SPORTS GALORE: Crunch time for area football teams

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 4:05 pm on Friday, October 12, 2012

Wasn’t it just 90 degrees? Didn’t you just buy back-to-school supplies? Is it really week eight of the high school football season?

I don’t know how it feels to you, but I’m pretty sure I was just scrambling to finish The Daily News Fall Sports Preview last week or so. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Right now, all eyes are on the remaining two games of football’s regular season.

As of today, 129 schools have already qualified for one of the 256 spots open in the MHSAA football playoffs. Another 78 schools are within one win of qualifying for a spot.

Just three teams in The Daily News’ coverage area are still in the hunt for one of the remaining 127 playoff spots.

Here is a look at the possibilities of those three schools with my final season record prediction, as well:


The Eagles — currently 5-2 — are looking to qualify for their second playoff appearance (first one in 1999) in school history.

Up first is a road game at Ashley (3-4). The Bears have lost four straight and are 1-4 in  games against like opponents of the Eagles. Ashley has scored just 26 points in its last four games, but have given up 177 points.

Their final game is home against former CMAC rival Potterville (1-6). The Eagles defeated the Vikings 53-6 last year. The Vikings have scored just 43 points, while giving up 221.

Prediction: The Eagles win out to finish 7-2. It still may not be enough to host a game, but it ends years of football frustration.


The Wolverines — currently 5-2 — are looking for their first playoff appearance since 2007. Prior to that, Vestaburg made the postseason five consecutive seasons.

First, is a game at rival Montabella (3-4). Rivalry games are always a toss-up, but the Wolverines will also be looking for revenge after four straight defeats to the Mustangs. Vestaburg holds a slight advantage in performance against like opponents.

Vestaburg’s final game is home against Merrill (4-3). Merrill has posted two straight shutouts and three this season. The Vandals have played a tough schedule and have made the postseason six straight years. They too are alive for the postseason.

Prediction: I think the Wolverines get in, but they will have to defeat Montabella to do so. I see Vestaburg finishing at 6-3.


The Wildcats — currently 4-3 — and looking for their first playoff appearance since 2006.

Up first is White Cloud (0-7). The Indians have won just three games in their last four years of competition. Two of the wins were against Hesperia, which won just once in those two years. That should be enough to explain this game.

The second game is the tough one. Lakeview will host Big Rapids (6-1) for a chance to get into the playoffs. The Wildcats defeated the Cardinals 6-0 last year, but Big Rapids went just 2-7 a year ago. The Cardinals’ only loss this year was a 14-6 loss to unbeaten Reed City to open the season.

Prediction: Lakeview has had a great year, but will have to settle for a 5-4 record. Big Rapids will be too tough.

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