March continues down playoff road

March continues down playoff road


March continues down playoff road


For each of the 11-player divisions, the high school football playoffs are down to the Sweet 16.

Today and Saturday, four area teams will be playing in second-round postseason contests – hoping to take another step toward the state finals.

In Division 3, Harper Creek will host Plainwell tonight.

In the other game tonight, Olivet will travel to Portland for a Division 5 game.

On Saturday, undefeated Climax-Scotts will go to perennial power Mendon in a Division 8 game at 1 p.m.

And in 8-man football, St. Philip will travel to Portland St. Patrick for a 7 p.m. contest. In 8-man football, the playoffs are already down to eight teams with the winners this weekend heading to the state semifinals.

Here’s scouting reports on each of the playoff games:

Scouting Reports

at Harper Creek (8-2),
7 p.m. Today

Scouting report: Despite losing two games during the regular season, Harper Creek’s strength of schedule has allowed the Beavers to host their second-straight playoff game. Harper Creek ended the regular season with a soft schedule and part of that rust showed a little early in the first round as the Beavers trailed 21-7 heading into the fourth quarter against Charlotte. However, the Beavers would score 28 fourth-quarter points to advance with a 35-21 win, behind running back Kasey Carson, who had 263 yards rushing and four TDs. Plainwell defeated Hastings, 35-16, to advance to the second round of the postseason for the second straight year. However, prior to last year, Plainwell hadn’t made the playoffs since 2001. Plainwell, playing in the Wolverine Conference, is a ground-control squad and was opportunistic in the playoff opener. Plainwell scored on a kickoff return and then had two touchdowns on short fields following fumble recoveries.

Next: Winner plays winner of Tecumseh (8-2) at Milan (10-0), 7 p.m. today

at Portland (9-1), 7 p.m. Today

Scouting report: Olivet upset state-ranked Lansing Catholic Central in the opening week of the playoffs and will go on the road again to face a Portland team that rolled over Leslie, 48-6, to go to 9-1. Olivet continues to get impressive production from running back Nick Coolidge, who ran for 286 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Portland used a strong running game and saw that philosophy work in the first round win over Leslie with 34 points in the second quarter to put this game away early with 233 yards on the ground by halftime. Portland has only lost three combined games in the past two seasons, all to Lansing Catholic Central. Portland has never advanced to the third round of the playoffs, while Olivet is trying get on the kind of roll it was on two years ago with the Eagles went to Ford Field.

Next: Winner plays winner of Frankenmuth (10-0) at Flint Powers Catholic (10-0), 7 p.m. today

at Mendon (10-0), 1 p.m. Saturday

Scouting report: Climax-Scotts and Mendon are no strangers to the playoffs. Climax-Scotts is in the postseason for the 10th straight year and Mendon is in the postseason for the 13th time out of the last 14 seasons. No. 10-ranked C-S rolled in the first round with a 34-7 win over St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic thanks to a strong game from Alex Lodes with three touchdowns. Mendon knocked C-S out of the playoffs last year in the third round with a 35-10 win. Mendon, ranked No. 1 in the state, was state champ in Division 8 last season and started fast again this year with a 41-0 win over Colon last week. Mendon has won 24 straight games.

Next: Winner plays winner of Muskegon Catholic Central (7-3) at Fowler (9-1), 7 p.m. tonight

at Portland St. Patrick (10-0), 7 p.m. Saturday

Scouting report: It will be the third meeting of the season between the two schools, with two of St. Philip’s losses coming to Portland St. Patrick. The two teams opened the season with Portland St. Patrick rolling to a 54-20 win, however the Tigers played their league foes tighter the second time, losing 50-43. St. Philip showed how much it has improved throughout the season with a 42-20 win over Waldron in the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers had lost to Waldron just three weeks earlier by the one-sided score of 50-14. Portland St. Patrick is one of the highest scoring teams in the state, averaging 54.1 points per game playing its first season of 8-man football. It is the first year in the playoffs for the Shamrocks since 1998.

Next: Winner plays winner of Kinde-North Huron (6-4) vs. Deckerville (9-1)


More USA TODAY High School Sports