Top 5 Area Games: Opening Round of Playoffs

The 2019 high school football playoffs begin this week of 11-player pre-district and 8-player pre-regional play.

Below are a handful of intriguing area matchups for this week.

Friday, Nov. 1 – 7 p.m.
Division 2 Pre-District
Midland Dow (6-3) at Traverse City Central (8-1) – Fresh of an outright Big North Conference championship and their fourth eight-win season in five years, the Trojans face a Midland Dow team that has won four straight including a 35-point victory over rival Midland in Week 9. Central is making its sixth straight playoff appearance and is seeking its second district title since 2017. Central leads the all-time series at 5-3. Dow won the last meeting 35-0 in a 2014 Division 2 pre-district game.

Friday, Nov. 1 – 7 p.m.
Division 3 Pre-District
Mt. Pleasant (7-2) at Cedar Springs (8-1) – A rematch of last year’s district championship, Mt. Pleasant is making its five playoff appearance in seven years. Cedar Springs has won seven straight after falling to Caledonia in Week 2 while Mt. Pleasant is allowing just over 10 points per game this season. Cedar Springs won last year’s meeting 44-14 to even the series at 1-1.

Friday, Nov. 1 – 7 p.m.
Division 6 Pre-District
Harrison (5-4) at Clare (8-1) – This rivalry will be renewed for a second time this season after Clare rallied for a 42-40 victory in Week 3. The Pioneers are making their fourth straight playoff appearance while the Hornets are in the postseason for the fifth time in six years. Clare has long dominated this series, owning a 33-10 record. This is the first postseason meeting between the two.

Saturday, Nov. 2 – 1 p.m.
Division 7 Pre-District
Houghton Lake (6-3) at Traverse City St. Francis (6-3) – The Gladiators are making their 29th postseason appearance in 30 years and will face the Bobcats for the first time since 1966. St. Francis came up just short against Division 5 top-ranked Muskegon Oakridge last week while Houghton Lake saw its six-game win streak snapped by Ogemaw Heights last Friday. The Bobcats are in the postseason for the third time in four years.

Friday, Nov. 1
8-Player Division 1 Pre-Regional
Gaylord St. Mary (4-5) at Pellston (8-1) – The Hornets are making their first-ever playoff appearance after recording their first winning season since 1995 while the Snowbirds won two straight to get into the postseason after having to forfeit four victories. This marks the first meeting between the old Ski Valley Conference foes since 2014. St. Mary leads the all-time series at 30-7-2.

Bonus Game
Friday, Nov. 1 – 7 p.m.
Division 7 Pre-District
McBain (5-4) at Oscoda (8-1) – With the exception of a 35-0 loss to defending Division 8 state runner-up Breckenridge, Oscoda has rolled through its schedule with relative ease, shutting out four opponents. McBain is making its third playoff appearance after starting the season at 1-3. This is the first meeting between the two.

Categories: Football