**PREVIEW BY HUDSON HARKNESS**
Reed City faces off with Negaunee for the first time in school history with a trip to Ford Field on the line.
The Coyotes are riding high on a 10-game winning streak and a big win against Millington to secure a final four spot. For Reed City, all season it has been their power run game and their ability to maintain the time of possession that has led the way. Last week, it was their defense that stepped up big, when Bryson Hughes took a 47-yard pick-six for the only score of the game. The Coyotes showed how strong their defense was, when they stopped Millington, a team that coming into the game averaged 44 points per game, was shut down on multiple scoring opportunities inside the Red Zone. This week, Reed City must stay strong on the defensive side of the ball because they face a Negaunee team that likes the power run just as much as they do. On offense, Reed City has to stick with what got them so far, the run! We have seen in the playoffs that the Coyotes do have the ability to pass if needed, but that is not the situation that Coach Shankel wants to get into.
Negaunee reaches the semi-finals for the first time in 20 seasons. The Miners had a hard-fought game with Gladstone in the Regional Finals, where Negaunee came out on top, 18-12. The Miners used a stingy defense and a strong special teams unit to come out on top. Negaunee was able to convert a 23-yard field goal and recover an onside kick to propel them to the win. All season, Negaunee used their run game to pick up win after win while averaging 42 points per game. However, against Gladstone, the Miners aired the ball out to put themselves on the scoreboard. For the Miners to come out on top against Reed City, they must come with energy on defense, because if Reed City gets rolling on offense, they are the most dangerous offense in the division. Negaunee’s special teams are also going to play a factor in this game. The Coyotes have been known for a strong special teams unit, which includes multiple kick returns that led to scores.
As games in the state semi-finals should be, this one is one of the most evenly matched games that will be played this week in Michigan. Negaunee brings a strong offense to the table that has shown it is versatile. Reed City’s offense has shown that they can move the ball on anyone but have had trouble converting against strong defenses. The Coyotes have exceled in close games as of recent, going 2-0 in one score games in the last four weeks, including a big win over Division 4 opponent, Cadillac. The Miners only real test was last week against Gladstone. I think that this game comes down to which team makes the big stop on 4th down late in the 4th quarter. I think that team is going to be Reed City. The Coyotes have played tough competition all season and have dominated defensive. Negaunee has blown teams out all season and has not been tested when the game is on the line. Reed City has what it takes to reach Ford Field.