There are only two losses among the four finalists in Divisions 7 and 8. Here’s a breakdown of the four teams, plus a schedule of this week’s games:
10 a.m. Saturday
Colors: Blue and gold.
Key players: Senior RB/OLB Jared Smith, senior C/MLB Devon Pung, senior OT/DT Dominic Spitzley, junior FB/LB Bryce Thelen, senior WR/S Logan
How they got here: Beat Hesperia, 48-14; Saugatuck, 25-19; Traverse City St. Francis, 17-14; Ubly, 34-16.
Coach Jeremy Miller: “We’ve got a pretty experienced group that we’ve relied on that made a deep playoff run last year. We like to run the football, and we pride ourselves on executing our game plan. We’ve limited our turnovers in the postseason, which is huge, and we’ve played good, solid, fundamental football. We’ve been able to run the ball, and when we haven’t been able to, we’ve been able to throw the ball. Executing the game plan has been our biggest thing.”
Detroit Loyola (11-2)
Colors: Blue and white.
Key players: Senior QB/DB Price Watkins, sophomore RB D’Anthony Robinson, senior RB/LN Malcolm Mays, senior OL/DL Teron Johnson, junior TE/LB Keith Johnson, senior WR/FS Hunter Harris.
How they got here: Beat Madison Heights Madison, 45-12; University Liggett, 46-7; Hudson, 36-13; Cassopolis, 54-22.
Coach John Callahan: “The big key is we have a lot of young players this year, and it’s probably the best job a group of seniors has done as far as a brotherhood and bringing them along. That’s the special thing about football. It’s so unique, and it binds your players together, and I have to give our seniors credit for leading our team. At the beginning, I told them we’d be pretty good, and we’ve just improved every week. We have so many players contributing, it’d be impossible to name them all.”
10 a.m. Friday
Muskegon Catholic Central (13-0)
Colors: Green and gold.
Key players: Senior WR/S Walker Christoffersen, senior RB/OLB LaTommy Scott, senior RB/OLB Logan Helton, senior OLB Andrew Schulte, freshman QB/OLB Cameron Martinez.
How they got here: Beat Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart, 68-7; Beal City, 42-0; Frankfort, 35-0; St. Ignace, 35-0.
Coach Steve Czerwon: “We’re a senior-oriented team, and we get a lot of contributions from a lot of people on offense. But it starts with our defense. Our starting defense has only given up 18 points this season and 71 overall. We’re fast but not very big defensively. We start only one guy over 200 pounds, but we have athletic kids who can play downhill and take coaching very well.”
Ottawa Lake Whiteford (13-0)
Colors: Blue and gold.
Key players: Senior RB/LB Jesse Kiefer, junior QB/DB Thomas Eitniear, senior RB/OLB Conner Hoogendoorn, senior TE/DE Zack LaRoy, junior OL/DL Lucas Tesznar.
How they got here: Beat Petersburg-Summerfield, 50-28; Morenci, 44-21; Climax-Scotts, 38-18; Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary, 40-21.
Coach Jason Mensing: “We’ve got a team that has quite a bit of experience from making a deep run in the playoffs last year. We’re still relatively a young team. One thing that’s helped us is our schedule is challenging and our league is pretty tough. In our opinion, we play in one of the bigger small-school leagues in the state, and we feel that has prepared us for the playoffs.”
Division 2: Walled Lake Western (12-1) vs. Detroit King (11-2), 1.
Division 6: Maple City Glen Lake (11-2) vs. Jackson Lumen Christi (11-2), 4:30.
Division 4: Grand Rapids Catholic Central (12-1) vs. Birmingham Detroit Country Day (13-0), 7:30.
Division 1: Novi Detroit Catholic Central (13-0) vs. Detroit Cass Tech (13-0), 1.
Division 5: Menominee (12-1) vs. Grand Rapids West Catholic (11-2), 4:30.
Division 3: Muskegon (12-1) vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (9-4), 7:30.
State football finals at Ford Field
Div. 8: Muskegon Catholic Central (13-0) vs. Ottawa Lake Whiteford (13-0), 10 a.m.
Div. 2: Walled Lake Western (12-1) vs. Detroit King (11-2), 1
Div. 6: Maple City Glen Lake (11-2) vs. Jackson Lumen Christi (11-2), 4:30
Div. 4: Grand Rapids Catholic Central (12-1) vs. Birmingham Detroit Country Day (13-0), 7:30
Div. 7: Pewamo-Westphalia (13-0) vs. Detroit Loyola (11-2), 10 a.m.
Div. 1: Novi Detroit Catholic Central (13-0) vs. Detroit Cass Tech (13-0), 1
Div. 5: Menominee (12-1) vs. Grand Rapids West Catholic (11-2), 4:30
Div. 3: Muskegon (12-1) vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (9-4), 7:30