Rematches highlight opening round of playoffs

Published 3:39 pm Monday, October 28, 2013

Dowagiac’s defense will have to do a better job of containing the Edwardsburg offense if it hopes to reverse its Week 8 36-0 loss to the Eddies. Leader File Photo

Dowagiac’s defense will have to do a better job of containing the Edwardsburg offense if it hopes to reverse its Week 8 36-0 loss to the Eddies. Leader File Photo

Dowagiac and Edwardsburg won’t have to scrounge for game film on each other in preparation for Friday night’s Division 4 playoff opener.

The two teams played two weeks ago with the Eddies coming away with a 36-0 victory over the Chieftains and an undisputed Wolverine Conference West Division championship.

Edwardsburg (9-0) went on to complete the school’s first undefeated season with a wild 56-48 win over previously undefeated Paw Paw Friday night.

Dowagiac (6-3) finished the regular season with a two-game losing streak after falling to Otsego 35-20.

None of that will matter this week when the two teams collide hoping to extend their seasons.

The team that Edwardsburg puts on the field against the Chieftains may look totally different from the one that helped hand Dowagiac the lopsided victory.

The Eddies lost Garret Bronkema and Tyler Lutz during that game to concussions. Both will go to the doctor this week to see if they will be allowed to return to the field.

In the victory Friday night, Edwardsburg lost leading rusher Dylan Hulett to a high ankle sprain and starting quarterback Brett Bowman to a knee injury.

Hulett is doubtful for the contest, while Edwardsburg coach Kevin Bartz is still awaiting word on Bowman.

The Eddies will also be without cornerback Grant Szalewski, who suffered a fractured shoulder blade bone in the win over the Redskins.

The winner of Friday night’s rematch will face either Paw Paw or Battle Creek Pennfield in the district championship game.

Both teams enter the contest at 8-1. An Edwardsburg victory would have the winner of that contest travelling to Leo Hoffman Field, while a Dowagiac victory would send the Chieftains to the site of the winning team.


Division 6

In another rematch, this one from last year’s opening round of the state playoffs, Brandywine will host perennial playoff power Schoolcraft Friday night.

The Bobcats are in the post season for a second straight year after finishing 8-1.

Brandywine’s lone loss came in Week 8 when Cassopolis, a Division 7 playoff qualifier, upset the Bobcats 35-12 for a piece of the Lakeland Conference championship.

In the 41-8 loss to the then No. 2-ranked undefeated Eagles, Brandywine turned the ball over four times, which lead to 21 points for Schoolcraft.

The Eagles are 8-1 this season and are in the midst of a six-game winning streak. Schoolcraft’s lone loss came at the hands of Olivet, a playoff qualifier, in Week 3.

Brandywine hasn’t had much trouble holding onto the football this season with the exception of the Cassopolis game.

Defensively, the Bobcats are allowing just 10.3 points per game, while on offense, Brandywine can both run and throw the football.

Junior quarterback Andrew Duckett, a dual threat, has thrown for more than 780 yards with 16 touchdowns, while Marty Ward Jr. is the team’s leading rusher with 989 yards. He has 13 touchdowns.

In the other half of the bracket is a pair of Southwestern Athletic Conference teams in Hartford (6-3) and Watervliet (9-0).

If the Bobcats and Panthers win, then Brandywine would travel to Watervliet for the district championship game. A Hartford victory would give the Bobcats another home game.


Division 7

Sparked by the upset of Brandywine in Week 8, the Cassopolis Rangers completed their push for the postseason with a 44-0 win over White Pigeon in the regular season finale Friday night.

The Rangers finished the regular season on a three-game winning streak. Their reward is a first-round game with Lake Michigan Catholic (7-2) Friday night at William F. Scott Field.

The Rangers would love nothing better than to have Bridgman defeat Decatur in the other half at the bracket so they could get another crack at the Bees.

Cassopolis led 21-3 in its contest with Bridgman before lightning forced a lengthy delay. The Bees rallied in the fourth quarter to edge the Rangers 22-21.

Cassopolis is in the post season for the seventh time in the last eight years and are the No. 1 seed in their district.

A Ranger win would allow Cassopolis to play the first two rounds of the playoffs at home.

All three playoff games are set for Friday night with kickoff at 7 p.m.


MHSAA Playoff Pairings

Division 4

Region 2

District 1
Otsego (6-3) 59.333 at Grand Rapids South Christian (8-1) 89.556
Grand Rapids Catholic Central (6-3) 65.556 at Allendale (7-1) 86.667

District 2
Dowagiac (6-3) 59.111 at Edwardsburg (9-0) 96.000
Battle Creek Pennfield (8-1) 74.556 at Paw Paw (8-1) 80.889


Division 6

Region 3

District 1
Montague (6-3) 54.556 at Shelby (8-1) 77.222
Grandville Calvin Christian (6-3) 58.444 at Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian (8-1) 77.111

District 2
Hartford (6-3) 45.222 at Watervliet (9-0) 76.444
Schoolcraft (8-1) 74.556 at Niles Brandywine (8-1) 75.111


Division 7

Region 3

District 1
St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic (6-2) 47.889 at Cassopolis (6-3) 55.810
Bridgman (6-3) 48.403 at Decatur (6-3) 49.333

District 2
Reading (6-3) 42.889 at Homer (8-1) 70.111
Springport (6-3) 48.333 at Lawton (8-1) 62.222

Region 4

District 1
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett (5-4) 41.111 at Southfield Christian (8-1) 64.778
Royal Oak Shrine Catholic (6-3) 57.778 at Madison Heights Bishop Foley (6-3) 59.000

District 2
Melvindale Academy for Business & Tech (5-4) 40.111 at Detroit Loyola (9-0) 106.667

Britton Deerfield (6-3) 52.000 at Hudson (8-1) 69.111