Are you ready for some football – playoff football?
The local teams found out their opponents for the first week of the 2020 MHSAA playoffs in which every team that played at least four regular-season games qualified. And it’s not going to be easy – but the playoffs never are easy.
The District first-round playoffs are Oct. 29-31.
Pairings for the first four weeks of the tournament are based on regular-season playoff point averages, with the highest-ranked team hosting, regardless of the distance between the two schools. For District First Round and Regional First Round play, the top-seeded team in each bracket will host the eighth-seeded team; and the second-seeded team will host the seventh-seeded team, etc.
Pioneer, Huron and Skyline are all in Division 1, District 2 and all three will be playing on the road.
Pioneer drew top-seeded Saline. The Hornets lost only once this season while the Pioneers have played hard but haven’t found the win column.
Huron, which finished 2-2 with wins over Pioneer and Flat Rock, head west to play at Kalamazoo Central (2-4).
Skyline (1-4) plays at Holt (2-3). The Eagles opened the season with a win over Pioneer but have lost four straight games.
The other game in the District is Kalamazoo Loy Norrix (0-6) at Grand Ledge (4-2).
In Division 5, District 38, Father Gabriel Richard (2-1) will host Dundee (1-5). The Irish won tie-breaker with Grosse Ile (opponents’ winning percentage). Grosse Ile hosts Monroe Jefferson.
Other games of note include: Ypsilanti Lincoln (3-3) at Dexter (4-2); Ypsilanti Community (3-3) at Dearborn Heights Crestwood (5-1); Redford Thurston (1-4) at Chelsea (6-0).
For the first time this season, all 11-player teams were divided into eight divisions before play began. Because of the shortened 2020 regular season due to COVID-19, all 11-player teams were then divided into Districts of up to eight teams each, then paired into four regions.
District Semifinals for 11-player and Regional Semifinals for 8-player will follow during the weekend of Nov. 6-7, and the weekend of Nov. 13-14 will have District Finals in the 11-Player Playoffs and Regional Finals in the 8-Player Playoffs. Both rounds will be played at the site of the highest-ranked team which was victorious in the previous round of play.
Regional Finals in the 11-Player Playoffs will take place Nov. 20-21, at the site of the highest-ranked team that was victorious in District Final play.
Semifinal games in the 11-Player Playoffs will take place Nov. 27-28, pairing the winners of Region 1 vs. Region 2 and the winners of Region 3 vs. Region 4. Highest-ranked teams will host unless participating teams are 200 or more miles apart; in those cases the MHSAA will assign the game at a prearranged site if one can be secured in a reasonable location.
All playoff tickets will be sold online only via GoFan at https://gofan.co/ to provide for a cashless and contactless purchasing process that also allows for contact tracing. Tickets for single-session Pre-District, District and Regional games are $6. Single-session Semifinal tickets are $8. A per-ticket convenience fee will be applied.
A total of nine 11-player teams and seven 8-player teams that began this season withdrew from participation in the MHSAA Playoffs. Eight tie-breakers were necessary to determine bracket placement in 11-player; the first tie-breaker of head-to-head winner was used once, the second tie-breaker of opponents’ winning percentage was used five times, and the third tie-breaker – coin flip – was employed for two games. Those tie-breakers are noted below.
MHSAA DIVISION 1 matchups
Holland West Ottawa (0-5) 16.500 at Rockford (4-0) 69.500
East Kentwood (2-3) 34.667 at Hudsonville (4-2) 51.567
Grand Haven (0-6) 19.700 at Grandville (5-1) 62.067
Grand Rapids Union (1-5) 25.333 at Traverse City West (5-1) 53.167
Ann Arbor Pioneer (0-5) 9.500 at Saline (5-1) 66.533
Ann Arbor Huron (2-2) 31.000 at Kalamazoo Central (2-4) 33.567
Kalamazoo Loy Norrix (0-6) 10.167 at Grand Ledge (4-2) 51.100
Ann Arbor Skyline (1-4) 20.000 at Holt (2-3) 38.167
White Lake Lakeland (6-0) 64.167 – BYE
Howell (3-3) 42.000 at Hartland (3-3) 46.000
Walled Lake Northern (2-4) 33.833 at Detroit Catholic Central (6-0) 61.917
Novi (2-4) 35.000 at Brighton (4-2) 57.000
Oxford (2-4) 31.367 at Clarkston (6-0) 75.333
Lake Orion (3-2) 45.000 at Grand Blanc (5-1) 60.667
Rochester Adams (2-4) 36.167 at Rochester (6-0) 70.000
Lapeer (3-3) 40.000 at Davison (6-0) 64.667
Wayne Memorial (0-6) 15.000 at Canton (6-0) 75.000
Westland John Glenn (2-4) 33.167 at Livonia Stevenson (3-3) 44.000
Plymouth (1-5) 24.000 at Belleville (6-0) 74.333
Salem (1-5) 24.000 at Northville (4-2) 57.000
(Salem won tie-breaker with Plymouth, head-to-head result.)
Dearborn Edsel Ford (1-5) 20.000 at Detroit Cass Tech (6-0) 62.167
Detroit Western (5-1) 48.500 at Dearborn Fordson (4-2) 54.167
Taylor (1-5) 21.767 at Brownstown Woodhaven (5-1) 59.267
Dearborn (2-4) 32.000 at Monroe (4-2) 54.167
(Monroe won tie-breaker with Dearborn Fordson, opponents’ winning percentage.)
Farmington (0-6) 15.400 at Sterling Heights Stevenson (5-1) 64.367
Troy Athens (2-3) 37.000 at Southfield Arts & Technology (2-3) 39.000
Utica Ford (1-5) 25.500 at West Bloomfield (5-1) 64.167
Troy (3-3) 34.867 at Bloomfield Hills (3-3) 46.067
Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (6-0) 71.900 – BYE
Utica Eisenhower (2-4) 38.400 at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (2-3) 39.000
Macomb L’Anse Creuse North (0-4) 7.000 at Macomb Dakota (5-1) 67.733
Romeo (2-4) 36.200 at New Baltimore Anchor Bay (4-2) 50.833