The first round of the MHSAA football playoffs begin Friday. Here is a breakdown of the local teams in the postseason:
Division 2: Lakeview (6-3) at Lowell (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: Lowell finished ranked No. 4 in Division 3 in the final AP football rankings, but was pushed up to Division 2 for the playoffs due to enrollment. For the second time in three years Lowell won the highly-competitive OK White Conference title. The Red Arrows have made the playoffs every season since 1999. Lowell is led by QB Ryan Stevens, one of the Grand Rapids-area top signal callers on the ground and through the air. Lakeview is going to the playoffs for the fourth time in a row for the first time in school history and is coming off a third-straight SMAC East Division title.
Second round opponent? Winner of Byron Center (7-2) at Portage Central (8-1)
8-Man: Portland St. Patrick (6-3) at St. Philip (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: These two teams met two weeks ago with St. Philip rolling to a 45-20 win. Portland St. Patrick has made the playoffs four straight years, but failed to get out of the first round the last two seasons. St. Philip enjoyed its second undefeated season in the last three years and was ranked No. 2 in 8-Man football in the final AP poll. The Tigers are coming off an emotional 47-44 win over Lawrence in Week 9 and will have to guard against a letdown.
Second round opponent? Winner of Lawrence (7-2) at Waldron (8-1)
Division 3: Parma Western (6-3) at Coldwater (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: Coldwater shut out Parma Western, 34-0, earlier in the season as the Cardinals rolled to an undefeated 9-0 season and first conference title since 1986. Coldwater has turned its program around and is in the playoffs for the third time in a row after never making the postseason previous to that. Parma Western is in the playoffs for the first time in school history, with its only losses coming against the elite in the Interstate 8 – Coldwater, Mashall and Lumen Christi.
Second round opponent? Winner of Vicksburg (7-2) at Marshall (7-2)
Division 3: Vicksburg (7-2) at Marshall (7-2), 1 p.m. Saturday
Scouting Report: Marshall is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012 under first-year coach Jason Stealy. The Redhawks lost to undefeated and state-ranked Portland in the final week of the regular season, but will still host a playoff game. Vicksburg, playing out of the Wolverine B Conference, is in the playoffs for the fourth time in the last six years. The Bulldogs are on a four-game winning streak to end the season.
Second round opponent? Winner of Parma Western (6-3) at Coldwater (9-0)
Division 5: Olivet (6-3) at Berrien Springs (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: Olivet is back in the playoffs for the ninth straight season, getting a win over Pennfield in Week 9 to qualify. Berrien Springs is in the playoffs for the second straight year and opened the season at 7-0 before falling to undefeated Buchanan in Week 8 for its only loss of the year. Olivet has won its first-round playoff game in five of the last six seasons.
Second round opponent? Winner of Hillsdale (6-3) at Buchanan (9-0)
Division 6: Delton Kellogg (5-4) at Montague (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: Delton Kellogg earned a playoff spot due to computer points after going 5-4 on the season. It is the first time in playoffs for the Panthers since 2001 and only fourth time in school history. Delton Kellogg struggled down the stretch, losing its final three games after started the season at 5-1. Montague is the No. 3 team in the state in its division and a perennial playoff team, having made the postseason in 14 of the last 15 years.
Second round opponent? Winner of Morley Stanwood (6-3) at GR NorthPointe Christian (9-0)
Division 7: Springport (5-4) at Homer (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: Homer is back in the playoffs for the third straight season after winning the Big 8 Conference. Homer is coming off a loss to Manchester in the annual crossover game between the champs of the Big 8 and the Cascades Conference. Springport qualified for the playoffs based on computer points after going 5-4 and losing its final game of the season, 45-42 to Vandercook Lake. Homer defeated Springport in the regular season, 46-0.
Second round opponent? Winner of Concord (7-2) at Dansville (8-1)
Division 8: Mendon (5-4) at Climax-Scotts (9-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: No. 4-ranked Climax-Scotts has been to the playoffs 13 straight years and is coming off its ninth undefeated season since 2003. However, Climax-Scotts has been knocked out of the playoffs by Mendon in four straight seasons. Mendon, who has had double-digit win totals every year since 2007, had an unusual season, getting into the postseason based on computer points at 5-4. All four losses were to playoff teams.
Second round opponent? Winner of Colon (6-3) at Pittsford (6-3)
Division 8: Colon (6-3) at Pittsford (6-3, 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: Colon has made the playoffs six times in the last eight seasons. The Magi won their final three games of the regular season to secure a spot in the postseason. Pittsford has made the playoffs in four of the last five seasons. These two teams met in the regular season with Pittsford winning, 27-8.
Second round opponent? Winner of Mendon (5-4) at Climax-Scotts (9-0)