Top 5 Area Games: Playoffs – First Round

The 2021 high school football postseason begins Friday with several intriguing first-round matchups on tap in northern Michigan.

Friday, Oct. 29
Division 1 8-Player
HM Rogers City (8-1) at No. 9 Inland Lakes (9-0), 7 p.m. – A year after reaching the Division 1 state semifinals, Inland Lakes finds itself enjoying another historic season while Rogers City has found immediate success in its first year of 8-player football. This marks the first meeting in the series since 2017. The Hurons are 5-4 all-time against the Bulldogs.

Friday, Oct. 29
Division 5 District
Clare (6-3) at No. 8 Gladwin (9-0), 7 p.m. – Gladwin held off Clare for a 48-42 win in Week 7 to claim the Jack Pine Conference championship. Expect this one to be another shootout and potentially a tossup. While the Flying G’s have made quick work of nearly every opponent this fall, Clare is the playoff tested team. Both teams are coming off quality wins. Clare leads the all-time series at 33-16.

Friday, Oct. 29
Division 6 District
No. 6 Boyne City (8-1) at No. 10 Grayling (7-2), 7 p.m. – A rematch of last year’s district final that saw Grayling come away with a 28-20 win en route to a state semifinal appearance. Outside of its lone loss to Traverse City St. Francis, Grayling hasn’t been tested much this season, while Grayling’s lone defeats were to Kingsley and St. Francis. Expect this one to be another close contest. Boyne City leads the all-time series at 29-19.

Friday, Oct. 29
Division 3
Marquette (7-2) at No. 3 Mt. Pleasant (9-0), 7 p.m. – A rematch of last year’s Division 3 district semifinal that saw Marquette come away with a 21-14 win, Mt. Pleasant is seeking its first district championship since 2015. The Saginaw Valley League North champion Oilers have been on a roll since a 7-point win over Midland in Week 5. Marquette has won two straight over Big North Conference opponents entering Friday’s game. This marks the third meeting in the series, with Mt. Pleasant winning 40-14 back in 2014.

Friday, Oct. 29
Division 2 8-Player
Gaylord St. Mary (5-4) at No. 10 Marion (8-1), 7 p.m. – Marion is in the playoffs for a fifth straight year after reaching the state semifinals a year ago. The Snowbirds have lost three of their last four, including a hard-fought 44-30 loss to undefeated Inland Lakes last week. St. Mary is one of three Ski Valley Conference teams in the postseason. This is the first meeting in the series.

Categories: Football