TC St. Francis, Pewamo-Westphalia Clash in Regional Final
TRAVERSE CITY – The Traverse City St. Francis football program finds itself one win away from reaching the Division 7 state semifinals but needing a win over its toughest opponent to date.
The top-ranked Gladiators have rolled to another 11-0 campaign and will host second-ranked Pewamo-Westphalia Saturday in a regional final.
Champions of the Northern Michigan Football League Legends division for a second straight season, St. Francis cruised past Harbor Springs (55-7) and Iron Mountain (54-6) en route to a district championship.
“I’ve always thought about this week so far as like a mini-state championship, and I think everybody else on the team sees it as that,” St. Francis senior Timothy Bott said. “It’s going to be a tough-fought game, you know, really good opponent on Saturday, and it’s just going to come down to who wants it more.”
Winners of 19 straight regular-season games, the Pirates (11-0) have recorded six shutouts this season and combined to outscore their seven Central Michigan Athletic Conference foes 419-7.
The 2015 Division 7 state runner-up, Pewamo-Westphalia has made four state semifinal appearances since 2011 and is appearing in its sixth straight regional final after a 25-19 win over No. 3 Saugatuck in last week’s district final.
“When we saw the draw for Division 7, we thought that we had a pretty difficult half of the bracket,” St. Francis coach Josh Sellers said. “They’re nice to look at and talk about, but every team you play for from here on out is not going to be a cupcake.”
Saturday’s winner will face either New Lothrop or Ubly in a state semifinal.