JACKSON — It’s a playoff occasion and everyone seems to be invited this 12 months.
The Michigan Excessive Faculty Athletic Affiliation shall be letting each succesful 11 and Eight-player soccer group compete within the postseason this fall attributable to an unprecedented suspending and reinstating of the season starting from August into early September.
A large-open subject may create some chaos and potential surprising first-round upsets and may give a number of applications a chance to win their first playoff sport at school historical past. Earlier than we begin dreaming about potential deep playoff runs, let’s check out every first-round matchup for Jackson-area highschool groups and who we expect will advance to subsequent weekend’s district semifinals.
Final week: 11-2
Season: 69-16 (81 %)
Greatest decide: Jackson 55, Northwest 34. I anticipated fireworks and we obtained fireworks. The Vikings got here away with a 63-34 win, albeit in a style I don’t assume anybody was anticipating.
Worst decide: Allen Park Cabrini 27, East Jackson 14. I’m completely happy to be flawed on this one, because the Trojans picked up their first win of the season in a 35-21 determination over the Monarchs.
Jackson Lumen Christi (2-Four) at Hanover-Horton (Four-2), 7 p.m. Friday
The Titans are in an unfamiliar place this season, as they kick off the playoffs on the street. After a heartbreaking 21-20 loss to Traverse Metropolis St. Francis final week, Lumen Christi should try to bounce again with their season on the road towards a Hanover-Horton squad that’s primed to win its first postseason sport at school historical past.
I see the Comets pushing the Titans, however the dual-threat skill of Teddy Ahlers at quarterback, mixed with the playmaking skill of wideouts Cooper Keene and Ralph Golden will make sufficient huge performs to assist Lumen Christi survive and advance.
PREDICTION: Lumen Christi 35, Hanover-Horton 21
Jackson (Three-Three) at Portage Central (2-Four), 7 p.m. Friday
The Mustangs is perhaps probably the most deceiving 2-Four groups within the state this 12 months, as their 4 losses have come to groups with a mixed 20-Four document. Portage Central deploys a disciplined-style dashing assault that wears defenses down and is finest suited to taking part in with a lead. The Vikings have had a foul tendency of beginning video games sluggish and that may come again to chew them in the event that they try this once more this weekend.
Jackson has leaned on senior tailback Dorion Riley to hold them to a Three-Three document, due to his jaw-dropping 1,726 yards and 23 touchdowns through six games this fall. Portage Central will possible try to comprise Riley as finest they will, which could power somebody from Jackson’s inexperienced ability place group to step as much as the plate. I believe the Vikings will begin quick on this one, however the Mustangs shall be an excessive amount of down the stretch in an old style slugfest between two energy working groups.
PREDICTION: Portage Central 27, Jackson 22
Parma Western (Four-2) at Battle Creek Harper Creek (Four-2), 7 p.m. Friday
The Panthers have been put in a troublesome spot final week when Coldwater bailed on their scheduled Interstate Eight Convention matchup on Friday morning earlier than the sport, however credit score to Western for taking over a last-minute problem in a street journey to Caledonia. The Panthers finally misplaced that matchup 42-27 however the group shall be higher ready for the postseason due to it.
This week’s Interstate Eight Convention matchup pits Western towards a group it by no means obtained to play in the course of the common season in Harper Creek. The Beavers are coming off spectacular wins over Coldwater (28-7), Marshall (50-27) and Benton Harbor (29-14) and seem like on a roll heading into this one. I believe this one comes right down to the ultimate possession and the Panthers exorcise their playoff demons from a 12 months in the past and decide up a giant street win.
PREDICTION: Parma Western 34, Harper Creek 27
Jackson Northwest (Zero-5) at DeWitt (6-Zero), 7 p.m. Friday
The Mounties confirmed a whole lot of struggle within the first half of their street sport at Jackson final week, leaping out to a 20-7 lead halfway by way of the second quarter. Northwest may solely muster 14 factors the remainder of the sport, nonetheless, as issues began to snowball on them in a rush.
