A Game for Every Fan: Playoffs Week 2

November 5, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor


Emotions run high by nature during the football playoffs. But this weekend’s schedule of 11-player District Finals and 8-player Regional Finals is especially charged.


Rivalry games dominate this second round of the postseason as teams that competed for league titles meet again for another trophy – or in the case of Division 8, contenders for an MHSAA title a few years ago find themselves on the field together again.


See below for some of the most intriguing from this week’s list, and follow all weekend on the MHSAA Score Center for results as they come in and updated brackets. Watch as well four games at once Friday on Fox Sports Detroit’s Prep Zone, and catch another marquee matchup live on MHSAA.tv with subscription. All games below are Friday unless noted. 


Division 1


Romeo (9-1) at Lapeer (10-0)


Lapeer is 20-1 in two seasons as a program after the merger of the former Lapeer West and East in 2014. Its lone loss was by three in last fall’s District Final to eventual champion Clarkston – and after the Lightning beat Romeo by eight in the playoff opener. Romeo earned this rematch by ending Clarkston’s reign last week, but its defense – giving up a meager 6.5 points per game – should receive its toughest challenge since Lapeer put up 23 last season. 


Others that caught my eye: Brighton (9-1) at Grand Ledge (10-0), Hudsonville (7-3) at Rockford (7-3), Ann Arbor Pioneer (7-3) at Saline (9-0), Utica Eisenhower (7-3) at Macomb Dakota (8-2), Saturday.


Division 2


Muskegon (8-2) at Muskegon Mona Shores (10-0), Saturday


This gets higher billing than the matchup below between undefeated teams because it might be the state’s most anticipated game regardless of division. More than 10,000 fans watched Mona Shores’ 21-18 win over the Big Reds in Week 8, and an additional few thousand are anticipated for Saturday’s 5 p.m. kickoff. Last time, Mona Shores jumped out to a 21-3 third-quarter lead before Muskegon came back with two scores during the fourth. This one should stay closer from the start.


Others that caught my eye: Midland Dow (9-1) at Fenton (9-1), Birmingham Groves (10-0) at Walled Lake Western (10-0), Detroit East English (8-2) at Grosse Pointe South (7-3), Southfield (7-3) at Berkley (8-2).


Division 3


Edwardsburg (10-0) at St. Joseph (9-1)


The Eddies already scored one for the Wolverine B Conference over the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference by eliminating Stevensville Lakeshore last week. Now they get SMAC West co-champ St. Joseph, and on the road. The Bears’ only loss this season was to Lakeshore, by a pair of scores in Week 4, but they closed the regular season with three wins over playoff teams over the final month. 


Others that caught my eye: Zealand East (7-3) at East Grand Rapids (7-3), St. Johns (7-3) at DeWitt (9-1), Chelsea (9-1) at Trenton (9-1), Vicksburg (8-2) at Coldwater (10-0).


Division 4


Comstock Park (8-2) at Ada Forest Hills Eastern (9-1)


Forest Hills Eastern can take the next step in a record-setting season that’s already seen the Hawks win their most games ever and first in the playoffs – and come within three points of being undefeated. Offense should reign. Forest Hills Eastern runs well and Comstock Park gave up more than 200 yards to Swan Valley’s leading rusher last week, and the Panthers are dangerous throwing and running and could find some gaps in an FHE defense giving up 19 points per game.


Others that caught my eye: Benton Harbor (6-4) at Zeeland West (10-0), Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (8-2) at Richmond (9-1), Big Rapids (7-3) at Remus Chippewa Hills (8-2), Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (9-1) at Detroit Country Day (9-1), Saturday.


Division 5


Lansing Catholic (9-1) at Portland (10-0)


This either will be the first and only loss for a Portland team seeking its second MHSAA championship in four seasons, or final game for a Lansing Catholic group that came within five points of winning Division 5 a year ago – and will graduate University of Minnesota quarterback recruit Tony Poljan. Portland won their regular-season matchup 28-6 in Week 4, but can’t expect the Cougars to repeat an uncharacteristic four turnovers. They’ve both been impressive since; Lansing Catholic entered the postseason with wins over playoff teams Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central by a combined 77-23, while Portland allowed only Marshall to come closer than 22 points and held a record-setting Stockbridge offense to only 18 last week.


