It is now playoff time, which means I’ll be picking local playoff games for the next five weeks (well, I hope to). After the second round of the playoffs, I will begin making picks on ALL the games in the state. Until then, games posted will be within my seven county window (Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, Saint Joseph and Van Buren) and will cover ALL games. For the playoffs, the games are in order by Division and District order.
Last Week: 13-4 (.765)
Season: 290-74 (.797)
@ Paw Paw 31, Plainwell 17: After Plainwell’s shocking win over Edwardsburg, Paw Paw may have got the opening it needed to get to Regionals. Plainwell, however, poses a stern test. Paw Paw won the regular season battle, giving up only a safety, in a 21-2 decision. While I see more points, home field favors Paw Paw. The Redskins SHOULD win, but if Paw Paw can’t stop the rush (Plainwell had 489 yards rushing last week), could be a different story.
@ Dowagiac 34, Hopkins 24: It’s Dowagiac’s game to win at home. However, Hopkins poses a opposing test at 7-3 overall (1-3 outside of conference). However, Dowagiac is a stronger test than Berrien Springs (Lakeland curse, huh?). Both teams pose a offensive dual-threat (pass/rush), however, I feel Hopkins defense is a little more vulnerable to the big play then Dowagiac. The Chieftains should keep the Vikings in check.
@ Constantine 28, Schoolcraft 20: Yes, after much and much flip-flopping, I’m taking the Falcons at home in this one. Sure, the score above is just one point difference from the week nine 28-21 Constantine win and I believe it will still be THAT close. Schoolcraft’s plan of attack to win is to wear down the Constantine defense. It was showing cracks last week against Hartford. Only problem? Constantine’s offense should show back up after a sub-par Hartford performance.
@ Watervliet 34, Lawton 14: This all Southwestern Athletic Conference district gets a champion this week–and it should be Watervliet. This game was a 33-0 road win for Watervliet in the regular season and those were in tumultuous conditions (delayed one day, then windy the next day). Watervliet struggled to find early traction against Decatur, where it was a 0-0 game after three and a 6-0 Decatur lead in the fourth. Knowing it is a big game, Watervliet steps up.
@ Mendon 24, Muskegon Catholic Central 21: The “WOW” factor is this game, this week. Why? Both of these teams will, most likely, be playing favorite for the state title this week. Mendon wants it worse than Catholic Central in this one. Why? Two straight regional final losses to Hudson. A packed John Schwartz Field. And a desire to put those two road losses behind them, gives them more than enough desire to win. Besides, Saugatuck, without Brad Speet last week, wasn’t the Saugatuck from this season.
@ Climax-Scotts 24, Pittsford 17: Second straight match up for Climax-Scotts with teams from the Southern Central Athletic Association, this time, it’s Pittsford. Like I said last week, Climax-Scotts always, ALWAYS finds ways to win playoff time. Last week, they didn’t play their best, winning 30-16. This game between these two teams was 20-14 (Climax-Scotts win) in the regular season and the point spread shouldn’t be much more than that, but the win? It stays with the Panthers.