BLANCHARD — Montabella’s football team finished the season 8-1, and most people — including the players and coaches — thought the Mustangs would be the host for a first-round game.
Instead they find themselves traveling to Burton on Saturday to face the Bendle Tigers in the first round. Should the Mustangs win that game, they will most likely travel to Saginaw to face former Division 7 state champion Nouvel Catholic Central, who had an 8-0 record.
That’s because the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s playoff point system not only determines any teams that may be included in the playoffs that didn’t get six wins, but also determines who has home field advantage in the first three rounds of the playoffs.
Montabella had 61.778 playoff points, which was second-fewest in their division. Coleman had 54.556 for fewest, while Bendle had 66.667 and Nouvel 101.683. Because Nouvel had the most, they would host the second-round game as long as they beat Coleman Friday night.
A couple of the Mustangs thought they would get a home game because of their 8-1 record.
“I was disappointed because I thought with 8-1 we’d make it (to a home game),” Jeramee Gilman said. “But you’ve got to take what you got.”
“I thought we had a good enough season that it would get us at home, but that’s just the luck of the draw, I guess,” Travis Dunn said.
Montabella is hardly the only one to get a great record and not be at home.
In the same division, Lake City went 8-1 and has the fewest playoff points in their district.
In Division 5, Frankenmuth made it to the playoffs with a 6-3 record, so most figured they would be on the road. The Eagles are — at Flint Powers Catholic Central, who was only 5-4.
But none suffered the injustice of Division 8’s Saugatuck, who went undefeated and will have to play at one-loss Muskegon Catholic Central today.
vs. Evart W 34-32
vs. Coleman W 26-16
at Manistee CC W 22-20
vs. Sacred Heart L 6-35
at Ashley W 43-8
at Vestaburg W 32-26
vs. Onekama W 48-28
vs. Crossroads Academy W 68-3
at St. Louis W 40-7
Colors: Navy Blue and white
League: Mid-State Athletic Conference
Head coach: David Clay
Burton Bendle (8-1)
at New Lothrop L 13-63
vs. Flint Hamady W 46-38
at Dryden W 68-19
at Burton Bentley W 54-0
vs. Webberville W 42-0
vs. Morrice W 47-0
at Genesee W 41-0
vs. Byron Area W 36-28
vs. Burton Atherton W 47-0
Colors: Blue and gold
League: Genesee Area Conference-Blue
Head coach: Jerry Todd