They’ll want a equally robust begin this week, as they journey to tackle the top-ranked group in Division Three in DeWitt. The Panthers are deserving of all the reward being heaped on them, as they’ve outscored their opponents 290-50 this 12 months, together with spectacular victories over Portland (37-Three), Grand Ledge (64-38), Warren De la Salle (43-Three), and Stevensville Lakeshore (43-6). Quarterback Tyler Holtz has been powering his group to unbelievable effectivity this season in 2020 and I believe that continues this week.
PREDICTION: DeWitt 48, Jackson Northwest 13
Hillsdale (Four-2) at Olivet (5-1), 7 p.m. Friday
The Hornets didn’t get any favors with this opening-round draw within the Division 5 district match, because the Eagles have outscored their opponents 230-62 up to now this season. For the primary time in 5 seasons, Olivet received’t should play Lansing Catholic Central or Berrien Springs within the opening spherical of the postseason and seem like primed for a postseason run.
That potential playoff push shall be examined b a Hillsdale’s protection that’s holding opponents nicely beneath their season averages and has some offensive firepower with playmakers like Brock Woodard and Luke Kornak within the run sport. This can positively be a sport value watching Friday night time and I believe the Eagles come away with a slim determination at residence.
PREDICTION: Olivet 28, Hillsdale 20
Onsted (Zero-6) at Jonesville (5-1), 7 p.m. Friday
Jonesville clinched the Large Eight Convention title for the primary time in 18 years final week with a formidable 46-6 win over Homer and shall be driving a wave of momentum into the postseason. Apart from a 52-16 loss to Division Four powerhouse Edwardsburg, the Panthers have been dominant, outscoring their opponents 229-38 of their 5 wins.
After a 10-Three season final 12 months, Onsted has struggled to get a lot moving into 2020, because the Wildcats have been outscored 253-69. I mentioned earlier than the season that Jonesville had an opportunity to be probably the most full group within the space this season and I believe they are going to make a deep playoff run. That begins this weekend with a decisive residence win over Onsted.
PREDICTION: Jonesville 43, Onsted Eight
Stockbridge (2-Four) at Brooklyn Columbia Central (2-Four), 7 p.m. Friday
The Golden Eagles are on a three-game dropping skid however have an opportunity to show issues round with a house playoff matchup towards the Panthers. Stockbridge has been outscored 109-26 of their final two video games nevertheless it has the capability to drag off an upset if Columbia Central can’t set up management early.
I believe the Panthers shall be as much as the duty and will make this one fascinating, however I imagine the veteran management and expertise at key positions for the Golden Eagles will finally assist them scrape by in a defensive battle.
PREDICTION: Columbia Central 22, Stockbridge 12
Napoleon (1-5) at Michigan Heart (Three-1), 7 p.m. Friday
In a rematch of a Week 6 conflict within the Cascades Convention, the Cardinals will face off with the Pirates yet another time. Final week, Michigan Heart got here away with a 40-7 determination over Napoleon and I don’t assume a lot will change within the rematch.
I anticipate huge video games from Michigan Heart tailbacks Kaydin Hiland and Mitchell Corwin, because the Cardinals lengthen their successful streak to 4 video games and advance to subsequent week’s district semifinals.
PREDICTION: Michigan Heart 43, Napoleon 15
Union Metropolis (2-Four) at Homer (Four-2), 7 p.m. Friday
The Trojans want to bounce again after back-to-back troublesome street losses to Studying (26-19) and Jonesville (46-6) to finish the common season. They’ll get an opportunity to do exactly that with a rematch from a Week 2 opponent in Union Metropolis this weekend. Within the first contest, Homer scored a 33-12 victory over the Chargers, due to a four-touchdown efficiency from quarterback Cole Austin.
I anticipate the Trojans to be just a little extra balanced this time, however huge performs from Austin to his favourite targets Lowyind Pullen and Damaso Lebron shall be an excessive amount of for the Union Metropolis protection in one other decisive win within the rematch.
