During Week 8, several local high school football teams kept rolling toward the playoffs, while a few hit some road bumps that may or may not be the end of their postseason dreams.
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 was facing another challenge, playing a one-loss Portland St. Patrick, but the Tigers’ train did not slow down. St. Philip won easily once again, 45-20, and remained undefeated. Tigers quarterback Brendan Gausselin had four touchdown passes and Brayden Darr added three more scores.
Next: No. 3-ranked St. Philip gets ready for Week 9 to play the team it has been preparing for all season. St. Philip will travel to Lawrence (7-1) as the Tigers look to finish off a perfect regular season. No. 2-ranked Lawrence has been the one team St. Philip hasn’t been able to solve during its recent success. Lawrence handed St. Philip its only two losses of the year last season, including in the playoffs. Lawrence also knocked St. Philip out of the playoffs two years ago after the Tigers had a perfect regular season.
Lakeview: Lakeview had a tough road game at St. Joseph and lost 45-21 after suffering multiple turnovers. St. Joseph goes to 7-1 after knocking off the Spartans, who they lost to last year, 35-0.
Next: Lakeview had a chance to clinch a postseason spot with the win, but still has work to do now sitting at 5-3. Lakeview will host Gull Lake in the final week of the season looking to get the needed sixth win to clinch a spot. The Spartans are hoping to get in the postseason for the fourth time in a row – a first for the program. The game against Gull Lake is also a SMAC East game and Lakeview can clinch a share of its third-straight title if it beats the Blue Devils. Gull Lake is coming off a crazy 57-54 loss to Niles to drop to 2-6.
Battle Creek Central: BCC suffered another heartbreaking loss to Portage Northern, falling 34-33, and goes to 3-5 on the year. BCC has four losses this year by less than a touchdown.
Next: The loss to Portage Northern means BCC has lost its chance to get back in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. But the Bearcats still have something to play for as they are currently tied for first place in the SMAC East Division with Lakeview. BCC ends the season with SMAC East-foe Loy Norrix (1-7). A win over the Knights will give BCC a share of the title at 4-1 in the division.
Harper Creek: Harper Creek lost to its rivals Marshall, 42-10, to drop to 3-5 on the season.
Next: Harper Creek made the playoffs last season at 5-4, but falling to 3-5 on the year ends the Beavers’ chances at the postseason. Harper Creek ends the I-8 portion of its schedule at 3-4. The Beavers will host non-conference Everett in the final week of the season. Everett, a Class A school, is 3-5 on the season also after beating rival Sexton 33-32 last week.
Pennfield: Pennfield lost to state-ranked Jackson Lumen Christi, 28-8, to fall to 3-5 on the season.
Next: A young Pennfield team is being asked to end the season against two perennial powers, losing to Lumen Christi last week, and now facing Olivet in Week 9. Olivet is coming off a loss to state-ranked Portland and is 5-3 on the year. The Eagles will be looking to beat Pennfield to make the postseason.
Around the Area: Some area teams have opened up with impressive starts to the season.
Climax-Scotts: The Panthers stayed undefeated with a 48-7 win over Class B Spring Lake. Climax-Scotts has five shutouts on the season and has outscored its opponents 404-27 and continues to be ranked in the state in Division 8. Climax-Scotts ends the regular season with a game against Class C New Buffalo (3-5).
Coldwater: Coldwater stayed undefeated with a 30-7 win over Charlotte to win the Interstate 8 Conference title outright – the school’s first league title in football since 1986. The Cardinals will look for their first 9-0 season in school history with a game against Adrian (2-6) in Week 9.
Marshall: The Redhawks improve to 7-1 on the season with a one-sided 42-10 win over Harper Creek. Marshall ends the season against undefeated Portland with playoff position on the line as the Redhawks figure a win would clinch a home postseason game.
Prep Football Week 9
BCC at Loy Norrix, Lansing Everett at Harper Creek, Gull Lake at Lakeview, Olivet at Pennfield, St. Philip at Lawrence, Athens vs. East Jackson, Bellevue at River Valleyl, SJ Lake Michigan at Bronson, Climax-Scotts at New Buffalo, Coldwater at Adrian, Colon at White Pigeon, Delton Kellogg at Schoolcraft, Marcellus at Galesburg-Augusta, Homer vs. Manchester, Maple Valley at Dansville, Marshall at Portland, Quincy vs. Addison, Tekonsha at Litchfield, Union City vs. Grass Lake