TC St. Francis vs.

Ishpeming Westwood

RECORDS: Traverse City St. Francis (11-0, No. 1); Ishpeming Westwood (10-1, No. 8)

WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.

WHERE: Thirlby Field

SERIES: The Gladiators and Patriots have never met.

RADIO/ONLINE: FM-89.9; nfhsnetwork.com

BACKGROUND: Of all that can be or should be said about Traverse City St. Francis, the Gladiators say it on the field week in and week out with their offense (50.2 PPG) and defense (13.6 PPG). St. Francis showed off both offense and defense when it enacted the rarely seen “super mercy” rule against McBain, building a 55-0 lead in the first half of the district final Saturday. A win puts the Glads in the state semis for the sixth time in the last 11 seasons. The Patriots’ 30-28 win against Charlevoix gave Ishpeming Westwood its first district title in program history. It was also the first game — win or loss — the Patriots have played that has been decided by less than two touchdowns since Oct. 4, 2019.

BRACKET BITS: The winner plays either Pewamo-Westphalia (11-0, No. 2) or Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port (9-2, unranked) in the state semifinals.


Kingsley vs. Frankenmuth

RECORDS: Kingsley (10-1, No. 7); Frankenmuth (11-0, No. 2)

WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.

WHERE: Frankenmuth Football Field

SERIES: The Stags and Eagles meet for the first time Saturday.

RADIO/ONLINE: FM-104.5; nfhsnetwork.com

BACKGROUND: The Stags head two-and-a-half hours southwest for a Saturday matinee. Kingsley has played all but two games this season under the Friday night lights. The others were played under the Thursday night lights, so the afternoon game will be a first in 2021. The Stags are coming off a 32-6 over Clare in the district final that head coach Tim Wooer called “Kingsley football” through and through. That means heavy on the run and solid defense from the offensive line to the defensive backs. Frankenmuth provides a major challenge. The Eagles have been nothing short of dominant this season, averaging 42 points per game while allowing just 9.2 in their 11 wins.

BRACKET BITS: The winner plays either Grand Rapids Catholic Central (11-0, No. 1) or Muskegon Oakridge (9-2, No. 10) in the state semifinals.


Suttons Bay vs. Rudyard

RECORDS: Suttons Bay (11-0, No. 4); Rudyard (9-2, unranked)

WHEN: Saturday, 2 p.m.

WHERE: Suttons Bay High School

SERIES: The Norsemen and Bulldogs meet for the first time Saturday.

BACKGROUND: A third straight trip to the state title bout for the Norsemen is on the line Saturday. Good homecooking continued for Suttons Bay on Friday when the Norse took down previously undefeated Inland Lakes 53-18. Suttons Bay has not lost a game on their own turf since Week Two of 2017. The Norsemen play host to Rudyard and hope to continue that streak. Suttons Bay has yet to allow more than 18 points in any game this season, and the offense has scored 45 or more in the last nine weeks. Rudyard’s 28-0 win against Newberry in the regional semis marked the first time the Bulldogs won multiple games in the same postseason since 1982.

BRACKET BITS: The winner plays either Adrian Lenawee Christian (11-0, No. 2) or Martin (11-0, No. 6) in the state championship game at the Superior Dome on Nov. 20.

Trending Video

Recommended for you