DeWitt (10-2 and 88.778) vs. Grand Rapids Christian (11-1 and 101.0), 1 p.m. at East Kentwood High School-The Panthers are making their third Division 3 semifinal appearance in four years and their eighth in the last 12 years. DeWitt is 3-4 in those semifinals and lost in the Division 3 or 4 state finals each year they won a semifinal from 2002-04. The 10th-ranked Panthers’ path of narrow triumphs this fall has included a 34-28 overtime victory at Lapeer West, a 45-44 six-overtime win at No. 5 Linden and a 29-27 victory last week where St. Johns fumbled a snap on a potential game-winning field goal. DeWitt’s losses were 38-10 to Division 2 No. 4 Everett and 37-7 to Division 5 semifinalist Portland. No. 2 Grand Rapids Christian is undefeated against teams from Michigan since its only loss was 42-34 to Cincinnati Moeller. The Eagles opened their playoffs with a 45-6 win over a No. 9 Fruitport team that DeWitt edged 21-20 in its regular sesaon finale. GR Christian also routed a Zeeland West team (68-44) that had eliminated No. 1 Zeeland East as well as No. 3 Stevensville Lakeshore (31-7). Today’s winner will face either No. 4 Orchard Lake St. Mary (10-2 and 93.222) or Battle Creek Harper Creek (10-2 and 81.444) at 7:30 p.m. a week from today at Ford Field in Detroit.
Portland (11-1 and 91.444) vs. Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard (11-1 and 88.778), 1 p.m. at Howell High School-The unranked Raiders are coming off one of the most impressive wins of the MHSAA playoffs this fall, 45-28 over No. 1 Flint Powers Catholic. Portland’s only loss was 41-32 to No. 7 Lansing Catholic. The only loss by the Gabriel Richard, 28-16 to Division 4 No. 10 Pontiac Notre Dame on Sept. 14, was avenged with a 17-12 victory on Oct. 19. The Raiders eliminated Leslie (48-6) and Olivet (36-0) in district playoffs. The Fighting Irish boast a stingy defense that blanked Dundee (49-0) and Lake Fenton (24-0) before defeating No. 10 River Rouge 16-6 in playoff games. Today’s winner will face either No. 9 Menominee (11-1 and 97.111) or Grand Rapids West Catholic (9-3 and 76.333) at 4:30 p.m. a week from today at Ford Field in Detroit.
Ithaca (12-0 and 87.111) vs. Shelby (10-2 and 71.889), 1 p.m. at Ferris State University in Big Rapids-The Yellowjackets are seeking their 41st straight victory and an opportunity to play for a third consecutive Division 6 state title. Ithaca has already sidelined Grandville Calvin Christian (42-14), No. 5 Hemlock (49-14) and No. 9 Montrose (31-0) in playoff games. Shelby has defeated Kalkaska (42-21), Maple City Glen Lake (26-0) and honorable mention Negaunee (26-22). Today’s winner will face either No. 9 Constantine (10-2 and 61.222) or Monroe St. Mary Catholic (10-2 and 71.0) at 4:30 p.m. on Friday at Ford Field in Detroit. Ithaca beat Monroe St. Mary Catholic 45-35 to win its 2010 state title and Constantine 42-14 to earn its 2011 title. The Yellowjackets’ last loss was 47-16 to Montague in a 2009 state semifinal.
Pewamo-Westphalia (9-3 and 52.222) vs. Ishpeming (11-1 and 70.444), 11 a.m. at Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome in Marquette-The Pirates will try to earn a second straight state final appearance. P-W has defeated Union City (41-10), Gobles (48-12) and No. 9 Decatur (26-21) so far in the playoffs. The No. 4 Hematites have ousted Lincoln Alcona (40-12), No. 3 Mancelona (32-0) and Lake City (28-12). Ishpeming has qualified for the playoffs nine of the past 10 years and advanced as far as the 2010 championship game before losing 28-26 to Hudson. Speaking of Hudson, Ishpeming’s most famous triumph was 38-22 in the 1975 (and inaugural) Class C state final that snapped Hudson’s 72-game winning streak. Today’s winner will play at 10 a.m. a week from today at Ford Field in Detroit against either No. 1 Detroit Loyola (12-0 and 96.0) or the Flint Beecher team (8-4 and 45.111) that eliminated defending champion and No. 5 Saginaw Nouvel Catholic.