The High School Football season enters its twelfth week, and there are just eight teams remaining in each of the eight divisions. Just two more victories will punch a ticket to Ford Field for the opportunity to play for a State Championship. Our teams will be at five of the games around the state this weekend.
Hudsonville (8-3) at Brighton (9-2)–Friday 7:00
The Eagles are in the regional finals for the first time since 2014. Hudsonville has blown out their first two opponents, defeating Traverse City West by thirty one and Grand Haven by twenty eight. Hudsonville has averaged 32.1 points per game, while allowing 14.6. They will take on the Brighton Bulldogs, who are in the regional finals for the first time since 2005. Brighton has had little trouble so far in the playoffs, defeating Holt by nineteen and East Kentwood by twenty two. The Bulldogs score 31.8 per game while allowing 13.4. This will be a battle of two strong teams that have been tested all year long and constantly rose up to the challenge.
Unity Christian (8-3) at Paw Paw (10-1)–Friday 7:00
The defending Division 5 State Champion Crusaders look to earn the Division 4 title this season, and they are three wins away from this goal. Their offense has been electric, averaging 35.9 points per game. They will face off against a Paw Paw team that has dominated teams with their strong defense. They have allowed 9.5 points per game, holding eight of their eleven opponents to eight points or less. Don’t think that the Redskins are just a defensive-led team, as their offense can score too. With a season high of 56 points and an average of 36.5, they can score in bunches. This will be a tall task for the Crusaders on the road this weekend, as Paw Paw hopes to advance to their first semifinal in school history.
Freeland (9-2) at Kingsley (11-0)–Saturday 1:00
The Freeland Falcons are playing in their first regional final since 2015, and they will hope to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 1998. They are currently riding off the momentum of a phenomenal finish in the district finals against Ogemaw Heights. Their opponent this Saturday will be the Kingsley Stags, who are undefeated on the season. The Stags’ offense has scored 45.9 points per game, including 51 points last week against Muskegon Oakridge. Kingsley is hoping to advance to their first semifinal since 2005, when they took home the Division 6 State Championship.
East Grand Rapids (8-3) at Muskegon (11-0)–Saturday 1:00 at Grand Haven High School
The East Grand Rapids Pioneers are back in the regional finals since 2015. For the third time in four seasons, they will square off against the Big Reds in the playoffs, this time in the third round of the postseason. Muskegon has far and away been the best team in the state this season, as they have scored 51.5 points per game. Their defense has allowed only 75 points in eleven games, and 23 came as a result of the East Grand Rapids’ offense. In fact, the Week 3 matchup was Muskegon’s only contest that was less than a three score game (five points), and it was the only game that Muskegon scored less than 41 (they finished with 28). The Big Reds have won all six previous matchups dating back to 2014.
Swan Valley (8-3) at Almont (11-0)–Saturday 1:00
The Swan Valley Vikings are in the regional finals for the third straight year, and they will try to extend their semifinals streak to three years this Saturday. Swan Valley will take to the road, winners of five of their last six games, and they square off against Almont. The Raiders are a perfect 11-0 this season, and they have outscored their opponents 475-109. Last week’s 22-20 victory over Marine City is the only single digit game that they have played in all season. This is Almont’s first trip to the regionals since 2014.