PREDICTION: Homer 39, Union Metropolis 13
Springport (1-Three) at Riverview Gabriel Richard (5-1), 7 p.m. Friday
The Spartans have been outscored 143-12 of their final three video games and a street journey to Riverview Gabriel Richard isn’t precisely the best path to turning issues round. The Pioneers have averaged 40 factors a sport of their 5 wins this season and shall be a troublesome matchup for Springport.
I believe Springport will present some struggle early on however Gabriel Richard is the top-seeded group on this district bracket for a motive and so they’ll finally draw back within the second half and advance to play the winner of Lumen Christi and Hanover-Horton subsequent weekend.
PREDICTION: Gabriel Richard 38, Springport 12
Leslie (2-Four) at Monroe St Mary Catholic Central (Four-2), 7 p.m. Friday
The Blackhawks have dropped three straight one-possession video games to Royal Oak Shrine (12-7), Lake Odessa Lakewood (26-21) and White Pigeon (28-22) getting into the postseason and is perhaps feeling just a little snake-bitten at this level.
Monroe St. Mary is feeling fairly the alternative, driving a three-game successful streak into the playoffs. The defending Division 6 state champions received’t be taking anybody frivolously on the street to a possible repeat and will make it troublesome for Leslie to maintain up with their high-powered offense.
PREDICTION: Monroe St. Mary 40, Leslie 20
Manchester (2-Four) at Grass Lake (Four-2), 7 p.m. Friday
The Warriors and Flying Dutchmen will as soon as towards open up the postseason towards one another, after final 12 months’s thrilling 30-22 contest that Grass Lake got here away from victorious. Manchester doesn’t have fairly the quantity of expertise or offensive firepower that they loved final season however Grass Lake additionally isn’t fairly as dominant as they have been on protection both.
I anticipate this one to go back-and-worth early on, however I’ll take the Warriors to tighten the screws, execute on each side of the ball and draw back within the second half for a large residence win on Friday night time.
PREDICTION: Grass Lake 34, Manchester 16
East Jackson (1-5) at Hudson (Three-Three), 7 p.m. Friday
The Trojans enter the postseason with a ton of confidence after their 35-21 win over Allen Park Cabrini final week, however Hudson shall be a a lot taller activity within the opening spherical of the Division Eight playoffs. All three of the Tigers’ losses have are available slim selections in Lenawee County Athletic Affiliation play to Hillsdale (28-21), Ida (26-14) and Blissfield (28-20).
Some postseason expertise shall be a constructive for the East Jackson program transferring ahead however Hudson is a darkish horse candidate to win this district and shall be able to make a press release within the opening spherical of the playoffs.
PREDICTION: Hudson 45, East Jackson 18
Harmony (1-5) at Bridgman (5-1), 7 p.m. Friday
The Yellowjackets will get an opportunity to play no less than yet another sport due to an unsponsored four-team match in Eight-player competitors. First up for Harmony is a surging Bridgman group that’s averaging 51 factors per sport of their 5 wins this season.
The transition to Eight-player soccer may assist the Yellowjackets get their offense rolling however I believe they’ll have a troublesome time slowing down the Bees on this specific matchup.
PREDICTION: Bridgman 58, Harmony 34
Vermontville Maple Valley (Three-Three) at Vandercook Lake (Four-1), 1 p.m. Saturday
The Jayhawks have received three straight video games to wrap up the common season and can now get an opportunity to increase their season by two weeks with a four-team unsponsored match with Vermontville Maple Valley, Harmony and Bridgman.
Maple Valley is coming off back-to-back wins over Webberville (45-14) and Bellevue (22-Eight) however Vandercook Lake appears to be in a little bit of groove offensively with tailback Kaden DuBois and quarterback Gaven Cooper. I’ll take the Jayhawks to choose up their first postseason win at school historical past in what needs to be a enjoyable sport to observe on Saturday.
PREDICTION: Vandercook Lake 55, Maple Valley 42
NOTE: Addison receives a first-round bye and can play the winner of Morenci (2-Four) at Dansville (Four-2) within the district semifinals.
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