Football: Pioneers make playoffs; face undefeated Woodhaven on Friday

The Pioneer football team has spent the last three weeks trying to get that sixth win and get into the MHSAA playoffs – in the end it didn’t matter.

Pioneer’s 5-4 record against a strong schedule earned the purple and white a trip to the postseason. The Pioneers will play at Woodhaven on Friday night in a Division 1 game. The Warriors went 9-0 during the regular season to earn a home playoff game.

It is Pioneers’ first trip to the postseason since 2015.

The Pioneers won four of its first six games despite letting the Chelsea game slip away on the last play of the game. But losses to Bedford and Saline kept them from even getting a fifth win. Pioneer crushed Ypsilanti 42-18 on Friday to earn its fifth win of the season and hope that was good enough for a ticket to ride down, as it turns out, I-94.    

Pioneer finished 3-2 in the tough SEC Red Division and scored 152 points on the season while allowing 160.

Other playoff games of note include Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard (5-4) at Whitmore Lake (7-2) in a Division 5 District 1 Region 4 game; Dexter (8-1) will host Livonia Churchill (5-4) in Division 2; Saline (8-1) will play at Belleville (9-0) in Division 1; Parma Western (7-2) at Chelsea (9-0) in Division 3; and Pinckney (7-2) at Coldwater (8-1) in Division 3.

A record 54 schools with the highest playoff averages were added to fill out the field of 256 teams. Schools were then put in order by enrollment with the largest placed in Division 1 and the next 32 in Division 2 until eight divisions were created.

Only 202 schools won six or more games this past season.

Each District features four teams and each Region has eight teams. Teams in each District are ranked by playoff point average. The team with the highest playoff average will host the first three weeks.