Sanford Meridian Sets Sights on 1st Regional Championship
SANFORD – A regional championship and spot in a Division 6 state semifinal is on the line Saturday as Sanford Meridian travels to defending state runner-up Montague.
The Mustangs (8-3) are the last remaining Jack Pine Conference team left in the postseason and are fresh off a 35-21 win over Hemlock to claim their first district title since 2007.
After dropping three of its final five regular season games, Sanford Meridian opened its playoff run with a big win over Ithaca and will now face another perennial power in Montague (9-2). The Wildcats won their third straight district championship with a 20-13 overtime victory over Ravenna last Friday after entering the fourth quarter with a 13-0 lead.
The Wildcats have missed the playoffs once since 2001, winning state championships in 2008 and 2009 and reaching at least the semifinal round six times since 2005.
“We definitely got our hands full, but I know our kids and our coaching staff and our community is up for the challenge,” Sanford Meridian coach Mike Bilina said. “We’re just really fortunate to have this opportunity to take on a great team and program.”
“They’re one of those flashy teams they make a lot of noise, outside of football, but we like to think what we do best is make noise inside the game,” added Sanford Meridian senior Brady Solano.
The winner of Saturday’s game will take on either Glen Lake (10-1) or Calumet (10-1) in a semifinal next week.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 1 p.m.