Chippewa Hills (6-3) at Cadillac (9-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Just a look at the playoffs points shows how much of an underdog the Warriors will be against Cadillac. Chip Hills has 51.222 and Cadillac almost twice that at 98.889. The Vikings have racked up 35.5 points a game with an offense led by speedy quarterback Jalen Brooks and given up 14.2, while Chippewa Hills has scored 23.7 a contest and surrendered 18.4. However, all three teams the Warriors lost to are also in the playoffs and had 7-2, 8-1 and 9-0 records.
Ogemaw Heights (6-3) at Cheboygan (7-2), Saturday, 1 p.m.
The Chiefs have won six of their last seven, while Ogemaw has won three of its last four, including a 13-12 squeaker over Petoskey to close out the regular season and lock up a postseason bid. But out of the two teams’ 13 combined wins, each has just one against a team that will be playing this weekend. This Saturday contest will allow the winner of Friday’s Chippewa Hills-Cadillac game to scout out their next opponent in person.
Kingsford (7-2) at Grayling (8-1), Saturday, 1 p.m.
With an 8-1 record, Grayling gets what it couldn’t in last season’s undefeated campaign — a home playoff game. The Flivvers won last year’s playoff game between the same two teams 36-14 — in Kingsford. The Vikings have scored 30 points in every game this season but their lone loss to Traverse City St. Francis, but have also given up an average of 19.1. Kingsford’s only losses have come against much larger Division 2 Marquette (5-3) and undefeated Menominee.
Kingsley (6-3) at Standish-Sterling (7-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
Kingsley comes into this game looking for its first playoff victory since 2006. And the Stags will have a tough road to accomplish that. Standish-Sterling is 7-1, and their only loss came against Division 4 playoff team Ogemaw Heights in Week 7. The Stags, meanwhile, are 6-0 when they score 21 points.
Kalkaska (6-3) at Gladwin (7-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
This is the first time these two programs have ever met on the football field. The Flying G’s won their last four regular-season games to earn a first-round home date. A narrow 13-12 Week Nine loss to Elk Rapids cost the Blazers a shot at a home contest, but Kalkaska has won four of its last six and are 3-0 against non-Lake Michigan Conference foes this year.
Inland Lakes (6-3) at Negaunee (8-1), Saturday, 1 p.m.
The Ski Valley North runner-up Bulldogs are seeking their first playoff victory since an 18-13 win over Hillman in 1995. Inland Lakes has held opponents to single digits three times this season and are facing a Negaunee team that has accomplished that feat five times this season and won a postseason game in four of the last five seasons. It’s the first meeting between the two programs.
Mancelona (7-2) at Ishpeming (9-0), Saturday, 1 p.m.
The Hematites have only had one close game all season — and that was a 28-24 win over 8-1 Negaunee, which was also the only time Ishpeming has surrendered more than 13 points this season. These teams have tangled twice before in the playoffs, with the Hematites claiming both convincingly, winning 32-0 in 2012 and 38-6 in 2010. But after starting the season 0-2, Mancelona has rebounded to reel off seven consecutive victories, including three over playoff teams (Johannesburg-Lewiston, Pickford and Inland Lakes).
McBain (5-4) at Lincoln-Alcona (9-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
In six of nine times since 2000 that the Ramblers made the playoffs, they won a postseason game. They’ll have a tough task today against the district’s top seed and undefeated Lincoln-Alcona. McBain started out 4-1, but lost three of its last four. Only Whittemore-Prescott has scored more than 14 points against the Tigers this season. Their schedule included only three teams with winning records 6-3 Whittemore-Prescott, 5-4 Atlanta and 7-2 Mio, but Alcona routed Mio 50-12 and Atlanta 51-0.
Whittemore-Prescott (6-3) at Lake City (8-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
Highland Conference runner-up Lake City gave up only six points in the season’s first six weeks, and the only team to get the best of the Trojans — Beal City — is in a different division. Whittemore averages giving up three times as many points (18) each time out as the Trojans did combined in the season’s first half dozen contests. It wouldn’t be a big stretch to see Lake City meeting Ishpeming in the regional final.
Atlanta (5-4) at Johannesburg-Lewiston (7-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
Johannesburg has tightened up its defense and hasn’t given up 20 points in the last six weeks — all victories, not coincidentally — after surrendering an average of 31 in a 1-2 start. The Cardinals have won 20 straight games against the Huskies since Atlanta’s last win in the series in 1992. And Joburg has won by an average score of 40.6-9.25 in the last two decades, although the two have never met in the postseason.
Bellaire (5-4) at Kinde-North Huron (6-3), Saturday, 3 p.m.
Bellaire skidded into the playoffs, losing its final three regular-season contests — although those three setbacks came to teams with a combined 22-5 record. North Huron notched its first eight-man playoff win last year with a 14-8 win over Peck before a second-round exit. Meanwhile, Bellaire has four playoff wins and two eight-man state championship appearances in the last three years.