Suttons Bay, Inland Lakes Battle for 8-Man Regional Title in Game of the Week
SUTTONS BAY – It’s week two of the high school football playoffs and Friday night’s 8-player Division 1 regional final showcases two of the best teams with Suttons Bay and Inland Lakes facing off in the Sports Overtime Game of the Week.
“There’s a lot of unfinished business that we have to deal with, and we’ve all been waiting for this game for a long time now,” said Inland Lakes senior Mason Blumke.
Both Suttons Bay and Inland Lakes enter this regional final undefeated at 10-0.
Suttons Bay is coming off its win in the regional semifinal against Mesick, 49-8, and brings its postseason experience to the table in this matchup as a state runner-up the last two years in Division 1.
The Norsemen make their fifth straight regionals and seek their third straight regional title on Friday.
“It’s always really exciting to face off with teams that are programs like Suttons Bay. They’re always around at the end of the season and we get to square off with them. It kind of shows where we stand. I think we have to do what we do best and we’ve got to be patient. We’ve got to keep doing what we’ve done that got us here,” said Inland Lakes head football coach Travis Meyer.
In its first year of 8-man football last season, Inland Lakes made a run to its first ever state semifinals and was set to take on Suttons Bay. But the Bulldogs were hit with COVID-19 and were forced to forfeit, sending the Norsemen to the state finals.
“We are really looking forward to this. They are a really tough team, strong team. They hit hard. They wanted us last year in the semifinals, but they never got to play us. So I think they’re coming in for revenge and we’re not going to let that happen,” said Suttons Bay senior Brayden Opie.
Inland Lakes is coming off its first playoff win of the season over Rogers City, 38-24.
After last season’s game didn’t happen, this year the two teams are excited to meet on the field for the first time since 2002.
“Both teams have wanted to kind of see each other in the season and so forth, and it’s great that we’re getting to play the full season this year. You know, we did not want to see them go out to COVID last year. We felt really bad about that and are glad that we’re we’re playing through the season and are able to meet again,” said Suttons Bay head football coach Gerrick Opie.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole senior year and it’s just become more of a reality. And it’s getting closer and closer and we’re all super excited to get down there. We’ve played a lot of good teams, but this is the team that everyone’s been talking about and to beat them would be a really big deal.” said Inland Lakes senior Mason Blumke.
Both teams boast high-powered offenses with Suttons Bay outscoring its opponents 459-88 and Inland Lakes outscoring its competition 525-208.
Tune in for pregame coverage starting at 6 p.m. Friday night and stick around for highlights and postgame sound from the winner on Sports Overtime at 11 p.m.