Others that caught my eye: Grand Rapids West Catholic (8-2) at Reed City (10-0), Frankenmuth (9-1) at Freeland (10-0), Berrien Springs (9-1) at Buchanan (10-0), Almont (8-2) at Algonac (9-1).


Division 6


Montague (10-0) vs. Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian (10-0) at Comstock Park


The Wildcats have nearly come all the way back to their former roost among the elite after going 2-7 a year ago. But NorthPointe Christian provides a substantial obstacle as Montague pursues its first District title since 2011. NorthPointe’s only loss in the last 19 games came last season in an MHSAA Semifinal, and it’s giving up only 7.6 points per game.


Others that caught my eye: Sanford Meridian (10-0) at Ithaca (10-0), Jackson Lumen Christi (7-3) at Manchester (9-1), Clinton (10-0) at Madison Heights Madison (9-1), Calumet (8-2) at Boyne City (9-1), Saturday.


Division 7


Flint Beecher (7-2) at New Lothrop (10-0)


Beecher easily is the smallest school on its side of the Genesee Area Conference, the only Class C school in a Red group of otherwise all Class B. This matchup will satisfy some curiosity, as New Lothrop hasn’t lost a game in the Class C-dominated GAC Blue since 2009 – and in Week 8 defeated Flint Hamady 49-0. Beecher just edged Hamady 30-28 to open the playoffs last week.


Others that caught my eye: Saugatuck (10-0) at Pewamo-Westphalia (10-0), Class City (8-2) at Sandusky (10-0), Dansville (9-1) at Homer (8-2), Cassopolis (8-2) at Bridgman (9-1).


Division 8


Muskegon Catholic Central (7-2) at Beal City (9-1), Saturday


One of these two has played in the Division 8 Final the last three seasons, and they met in the 2013 championship game, a 35-12 MCC win. This Crusaders’ team has a much different lineup than the one that won back-to-back championships the last two seasons, but new players gained valuable experience in losses to Division 5 Muskegon Oakridge and Division 4 Detroit Country Day. Beal City has a few who were part of the 2013 loss, setting this up as a potential classic as they seek a different result.


Others that caught my eye: Onekama (9-1) at Frankfort (8-2), Crystal Falls Forest Park (6-3) vs. Bark River-Harris (8-2) at Northern Michigan University's Superior Dome, Ottawa Lake Whiteford (8-2) at Morenci (8-2), St. Ignace (9-1) at Johannesburg-Lewiston (9-1).




Lawrence (8-2) at Battle Creek St. Philip (10-0)


St. Philip regained the upper hand on Lawrence in Week 9 after three straight losses – and now has to keep it as the favorite to follow Lawrence as the 8-player champion. St. Philip won that meeting two weeks ago only 47-44 but led by 14 points halfway through the first quarter and by 15 points heading into the fourth. Lawrence obviously can score quickly, meaning this one should again come down to the final minutes.


Other Regional Finals: Rapid River (7-3) at Powers North Central (10-0), Cedarville (8-2) at Posen (10-0), Deckerville (9-1) at Morrice (9-1).


PHOTO: Lapeer has 20 wins over the last two seasons, including against Saginaw Heritage this fall. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.) 

Ubly Offense, Kicker Pile Up Record Book Listings During Championship Run

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

April 12, 2024

Ubly finished a combined 27-1 over the last two seasons, following up a Division 8 runner-up run in 2022 with its first MHSAA Finals championship this past November. And the Bearcats stacked plenty of record book performances along the way.

Individually, senior Brett Mueller made the single-season extra point list again this past season with 76 in 81 tries, and he set the MHSAA career record with 220 extra points over 232 attempts, 40 games and three seasons. He has signed with Saginaw Valley State.

As a team, Ubly was added to the record book 13 times for achievements over the last two years, most notably in the rushing game. The Bearcats topped 5,200 total yards both seasons, and also made the rush yardage list twice including with a sixth-best 5,148 in 2022. Their 90 touchdowns in 2022 rank seventh all-time, and their 85 this past fall tied for 13th, and they tied the record with 10 rushing touchdowns in a 2022 win over Reese and set another record with 84 rushing touchdowns total that season.

