the Alma Panthers. They aren’t thinking about Detroit yet, they are getting ready to face Kingsford up in Gaylord. The Alma Panthers, despite the loss, completed their most successful season in the modern playoff era (1975 the playoffs started back up).

Zeeland West 60 Comstock 22

This game was dominated by the Dux. They are riding a 23 game winning streak and scored on their first six possessions this past week. At one point in the first quarter, Zeeland West was up 30-0. Comstock scored, but Zeeland returned the kickoff 70 yards for another touchdown. Twelve players carried for the Dux and they accumulated 412 rushing yards on the night. Their defense allowed only 49 yards on the ground. Zeeland West will play Detroit Country Day on Saturday.

Detroit Country Day 24 Milan 6

In a battle between two great running backs, the stats came out fairly even. The one thing that Country Day won was the score. Jonas Gray rushed 26 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Ronald Spears had 157 yards and the lone touchdown, on a 31 yard play that will definitely go on his highlight reel. Country Day had two spies on him the whole game and he wasn’t able to get his usual two or three touchdowns. Detroit Country Day and Zeeland West will battle it out for a chance at a state championship Saturday at Olivet College.

Division 5

Menominee 41 Standish-Sterling 20

Twenty points is more than Menominee has given up in their previous two playoff games combined. Maroon quarterback Ethan Shaver had a monster of a game, getting 116 and a touchdown on the ground and 181 yard and three touchdowns through the air. Menominee showed their quick strike ability, scoring twice within the last four minutes of the half to push the score up 21-7. Coach Ken Hofer for the Maroons said teams have been trying to take away the run, so they’ve been passing more. He called the game from the press box because he was hit on the sideline and broke his leg a couple of weeks back. I’m sure that state championship will make him feel much better, if they can get past Gran Rapids West Catholic to get into the big dance.

Grand Rapids West Catholic 35 Muskegon Oakridge 12

When two undefeated teams face off, only one can leave with their record intact. In this game, it was the Grand Rapids West Catholic Falcons. The first half was filled with punts but GRWC had a 78 yard drive to go up 7-0 and made it 14-0 before the half on a toss to Ryan Manser. The defense for the Falcons held Oakridge to 116 yards but 65 of those yards came on the last play of the game. That’s a pretty good defensive game for GRWC. Falcon quarterback Kirk Deering scored three touchdowns and threw for 189 and another TD in the win.

Jackson Lumen Christi 14 Onsted 0

This was another game filled with punts. The teams combined for 11 on the evening.  Lumen Christi Titans scored with less than a second remaining in the half on a 29 yard pass from Conor Sullivan to Patrick LeFere. Onsted had two nice chances to score, but the Titan defense stopped them and the kicking unit couldn’t come through. The Wildcats had only 38 yards of offense in the second half. While it’s normal for Jackson Lumen Christi to be in the playoffs this late in the season, Onsted had their best season since losing in the state championship game in 1993.

Madison Heights Madison 21 Chesaning 15

The MHM Eagles had an impressive 10+ minute drive and used their power running to get the win. It was almost a Chesaning win, as quarterback Joe Bitterman fell on a fumble with only 43 seconds left in the game. He heaved a pass into the end zone as the clock expired, but it was the same guy who fumbled, Deandre Johnson, who broke up the pass. It was a close game and a fake punt really helped MHM. They gained 54 yards and a fresh set of downs with that play. That set up the winning margin in the third quarter. Instead of being the goat, Johnson helped his team win and move on to play Jackson Lumen Christi Saturday at White Lake Lakeland.

Division 6

Montague 35 Iron Mountain 27

To begin the game, Montague went on a 21 point rampage in the first two minutes. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 28-7. The three passes that sophomore quarterback Cody Kater completed went for 117 and a touchdown. He also had a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the first quarter. DeHoff had 98 yards rushing and 102 yards receiving (63 yard td reception). The team will play Saginaw Nouvel Saturday at Alma College.

Saginaw Nouvel 34 Sanford Meridian 21

The surprising Nouvel Panthers have moved into the state semifinals for the fourth time in five seasons. Most of the points came in the second quarter and they had to hold off a second half resurgence by the Mustangs. It was Nouvel’s running game that accumulated 230 yards and four touchdowns. They were led by Nick Awrey who had 84 yards and a touchdown. Alma College will host the game between the Panthers and the Wildcats.

Leslie 6 Kalamazoo Christian 0

The great thing about high school football is that the underdog wins big sometimes. That’s exactly what happened when Leslie beat #1 Kalamazoo Christian. The only score came on a fourth and goal from the one yard line in the first quarter. Quarterback Charlie Snow made that score. There were 11 punts and six turnovers in the game. K-Christian had a chance after they recovered a fumble with a little over a minute to play, but were unable to capitalize and were picked off on their first play.

