It is now playoff time, which means I’ll be picking local playoff games for the next five weeks (well, I hope to). From now until the end of the playoffs, I will be making picks on ALL the games in the state. The first picks will be from the games 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: 6-0 (1.000)
Season: 296-74 (.800)
@ Zeeland West 38, Paw Paw 20 (7 PM, Friday): Paw Paw will take the road for the first time in the playoffs, but it comes at 11-0 and state-ranked Zeeland West. The Dux are quite possibly the favorite in Division 4 right now to win state, thanks in a large part to a ball-hogging Wing-T offense. The Dux possess two 900-yard rushers, a 700-yard rusher and a 450-yard rusher. They have also thrown for 600 more yards, too. All in all, Paw Paw has to hit everyone, EVERYONE. Paw Paw has scored 40 points per game this season. Zeeland West, 48 points. Favorite at home are the Dux.
@ Lansing Catholic 31, Dowagiac 21 (7 PM, Friday @ Holt): Dowagiac may have faced Parchment and Hopkins, but Lansing Catholic is a major step up in the competition level for the Chieftains. Not saying that Dowagiac can’t win, but they must step up the defensive effort. Why? Lansing Catholic has some big time players in their pass offense. Last week, 23-of-36 passing, 363 yards passing, five touchdowns. Since only scoring 21 in the opener, Catholic has scored 37, 52, 46, 61, 48, 49, 56, 55 and 50 points. Going for Dowagiac? They run a very similar offense and the fact Lansing Catholic has dug big holes early in games this playoff year (14-0 against Olivet, 21-0 against Portland). Dowagiac won’t let them unbury themselves.
@ Grass Lake 28, Constantine 27 (1 PM, Saturday): Another close one for Constantine this week, however, I see it on the losing end. If you consider Constantine has won 28-21 (over Hartford, Hartford threatened to pull an upset) and 37-30 in double overtime last week over Schoolcraft (Schoolcraft led 23-13 late in the fourth quarter), Constantine’s been challenged. All Grass Lake has done is start 11-0, score 30 or more points in seven games and beat two opponents twice. Constantine can win if their offense is solid. Grass Lake has given up 20 or more points in five games.
@ Pewamo-Westphalia 30, Watervliet 24 (1 PM, Saturday): I’m picking this as a “coin flip” and possible upset on the road this week for Watervliet. Why? I think Pewamo-Westphalia may have the athletes on offense, but defensively, they may have trouble covering the spread. Watervliet likes the fast pace, Pewamo-Westphalia likes to chew up clock. Watervliet can win if they score early and often, however, they have struggled early in games so far and Pewamo-Westphalia is not 11-0 for nothing. Pewamo-Westphalia wins based on home field, their stud run offense and the fact their defense has averaged just 8.5 points allowed through eleven games.
@ Mendon 38, Climax-Scotts 28 (1 PM, Saturday): Mendon, by far, is the more challenged team in this game in this postseason (hence, Muskegon Catholic Central last week). Climax-Scotts is a lethal playoff team, but you know heading into Mendon, if you don’t hit everyone on the field in green and white, you’re getting beat. Just ask the Crusaders. Twice they forgot about Chance Nightingale and twice, he had 50+ yard TD runs. Mendon wins at home.
REST OF THE STATE
@ Rockford 31, Grand Blanc 21
@ Detroit Catholic Central 38, Ann Arbor Pioneer 20
@ Utica Eisenhower 41, Walled Lake Central 14
@ Warren DeLaSalle 31, Detroit Cass Tech 28
@ Lowell 38, Fenton 28
@ Port Huron 28, Walled Lake Western 13
Birmingham Brother Rice 38, @ Southfield 17
Detroit Martin Luther King 41, @ Wyandotte Roosevelt 37
@ Mount Pleasant 31, East Lansing 24
East Grand Rapids 41, @ Holland 31
@ Battle Creek Harper Creek 37, Adrian 20
@ Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s 48, Linden 14
@ Comstock Park 34, Alma 30
@ Battle Creek Pennfield 41, Grosse Ile 30
Detroit Crockett 48, @ Marine City 41
@ Grand Rapids West Catholic 34, Menominee 31
@ Almont 28, Jackson Lumen Christi 14
Flint Powers Catholic 38, @ Hemlock 24
@ Iron Mountain 35, Morley-Stanwood 27
@ Ithaca 41, Montague 21
@ Warren Michigan Collegiate 38, Ecorse 10
@ Traverse City Saint Francis 27, Ispheming 22
@ Saginaw Nouvel 31, Harbor Beach 17
Hudson 38, @ Detroit Loyola 35
Crystal Falls Forest Park 38, @ Saint Ignace LaSalle 28
@ Fowler 24, Beal City 14
@ New Lothrop 38, Petersburg-Summerfield 14