The high school playoffs are in full swing, and this Friday district champions will be crowned. There are 128 teams remaining in the state playoffs, and here is a brief preview of five of the sixty-four games this week, as these games below will be broadcast LIVE on Michigan Sports Radio.
ROCKFORD AT WEST OTTAWA
The Rams of Rockford began their playoff push last Friday as they hit the road against Grand Ledge. Their stout defense once again stood up against the task in a 36-0 victory. By winning, they advance to the district final where they face OK Red Conference foe West Ottawa. The Panthers are the reigning champ of the OK Red, as they ran through the league slate unbeaten. One of their six league wins came in a close fought battle against the Rams. This game was one of the best in the regular season, so I would not expect much different this time around. The Rams are looking for their first district title since 2015, while West Ottawa is trying to earn their first ever district championship.
CEDAR SPRINGS AT DEWITT
After the shocking upset win over East Grand Rapids a week ago, the Red Hawks of Cedar Springs are onto their first district final game since 2014. They will be looking for their first district title since 2000 when they take on the DeWitt Panthers, the first ever meeting between the two schools. DeWitt is 9-1 on the season, on a nine-game winning streak that includes a 42-10 first round win over Grand Rapids Christian last week. They have a strong defense, as they have allowed fourteen or fewer points in all nine of their wins.
KENT CITY AT MONTAGUE
In the Division 6 playoffs, the district final pits a pair of 10-0 teams. The Eagles of Kent City, fresh off of their win over Morley-Stanwood, will take their high-powered offense (43.1 points per game) on the road to take on Montague. The Wildcats have an even more explosive offense, averaging 51.8 points per game, so expect a wild shootout on Friday night. Montague is shooting for their first district title since 2011, while Kent City is looking for the program’s first. Last season, Kent City defeated Montague in the playoffs 20-19. Montague won the three previous matchups against the Eagles in 1997, 1998 and 2001.
WEST CATHOLIC VS KALAMAZOO UNITED
The Falcons, winners of four straight Division 5 State Championships began their “Drive for Five” last week in convincing fashion against Berrien Springs. This week, their path brings Kalamazoo United to town in the district finals. This will be the first ever meetings between the two football programs. West Catholic’s clicking on both sides of the ball, outscoring opponents on average 40.8-16. For United, they have won eight games on the season, but they have been of the closer variety. On average, they outscore opponents by just 6.8 points per game. If United wins, it will be their first time reaching the regional round since 1981. On the other side, it has been since November 23, 2012 that the Falcons last lost in the playoffs, and November 6, 2009 since they last lost in the district finals, two stats that I assume will not change on Friday night.
WATERVILET VS DELTON-KELLOGG
In the Division 6 playoffs, the Panthers of Watervilet are tasked with a SAC-Valley rematch as they take on Delton-Kellogg. In week six, Watervilet walked out 58-44 winners in the battle of the Panthers, one of a handful of dominant offensive displays. Watervilet is averaging 51.4 points per game on offense, the highest total in the MHSAA. Their defense has also been a solid force, allowing 20.5 per game. Delton-Kellogg also has shown a tendency to light up the scoreboard averaging 34.1 points per game. The Panthers of Delton-Kellogg have never beaten Watervilet in three tries, but if they are successful they will reach their first regional since 1987. On the other side, Watervilet is trying to reach the regionals for the first time since 2014.