Rematches highlight the opening round of the high school playoffs for mid-Michigan teams with one of the area’s best rivalries among the matchups.
Here’s a look at the 16 opening-round contests involving area teams.
Division 1 – Howell at Grand Ledge: CAAC Blue champion Grand Ledge wrapped up its first perfect regular season since 2010 on Friday and has home-field advantage throughout district play. Howell ended the regular season on a three-game losing streak.
Division 3 – Haslett at DeWitt: These longtime rivals played a tight contest in Week 6 that turned into a 27-10 win for CAAC Red champion DeWitt. Haslett has won three straight since that loss to earn a spot in the playoffs. This marks the third time in five years DeWitt and Haslett are playing in a district opener.
Division 3 – Mason at St. Johns: Mason captured a district title a year ago by avenging a regular-season league loss and will try to do the same this fall. St. Johns pulled away in the second half for a 49-28 win over the Bulldogs when the teams met in Week 3.
Division 4 – Alma at Ada Hills Eastern: Alma won its final three games to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011. Ada Hills Eastern is enjoying its best season in school history and is in the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Division 4 – Hudsonville Unity Christian at Lakewood: GLAC champion Lakewood is in the postseason for the first time since 2002. The Vikings have lost two straight since a 7-0 start that had them ranked in the top five in Division 4. Unity Christian is in the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.
Division 4 – Lake Fenton at Corunna: GAC Red champion Corunna is in the midst of its best season since 2002 and will have to beat league rival Lake Fenton for the second time in order to keep it going. A late TD helped Corunna to a 35-28 victory over Lake Fenton in Week 8.
State football playoffs feature 21 mid-Michigan teams
Division 5 – Stockbridge at Portland: Quarterback Mason Gee-Montgomery, who owns the state record for TD passes in a season, leads a high-powered Stockbridge offense that averages 47.2 points. Portland allowed just 95 points while completing the school’s first perfect regular season since 1975.
Division 5 – Ovid-Elsie at Lansing Catholic: Lansing Catholic is the reigning Division 5 runner-up and has allowed just 22 points since a Week 4 loss to Portland. The lone losses for Ovid-Elsie this fall are to teams (Portland and Freeland) that finished the regular season unbeaten and have been ranked in the AP poll.
Division 5 – Olivet at Berrien Springs: GLAC runner-up Olivet is in the postseason for an eighth straight year. The lone loss for Berrien Springs was by two points to state-ranked Buchanan in Week 8.
Division 6 – Vassar at Ithaca: TVC West champion Ithaca – the state runner-up a year ago – has been ranked No. 1 in Division 6 all season and has allowed just 38 points. Vassar has won eight straight since a season-opening loss to Millington.
Division 6 – Laingsburg at Burton Bendle: Laingsburg is in the playoffs for the first time in four years. Burton Bendle has won five straight since a loss to state-ranked New Lothrop.
Division 7 – Concord at Dansville: The host Aggies have won five straight since falling to Pewamo-Westphalia and are a win away from matching their highest win total since 1992. Concord is in the postseason for the first time since 2009.
Division 7 – Carson City-Crystal at Pewamo-Westphalia: CMAC champion P-W is in the playoffs for the 12th straight year and outscored its opposition 446-66 during a perfect regular season. Carson City-Crystal was the MSAC runner-up and has won four straight entering the playoffs. These teams also played in the postseason in 2013.
Division 8 – Fowler at Merrill: Fowler is in the playoffs for a seventh straight year but enters on a two-game losing streak. Merrill has won four straight since a TVC West loss to Ithaca.
8-man division – Portland St. Patrick at Battle Creek St. Philip: St. Patrick will be aiming for revenge against the Tigers, who have reached the second weekend of the playoffs the last three years. St. Philip posted a 45-20 win over the Shamrocks in Week 8.
8-man division – New Haven Merritt Academy at Morrice: The Orioles have won eight straight and are fresh off wrapping up the Central Michigan 8-man title.
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