By Scott Nason
“The Game” ESPN 1400
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, area high school football teams are fighting for playoff positioning and just getting into the playoffs, with the Michigan High School Athletic Associations new playoff points format. Here is a recap of last week’s action.
Traverse City St. Francis 42, Sault 28
The Sault High Blue Devils fell to undefeated Traverse City St. Francis on Friday night at AJ VanCitters Field, 42-28. The Blue Devils have dropped two straight and sit at 4-3 on the season, currently out of the MHSAA playoff picture. They will need to win their final two games and hope for some favorable results, with other teams that are chasing the postseason. Both games will be on the road, starting on Friday where they travel to Benzie Central. You can hear that game on 1230 WSOO with Dave Watson, starting with the kick-off show around 6:35 p.m. The Blue Devils will end their regular season a week from Friday at Gladstone. As of Week 7 and the MHSAA Playoff points the Blue Devils are currently 39th in D4, you need to be 32 or higher to make the postseason. The Blue Devils have 31.286 playoff points. If the playoffs started today in Division 4 Region 1, Cadillac would be the 1 seed hosting Ada Forest Hills Eastern. And the 2-3 matchup would see Grand Rapids Christian at home to Sparta. The 4 seed Forest Hills Eastern has 37.286 points, so the Blue Devils will need to win two and hope for a lot of the teams ahead of them to falter. With the teams remaining on the Sault High schedule both being Division 6, it makes little room for error in their playoff hopes.
St. Ignace 27, Manistique 8
The St. Ignace Saints have won two straight, after dropping their first five games, as they topped Manistique on the road on Friday, 27-8. St. Ignace now 2-5 on the season will be home to Oscoda Friday night.
Pickford 34, Newberry 28 (ot)
The game of the week in 8-player football was in Newberry on Friday night, as the Pickford Panthers knocked off the Newberry Indians, 34-28 in overtime, in Great Lakes Eight East Division Play. Pickford now 6-1 on the season will be at home Friday, taking on the Cedarville-DeTour Islanders. You can hear that game on Country 105 with Scott Nason on Friday night, starting with the pregame show around 6:45. Before the game there will be a field dedication ceremony for former Athletic Director, Chuck Bennin, who passed away earlier this year. Newberry now 5-2 on the season, will be at Engadine on Friday night.
Rudyard 49, Engadine 12
In the EUP Game of the Week this past Friday on Country 105, the Rudyard Bulldogs scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions, and cruised to a 49-12 win over the winless Engadine Eagles. Rudyard now 5-2 and trying to get back in the playoff picture, will be at Gaylord St. Marys on Friday, while Engadine (0-7) will be home to Newberry.
In other high school football from Friday night, Cedarville-DeTour dropped a 30-12 decision at home to Gaylord St. Mary’s and are 1-5 on the season going into Friday’s game at Pickford. Brimley fell at Ironwood, 38-30, to fall to 2-5 on the season and will be at Superior Central on Saturday afternoon.
Looking at the playoff picture in 8-player football Division 1, with that big overtime win in Newberry, the Pickford Panthers would be the top seeded team in Region 1, and would host Newberry if the playoffs started today. The 2-3 matchup in that region would be Ontonagon at Munising. Rudyard currently is in 18th position with 24.357 points and just one point out of the playoffs.
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