Photo courtesy of Louis Murray
The MHSAA Football Playoffs are in full swing, as there are just 64 teams remaining in the 11-player football playoffs. In Division 4, there are just eight teams remaining as we have reached the Regional Final round of the tournament, leaving teams just two wins away from Ford Field. One of the furthest treks will be the 400 mile trek by the Hornets of Williamston as they travel to Escanaba to take on the Eskymos.
Williamston is coming off of a 47-21 win in the District Finals against Pontiac Notre Dame Prep. The week before that, they started their playoff journey with a 34-14 win over Lake Fenton, avenging a Week 9 defeat. Their offense averages 31.3 points per game on the year, and their 7-4 record is not indicative of their play this season. All four of their losses came by a touchdown or less, but their wins have come by an average of 31 points per game.
This is the second regional game in the Hornets’ history, and the first regional final game for Williamston since 2010, when they defeated Marine City 30-20. That season they reached the Division 4 State Championship game, where they fell 27-23 to Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
Their opponent, the Eskymos of Escanaba enter this contest at a record of 9-2. Last week, they defeated Alma 42-14 in the district finals, and Michigan Sports Radio readers that followed Freeland this season know that Alma is a traditionally strong program. In the pre-districts, the Eskymos topped Bay City John Glenn, another strong program 40-14.
This is the second straight regional finals appearance for Escanaba, and they are hoping for a better result this year. In 2016, they were shutout on the road against Grand Rapids Catholic Central 34-0. This is the fourth regional game in their program’s history, and they are aiming for their first regional championship since their 1981 State Championship team.
Unsurprisingly, these two teams have never met before. This game will be broadcast LIVE on Michigan Sports Radio, as well as a handful of other key playoff contests. The LIVE broadcasts can be found here. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM on Friday night.