KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- SMAC: Week 9 Games:
Mattawan got the big win they needed, which ends up being even bigger than expected. Their win over Portage Northern will give them potentially two home games to start the playoffs. As expected it was a defensive battle, but Mattawan was able to pull it out. Trailing late in the third quarter Mattawan scored to tie the game and then scored the lone fourth quarter TD to win. The loss might be tough for the Huskies to swallow, but they still could get another match up with Mattawan. On top of that, they turned around from a 4-5 season to go 7-2 with the two losses by a combined seven points, beat Portage Central, and will still get to host a playoff game.
Speaking of the Mustangs, they didn’t seem to have much trouble on Friday night with Niles, to clinch at least one more week of football. In the east, Lakeview and Marshall also needed the week nine wins to get in, and both got them. The SMAC will be well represented in the playoffs with seven teams getting in.
The biggest shock was in one of the games that seemed like a for sure lock for a win. I had to do a double take when I saw Berrien Springs beat Plainwell 14-0. That is not a good way to go into the playoffs for the Trojans, as they now will be on the road instead of hosting a playoff game. It is hard to say what happened in that game, but it appears that Plainwell did not show up, and the Shamrocks did. Tip your cap to Berrien Springs for holding the Trojans to less than 100 yards of total offense, but if you’re Plainwell you need to do more than that against a very down Shamrocks squad.
Paw Paw must have been thinking “oh no” early on when they fell behind Edwardsburg again. They pulled out the win, but I’m not sure if they have convinced anyone that they know how to stop a Wing-T offense yet. They allowed 36 points, the most they have allowed against any opponent this season, and gave up 338 yards of total offense. It still isn’t terrible for Paw Paw, because they got the win, and completed their first 9-0 regular season since 2005.
Dowagiac had no trouble with Otsego winning 43-0 as they too completed the season undefeated. I think Dowagiac is a really good team, and has the pieces to make a nice run. A second round showdown against Paw Paw or Grand Rapids South Christian could be great match-ups.
A week after Constantine put up 62 points on the top scoring defense in the league, they come back to fall to Pennfield 19-7. It is very impressive for the Panthers defense to hold Constantine down to only seven points, because the Falcons had been the top scoring team in the KVA at over 50 ppg. It really was another shocking score when I saw it. Perhaps the weather had something to do with it, but Pennfield usually has a very good playing surface, so I don’t think that is too much to blame.
The top two teams in the KVA this year were Schoolcraft and Pennfield, and the unusual thing is that the big success came perhaps a year early. With both teams suffering a lot of losses due to graduation, this was supposed to be a year where they might have to battle to make the playoffs. I will be interested to see how these teams fare in the playoffs.
The KVA was top heavy this year, and it looks like the standings could look similar next year. That tends to happen when you have four teams with the football traditions of Schoolcraft, Pennfield, Constantine and Olivet.
Was the bigger eye opener Lawton beating Watervliet or Gobles losing to Saugatuck? I would say both are surprising but neither is a shock. It certainly is a great win for Lawton and gives them a share of the SAC south championship. It also should give them plenty of confidence heading into the playoffs. Watervliet had a great season, but now they get stuck in the same district as Constantine and Schoolcraft.
Gobles, I would have to believe, should be a little upset about their loss. I said last week that Saugatuck still had enough to give Gobles a game, and that clearly was true. Gobles had dominated the North division this season, and instead of an outright title they will be splitting it with two teams that won’t be making the playoffs.
In their final shot to get their sixth win Marcellus came up just short. They started the season on a five game winning streak and needed just one win over one of the big dogs in the division, but never could get that win and they finish the season on a four game losing streak. Certainly a tough way to go out.
Players of the week
- David Mireles, Hartford RB
Mireles rushed for 302 yards and four TDs in the Indian’s 56-7 win over Lawrence. Mireles has been the main man for the Hartford offense, rushing for over 1200 yards and 15 TDs.
- Adam Vosburg, Gobles RB
Vosburg has been the Tigers’ top threat again this year and he had another tremendous game in Friday. He ended the game with 293 yards and four TDs. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough as Gobles fell to Saugatuck 33-27. He had an unbelievable season rushing for close to 1,500 rushing yards and 26 TDs.
- Justin McCauley, Paw Paw QB
Paw Paw had to mount a big second half comeback against Edwardsburg and they did so on the arm and legs of McCauley. He threw for 85 yards and rushed for 154, totaling four TDs. Trailing 36-22, the Redskins’ signal caller rushed for one TD and then threw for two more in the fourth quarter to will his team to the win.
- Sam Schutes, Three Rivers QB
Shutes seems to find his way into this top five every week, but he is back for this final week. Not only did the Senior lead his team to a much needed win in the final week to get into the playoffs, but he did so against their rivals from Vicksburg. Shutes threw for 201 yards and two TDs and rushed for another 45 yards and two TDs. He ends the regular season with over 2000 total yards.
- Clay Wilkey, Parchment RB/LB
The final offensive numbers may not look overly impressive, but you need to look at the whole body of work from Wilkey in Friday night’s season ending win over Galesburg-Augusta. The Panther’s Junior rushed for 73 yards and two touchdowns on offense, and on defense came up with 10 tackles, two interceptions and a sack.
Look forward to the end of the week with a full playoff preview but right now here are the area’s playoff match-ups:
Battle Creek Lakeview (6-3) @ Mattawan (8-1)
Portage Central (6-3) @ Portage Northern (7-2)
Plainwell (6-3) @ Hastings (6-3)
Otsego (6-3) @ Dowagiac (9-0)
Grand Rapids South Christian (6-3) @ Paw Paw (9-0)
Three Rivers (6-3) @ Battle Creek Pennfield (8-1)
Niles Brandywine (7-2) @ Schoolcraft (9-0)
Constantine (7-2) @ Watervliet (8-1)
Bridgeman (6-3) @ Lawton (8-1)
Decatur (7-2) @ Hartford (7-2)
Springport (6-3) @ Gobles (7-2)
Colon (5-4) @ Mendon (9-0)
St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic (7-1) @ Climax-Scotts (9-0)
To see a complete list of all the playoff match-ups from around the state go to:http://www.mhsaa.com/Sports/Football/FootballPlayoff/tabid/751/id/1/view/default/Default.aspx