Buczek: Playoff Primers Highlight Week 2
For many high school football programs around northern Michigan, it was a short week, as a majority of Week 2 games will be contested on Thursday.
Although there’s only 16 area matchups on Friday, some of the state’s best games will be played that night.
Thursday, Aug. 31
Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (0-1) at Suttons Bay (1-0) – After an impressive 61-20 win over Bear Lake in its season opener, Suttons Bay faces its first big test as an 8-player program, taking on reigning Midwest Central Michigan 8-Player Football Conference champion Tri-unity Christian. The Defenders reached the state semifinals a year ago.
Houghton Lake (1-0) at Harbor Springs (1-0) – Last year’s meeting was the first between the two schools, with Houghton Lake rolling to a 40-14 win. Both teams went 5-5 a year ago and are still riding momentum from playoffs bids. The Bobcats were impressive with a Week 1 shutout of Mason County Central, while the Rams rallied to top Muskegon Heights.
Pine River (0-1) at Morley Stanwood (1-0) – Our MISportsNow Tailgate Party pays a visit to the defending CSAA Silver champion Mohawks. The Bucks got the best of the Mohawks twice last year, taking a Week 2 matchup (27-21) and a Division 6 district title game (14-7) en route to a state semifinal berth. Morley Stanwood earned a slim six-point win over Central Montcalm last week, while Pine River was dropped by Kalkaska, 33-8.
Friday, Sept. 1
Muskegon Catholic Central (0-0) at Frankfort (1-0) – This contest presents an early playoff primer, as these teams have met each of the last two seasons in a Division 8 regional final, with the Crusaders coming out on top in both instances. The Panthers rolled through an undefeated regular season a year ago before running into a Crusader team that went on to capture their fourth straight state title.
Beal City (1-0) at Clare (0-1) – The Aggies have won four of the last five meetings in the series and are 7-5 all-time against the Pioneers. Beal City is coming off its ninth straight win over rival Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart, while Clare fell to Ithaca for the fourth consecutive year. Clare won last year’s meeting, 42-20.
Newberry (1-0) at Gaylord St. Mary (1-0) – This is a rematch of last year’s Division 8 pre-district contest, which was won by Newberry, 16-14. After reaching the postseason last year for the first time since 2009, the Snowbirds are primed for a special season this fall, while Newberry is coming off its most successful season since 2005. Both posted big wins in Week 1.
Traverse City St. Francis (1-0) at Glen Lake (1-0) – On paper this is one of the best games in the state on Friday. St. Francis is fresh off its program’s 500th win while Glen Lake hosts its first game on its new turf field. The Gladiators own a 10-4 record in the series and have won five straight, including a 21-13 victory last fall. The eight-point game was the closest margin of victory St. Francis had all last season.