Predictions for the first round of the state playoffs: Rematches highlight the predistricts; Zeeland teams play consecutive weeks
It seems it’s what we’re stuck with in the first round of the state playoffs. Sometimes we get them in the second round, too.
Good? Bad? Indifferent? Until a change in the playoff format is made we have no choice but to swallow them.
Open wide now.
Let’s start at the top. Maestro? Hit it.
All game are Friday at 7 p.m. unless noted.
Grandville (6-3) at Holland West Ottawa (8-1): The O-K Red Division was so balanced this season. It’s too bad East Kentwood, at 5-4, didn’t get a chance to compete. Grandville took it on the chin last week from West Ottawa, 34-18, and there’s no reason to believe West Ottawa has lost anything in the six days that followed. Pick: West Ottawa by 7.
Lapeer (6-3) at Davison (8-1), Sat., 1: Davison faced Lapeer the week after losing to Midland. The Cardinals were not in a good mood that evening and will be on a mission here. Look for Davison quarterback Cannon Hall to have a huge game. Pick: Davison by 8.
Walled Lake Central (5-4) at White Lake Lakeland (6-2): Central defeated Lakeland, 20-13, in the season opener. It must seem like that game was played last season for these teams. Lakeland has averaged over 30 points since. Central has been on a slide since. Pick: Lakeland by 6.
Warren Mott (5-4) at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (8-1): Chippewa Valley blitzed Mott, 45-13, in week five. Mott quarterback Jake Dube did not play in that game due to an injury. If he’s available, Mott will make this game competitive. If not, expect the same result. Pick: Chippewa Valley by 10.
Bloomfield Hills (6-3) at West Bloomfield (7-2): These teams have a history, though brief. Bloomfield Hills is in its fifth season (after Andover and Lahser merged) and the Black Hawks are 1-3 against Bloomfield Hills. That victory occurred in week two this season, 28-24. Revenge is sweet. Pick: West Bloomfield by 12.
Coldwater (6-3) at Battle Creek Harper Creek (9-0): Harper Creek has had some close games this season. One came against Coldwater, 17-7. Just a feeling here but after Coldwater defeated Traverse City West, 24-9, last week momentum could take hold. Pick: Coldwater by 5. .
Redford Thurston (6-3) at Romulus (6-3) at Romulus Middle School: Romulus handed Thurston its only loss in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference Blue Division, 31-22. Romulus owns a 7-6 edge in this series. Pick: Thurston by 2.
Coopersville (6-3) at Comstock Park (6-3): This is Coopersville first playoff game since 2008. Coopersville lost to Comstock Park, 42-27, in week three and the moment might be a bit too large for the Broncos. Pick: Comstock Park by 8.
Vicksburg (7-2) at Three Rivers (7-2): Vicksburg won at home last week, 30-20, over Three Rivers. It’s strange that Three Rivers has home field here as both teams play nine Wolverine Conference games. Vicksburg’s loss to Plainwell costs the Bulldogs home field. Pick: Three Rivers by 2.
Grant (6-3) at Newaygo (7-2): Newaygo lost to Grant, 32-19, last season and came back with a 20-6 victory this season. Newaygo beat Grant in the 2012 playoffs and look for a repeat performance. Newaygo by 5.
Hillman (5-4) at AuGres-Sims (8-0): This is AuGres second undefeated regular season. The Wolverines have never won a playoff game. AuGres defeated Hillman, 50-14, in week three. AuGres has never played Hillman in the playoffs until now. Pick: AuGres by 20.
Waterford Lakes (6-2) at Clarkston Everest Collegiate (7-2): Everest defeated Lakes, 23-13, in midseason, and has been in the playoffs in all of the school’s five seasons competing at the varsity level. Last season the Mountaineers won their first playoff game. Pick: Everest by 4.
Auburn Hills Oakland Christian (6-2) 50.556 at Sterling Heights Parkway Christian (6-3): Parkway finished second in the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference behind Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest. Parkway defeated Oakland Christian, 25-13, to earn its second-place finish. Pick: Parkway by 6.
Last week’s record: 5-5
2017 record: 61-31