First Round Playoffs Recap
Mattawan’s offense completely dominated the Spartans. Lakeview found out that the talent in the West is pretty good and a big step up from the East. Mattawan was clearly firing on all cylinders, but they also were running crazy on a defense that had been pretty good this year.
Mattawan can now prepare for their district final against Portage Central, who got revenge, and perhaps stole back the mental advantage they have over Portage Northern. The Mustang’s running game was very impressive with their thunder and lightning combo of James and Allen. They did make some mistakes that Northern was able to turn into scores, and in the second half they were getting killed by bad penalties. That is where you give credit to the defense which kept them in the game and surrendered only a 42 yard field goal in the second half.
Wow I did not see that coming from Plainwell. A week after they played their worst game of the season, they come back with one of their best. Hastings is a good team, but the Trojans took it to them. You know you are dominating in the run game when you only need to throw one pass all game. Two things about that pass; first, that one pass was for a touchdown and second, that one pass was one more than they threw when they beat Edwardsburg in last year’s first round. They will need to come back with another performance as good as this one if they are going to beat Harper Creek.
One game here went about as expected and one did not at all. No surprise from Dowagiac who rolled up Otsego for a second straight week. But what happened in Paw Paw is just a shock. 48-0? I would say that Paw Paw must have played one of their worst games of the season, and South Christian probably played one of their better games, but this game went entirely beyond that. South Christian is clearly a much better team. I thought they were a better team, but I thought the Redskins would keep it close and give themselves a chance to win. The Sailors just completely overwhelmed them. I think it sets up a great match-up with South Christian and Dowagiac. I will be even more shocked if South Christian does that again.
I’ll give a tip of my cap to Three Rivers as well. That was a very impressive performance in a win over Pennfield. I think it says that the Wildcat’s defense stepped up in a big way. I really thought the Wildcat’s defense would have more trouble with the Wing-T than what they did.
Schoolcraft started slow, but then rolled over Brandywine. I don’t think there was any surprise there. Constantine and Watervliet went about as expected too. Watervliet had the Cowsert to Bolin connection working great (four TD passes), and at the same time the White and Mallo show was running at a high level. It sets up another rivalry showdown now with Constantine at Schoolcraft.
Bridgeman kept this game surprisingly very close with a 17-10 win for the Blue Devils. It is hard to read into this, because I didn’t think Lawton would have much trouble. Bridgeman had a 6-3 record against very marginal competition this season. There is a chance that Lawton didn’t show up, and Bridgeman did. But of course there is a chance that the Bees are much better than what I want to give them credit for.
Hartford did play better against Decatur, but the Raiders proved again that they are a better team. I thought the Indians would have a better showing, but I also still felt Decatur was a touch better and that proved true. Meanwhile Gobles disposed of Springport with ease but now has a big battle with Pewamo-Westphalia awaiting them in the District Final.
No surprises here. Mendon had no problem winning 41-0 over Colon on Saturday and Climax Scotts won easily over Lake Michigan Catholic on Friday. It will set up a match-up of old St. Joe Valley rivals this week in Mendon.
District Finals Match-Ups
Portage Central @ Mattawan Friday 7:00
Plainwell @ Harper Creek Friday 7:00
Grand Rapids South Christian @ Dowagiac Friday 7:00
Three Rivers @ Williamston Friday 7:00
Constantine @ Schoolcraft Friday 7:00
Gobles @ Pewamo-Westphalia Saturday 1:00
Decatur @ Lawton Friday 7:00
Climax Scotts @ Mendon Saturday 1:00
A link to all the rest of this week’s District Final match-ups around the state http://www.mhsaa.com/Sports/Football/FootballPlayoff/tabid/751/id/1/view/default/Default.aspx