An in-depth look at Region One in the division two football playoffs

Jake Heilman, Sports Editor in Chief

Region One – District One

Traverse City Central Trojans (6-3) at Midland Chemics (8-1):

Traverse City returns to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, while Midland returns to the playoffs after missing the cut last season. Since their week one loss to Traverse City West, Midland has been playing sound football. Their high flying offense has averaged just over 37 points a game for the Chemics; however, the defense has had an up and down season, giving up point totals as high as 42. The Trojans come in with the four seed in District One, with slim margined losses to Traverse City West, Portage Central, and Birmingham Brother Rice respectively. This is another offense that has put up major numbers throughout the regular season, averaging 38 points a game. Look for a shootout Friday night at Midland.

Midland Dow Chargers (7-2) at Traverse City West Titans (8-1):

Traverse City Central was unstoppable through the first eight weeks of the season, putting up six weeks total this season with 40 points or more. Midland Dow has had the perfect blend of offense and defense, allowing only 17 points per game, while scoring just under 35 points per game. If Midland can win the small battles on the defensive side, Traverse City has shown they can buckle under the heat of a low scoring game. The Titans lost a stunning week nine game to Coldwater just last week, 24-9. If the Titans control the ball and move it down the field, the Chargers are going to have a difficult time keeping up Friday night.

Region One – District Two

Mattawan Wildcats (7-2) at Forest Hills Central Rangers (9-0):

Mattawan and FHC will be matching up for the first time in history on Friday night at Ranger Stadium. FHC has outscored their opponents an incredible 358-104 this year and has put together their first 9-0 season since 1992. Mattawan completely turned themselves around this season after a brutal 2-7 season in 2016. Mattawan has struggled defensively and has fallen to better opponents throughout the season. The Wildcats average margin of victory is just a shade above ten, while FHC’s runs just above 28. The Ranger defense will be a whole new level for the Wildcat offense, and major adjustments will need to be made if Mattawan wants to compete on the road against the second highest ranked playoff team in division two.

Portage Central Mustangs (7-2) at Muskegon Mona Shores Sailors (8-1):

Mona Shores is good. Very good. They have been blazing hot since the start of the season, with their only loss coming to the Big Reds of Muskegon. Portage has played above average football this season, with big wins against Battle Creek Lakeview and Portage Northern. Mona has gone to the playoffs now four out of the last five seasons and returns with arguably their best team ever. Portage will have their hands plenty full Friday night and will have to bring an excellent game plan if they want to stay in a battle at Mona Shores.