See below for more recent record book additions in 11-player football, and click the heading to see the record book in full:

11-Player Football

Dundee’s Ben Miller has a pair of basketball record book entries, and he’s also been added in football for scoring seven touchdowns in his team’s 72-36 win over Erie Mason on Oct. 20, 2017. A senior that season, he ran for five scores and caught two touchdowns passes.

Nearly four decades later, Howard City Tri County’s Mike Wagoner has reached the record book for his work on defense in 1985. A junior that season, Wagoner returned three interceptions for touchdowns – 65, 55 and 35 yards – which would have been second on the list at the time and remains tied for third-most for one season.

Jaxon Lippert tops the list of 21 who have returned kickoffs 99 yards. Lippert, now a senior at Walled Lake Western, joined the list against Davison during his junior season.

A handful of records from Warren De La Salle Collegiate’s recent run of Ford Field teams and also one from decades ago were added. Jake Badalamenti was added three times for kickoff returns between 96-99 yards, one as a junior in 2016 and two as a senior the following fall, and Marty Wyzlic was added for his 95-yarder in 1976. Mason Muragin is the new leader for tackles for loss in a career with 71 over three seasons, and he also was added to the single-season list with 31 as a junior in 2021, as was Will Beasley for 38 as a junior in 2020. Wayne Wright was added for his 16 sacks over nine games as a senior in 1984, and Josh Cox was added for his 100-yard interception return as a senior in 2012. Muragin plays at Illinois, Beesley plays at Princeton, Cox played at Central Michigan, and Badalamenti played baseball at Wayne State.

Pinckney junior Nolan Carruthers caught 16 passes during a 13-7 loss to Jackson on Sept. 15, good to tie for ninth-most in one game and breaking the Livingston County record of 14 by Hartland’s Greg Matthyssen in 2007 – a listing that also was added.

Ethan Wissner did some major lifting, or rather carrying, during Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker’s 28-14 District Final win over Montrose in 2022. The then-senior ran 42 times to make the record book, for 289 yards and three touchdowns. He’s continuing at Siena Heights.

Senior quarterback Andrew Schuster and junior receiver DeShaun Lanier formed a game-changing pass-catch combo this past season for Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, with Schuster finishing his career with nine record book listings and Lanier totaling six with a season to play. Schuster most notably was added for 212 completions on 301 attempts for 2,766 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, and 321 completions and 4,199 career yards over two years and 22 games. Lanier was added in part for 73 receptions for 1,132 yards and 15 TDs this fall. Junior kicker Juliano Haddad also earned impressive mentions with 10 field goals and 50 extra points – and he’ll carry a streak of 35 straight extra points into next fall. Schuster has committed to Grand Valley State.

Fulton’s Evan Barton has been added to the single-game touchdowns list after catching four scoring passes Sept. 8, 2017, against Potterville. He was a senior that season.

Saginaw Heritage’s Braylon Isom completed his career this past fall as arguably the most accomplished receiver in MHSAA history. His name is listed in the record book eight times, with career records of 3,837 receiving yards and 52 touchdowns over 34 games and four seasons, and with a single-season record 26 touchdowns this past fall over 12 games. His 91 career receptions rank fifth, and he’s also listed for 82 catches and 1,617 yards (seventh-most) as a senior and 1,428 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. He will continue at Miami (Ohio).

Evart’s 24-8 run over the last three seasons has been its most successful of the MHSAA playoff era, and senior quarterback Preston Wallace has played an enormous part. He finished his 33-game career in the fall – he came up for one game as a freshman – on record book lists twice for single-season passing yards and touchdowns and on career lists for 662 attempts, 421 completions, 6,955 yards and 88 passing touchdowns over those 32 games and three seasons. The yardage ranks 15th all-time, and the touchdowns are tied for sixth-most for one career.  

The 2005 Midland Bullock Creek team was added for scoring 547 points over 12 games. The Lancers finished 11-1, their only loss in a Division 5 Regional Final.

PHOTO Ubly's Seth Maurer (30) carries the ball during the Division 8 championship win over Ottawa Lake Whiteford in November.