By Randy Gregory,
Michigan Sports Radio
The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced the playoff field for the 2021 football season this past Sunday and to the surprise of few it was Grand Ledge High School that will kick things off for Rockford. Everything was contingent on the results of the Caledonia versus Hudsonville game as to who would be the first opponent for the Rams. When Caledonia emerged victorious that eliminated Hudsonville and the MHSAA opted to head towards the Lansing area for the first contest for Rockford.
Rockford accumulated the highest playoff point total of every school in Division 1 and thus earned the right to host at least the first three rounds should they continue to win. The winner of the Rockford-Grand Ledge game will square off the following week with the winner of the Grandville-Traverse City West game with the surviving team having the highest playoff point total earning the right to host the game.
Grand Ledge enters the game as the number four seed in this district and has an overall record of 6-3. At one time the Comets were 6-1 on the year with their only loss coming to a powerful contingent from Dewitt. But they fell in their final two regular season contests to East Lansing and Holt to drop into the final position of the four-team district. The Comets basically average 30 points per game while allowing 20. Their best win of the season came by a score of 45-0 over a 5-4 Jackson squad. They are coached by Joe Brya, who has been a football coach for 14 years with eight of them as the head man. This is his second year with the Comets and previous stops have included Eaton Rapids and Homer. Brya had one year where he coached Homer all the way to the semi-finals.
Rockford enters the fray at 9-0 and has put up 40 points per game while allowing 16.5. Four of the Rams’ wins came over playoff teams with a combined record of 28-8 (Caledonia, Sterling Heights Stevenson, Cedar Springs and Grandville). The Rams are led by second-year head coach Brent Cummings. Cummings was a long-time assistant for Rockford before succeeding legendary Rockford Coach Ralph Munger last year. Cumming is an impressive 17-1 at the helm for Rockford (including a trip to the semi-finals last year).
Kickoff is slated for 7:00 P.M. at Carlson-Munger Stadium in Rockford on Friday, October 29.