As we reach Week 7 of the high school football season, coaches and players are starting to think about the playoffs. Have they reached the magic number of six wins to get in? Can they clinch a postseason berth this week? Do they have any wiggle room the rest of the year?
Teams like Battle Creek Central and Harper Creek have to win out to assure a spot in the postseason. Lakeview has some room to play with, but has some tough games coming up. In the city, only St. Philip has really cemented a spot in the playoffs.
So now we ask, what happened last week, what happens next?
And what does it mean?
Each week, the Enquirer’s Bill Broderick will break that down on Mondays, handing out some analysis on what all the results mean from the weekend of prep football and what to look for next.
In the city
St. Philip: St. Philip looked to be taking a step up in competition by facing 4-1 Webberville on Saturday, but the score didn’t look much different than the rest of the season. The Tigers dominated again with a 49-0 win to improve to 6-0 on the season as they will remain in the state rankings for another week. St. Philip’s Brayden Darr had four touchdowns.
Next: This is the game the entire program has been waiting for all season. St. Philip will host undefeated Waldron on Saturday afternoon this week. This could decide the league title in the Southern Michigan 8-Man Conference and be a sign for what to look for in the postseason as these two teams could meet again in Week 10. Waldron has been just as dominant this season as the Tigers, outscoring its opponents 290-94.
Lakeview: Lakeview climbed to 4-2 on the season with a 47-0 Homecoming win over Kalamazoo Central. Is the third straight win since Lakeview started the year at 1-2. The Spartans’ running game continues to click with Jay’Vion Settles getting 153 yards on the ground and Dre’On Kemp adding 142.
Next: Lakeview goes to 2-1 in the SMAC East, one game behind first-place Battle Creek Central in the standings. Another division game is next against 1-5 Loy Norrix. The Knights have lost five games in a row, including a 31-14 defeat to Mattawan on Friday. In two weeks, Lakeview has the toughest game left on its schedule with 5-1 St. Joseph on the road, so it will a challenge not to look past Loy Norrix.
Battle Creek Central: BCC bounced back from a loss to knock off Gull Lake, 28-12, and improve to 3-3 on the year. The Bearcats’ DJ Watson had two touchdowns in the win as BCC came up with a key division victory to go to 3-0 in the SMAC East and stay in first place.
Next: This week features two teams with playoff hopes on the line with 3-3 Mattawan coming to Battle Creek Central. Neither team can take another loss and hope to be promised a postseason position. Mattawan is coming off a 31-14 win over Mattawan, ending a two-game losing streak. Mattawan beat BCC last year in a game that might have kept the Bearcats out of the postseason in 2014.
Harper Creek: Harper Creek suffered a heart-breaking loss to Parma Western, 28-25, on Friday to drop to 3-3 on the year. The Beavers’ passing game continued to play well with 204 yards and two scores from quarterback David Thompson.
Next: The loss to Parma Western puts Harper Creek in a must-win situation the rest of the year, which is a challenging position to be in with Coldwater and Marshall coming up on the schedule. Coldwater and Marshall have been the surprise teams of the year, each with wins over perennial power Lumen Christi the last two weeks. With a strong schedule, Harper Creek did make the playoffs at 5-4 last year, but the Beavers don’t want to put themselves in that situation again.
Pennfield: Pennfield ended a four-game losing streak with a satisfying 55-0 win over Jackson Northwest. Sophomore Grant Petersen had a running touchdown and also scored on an interception to lead the way and help the Panthers get to 2-4 on the year.
Next: Pennfield faces another two-win team this week with a road game at Charlotte. The Orioles have lost three in a row. Last season, this game was a shootout with Charlotte beating Pennfield, 39-36.
Around the Area: Some area teams have opened up with impressive starts to the season.
Climax-Scotts: The Panthers stayed undefeated with a 36-0 win over Pittsford to clinch a share of yet-another Southern Central Athletic Association title. Climax-Scotts faces an improving Bellevue team in Week 7 as it looks to climb in the state rankings also, sitting at No. 6 as of last week.
Coldwater: Coldwater came up with its first-ever win over Lumen Christi last week to take command of the Interstate 8 league race. The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 199-51 this season. Coldwater goes on the road to see Harper Creek this week.
Marshall: The Redhawks improve to 5-1 on the season with a one-sided 46-0 win over Charlotte. Marshall is closing in on a playoff spot, needing one more win to get to the postseason for the first time since 2012 as the Redhawks face winless Jackson Northwest this week.
Prep Football for Week 7
Friday: Mattawan at Battle Creek Central, Coldwater at Harper Creek, Lakeview at Loy Norrix, Pennfield at Charlotte, Jonesville at Athens, Climax-Scotts at Bellevue, White Pigeon at Bronson, Colon at NA-Jerome, Watervliet at Delton Kellogg, Bangor at Galesburg-Augusta, Gull Lake at Kalamazoo Central, Quincy at Homer, Stockbridge at Maple Valley, Jackson Northwest at Marshall, Leslie at Olivet, Tekonsha at Burr Oak, Reading at Union City
Saturday: Waldron at St. Philip