Blissfield 35 Harper Woods 16

In their first regional final game, Blissfield came out with memories to last a lifetime. It was a back and forth game until the fourth quarter when Blissfield picked up the tempo. The Royals’ Zach Waldvogel had 122 yards and a touchdown, senior Luke Shrader had 94 yards, three touchdowns & a two point conversion, and quarterback John Estes had 71 yards rushing with a touchdown and a passing touchdown.  The whole town of Blissfield has been very excited about their team and their three home playoff games. They will play Leslie at Hillsdale College on Saturday.

Division 7

Traverse City St. Francis 43 Ishpeming 7

It was a balanced attack that propelled TCSF past their UP foe and into the semifinals once again. They rattled off 35 unanswered points in their win. Ishpeming’s season ended, but they had quite a good season after starting 0-2. TCSF had the advantage in yards, out gaining the Hematites 322-192. The Gladiators were upset that someone finally scored on them, in their third playoff game. 201-8 is still pretty good in my book. Traverse City St. Francis will play Harbor Beach Saturday at Grayling.

Harbor Beach 35 Merrill 32

Even though the Merrill Vandals put up 456 yards, they came up short. The Vandals had their chance, with the ball on the five yard line as time was running out, but the pass was intercepted by Travis Schock with two seconds left on the clock. Merrill not having a kicker really hurt as they went 1-5 on two point conversions. Harbor Beach really stepped up when they needed to and got the points in a tough situation. They took the ball 63 yards in 17 plays and converted two fourth downs in a scoring drive late in the game. The Pirates will play the Gladiators Saturday at Grayling.

Mendon 7 Muskegon Catholic Central 6

For a team that limits the mistakes, MCC made plenty on Saturday. Six penalties and three turnovers is a lot to overcome when playing a top team like Mendon.  The only touchdown came right before halftime. Mendon quarterback Brian Baker threw to Jordan Higgins with only nine ticks left. Catholic Central had a chance when they got the ball with a little over a minute to play and one timeout, but CJ Nightingale came up with his second interception of the night and Mendon ran out the clock. Mendon vs. Sand Creek at Vicksburg on Saturday

Sand Creek 13 Grass Lake 6

When your team only has the ball for 7 plays in the second half, it’s really tough to win. Grass Lake had their chance though when they got the ball with 42 seconds remaining. Sand Creek ate up almost 14:30 of the 24 minutes in the second half sustaining two long drives scoring a touchdown and a field goal. Things have changed for Grass Lake; once upon a time making it this far would be awesome, now it’s expected. Sand Creek will play small school power Mendon Saturday.

Division 8

Crystal Falls Forest Park 50 Central Lake 19

Crystal Falls Forest Park won the battle of the Trojans over Central Lake. CFFP had to sit their sensational running back, but still got the job done. For the CFFP Trojans, it was sophomore Josh Siler who racked up 145 yards and two touchdowns in the win. An interception set up their second touchdown by cornerback Kyle Roberts (who also plays quarterback). It was close in the second quarter with CFFP having the 18-13 advantage, but that’s as close as it got. Two scores in a four minute span in the third quarter deflated the CL Trojans. Crystal Falls Forest Park vs. Beal City Saturday at the Superior Dome.

Beal City 23 Frankfort 6

In a low scoring first half, a blocked punt was the difference. Jon Pasch blocked it and Justin Sharrar ran it in from the four yard line for a 7-0 first half advantage. Two more touchdowns and a field goal ended the scoring for Beal City. Frankfort did get a late touchdown by Wade Luxfor passing to Shawn Waara. Beal City will travel a long way up to the Superior Dome for their Saturday matchup with Crystal Falls Forest Park.

Fulton-Middleton 42 Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes 20

Oh baby! Clevelyn Jefferson had 386 yards and two touchdowns in the win. You’d think that’s close to a state record, but it’s not even close to Dwain Koscielniak’s 529 yards for Gaylord St. Mary (vs. Pelston 1990). He was a huge part of the win though and tweaked his ankle towards the end of the third quarter but ended the game. Multiple runs by Jefferson of over 20 yards helped and the F-M defense came up with a big stop right before the half. F-M plays Climax-Scotts Saturday at East Kentwood.

Climax-Scotts 32 Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 7

C-S was able to shut down SHPC’s Zurlon Tipton for the most part. He did rip through for a 60 yard touchdown run, but those were the only points Parkway Christian scored on the night. 310 yards by six players for C-S helped them roll over the Eagles. It looked like it could be close in the second half as Zurlon’s 60 yard touchdown on the opening possession, but they couldn’t get any closer than 18-7. The battle of the “two town” schools will take place Saturday at East Kentwood.