Schedule favors Allen Park to reach semifinalsFootball  |
Allen Park – Allen Park’s season got off to an inauspicious start when coach Tom Hoover suffered a heart attack a week before the opener. Hoover, we are pleased to report, said he is feeling better day by day, week by week and he was feeling especially chipper last Sunday when he saw the playoff pairings released by the Michigan High School Athletic Association via the selection show on Fox Sports Detroit.
That’s because Hoover’s Jaguars are headed to the Division 3 semifinals. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know Allen Park (8-1) must first play Dearborn Divine Child (6-3) this Friday in a pre-district. And Allen Park will then play the winner of the Detroit Mumford (6-3)-Redford Thurston (6-3) game in a district final. And when the Jaguars win that one they’ll face the Region 4 District 2 winner, likely New Boston Huron (8-1), a region final with that winner headed to the semifinals.
Allen Park, by virtue of its playoff point average, will host all three games. Allen Park is 5-0 at home with its only loss at Woodhaven, 42-35, in overtime.
Hoover and his team is fortunate because this division is perhaps the most competitive of any of the eight. Zeeland West (9-0) is the defending champion. DeWitt (9-0) lost to West in the final. Then there’s the 2011 champion Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (7-2), Lowell (8-1), a Division 2 finalist in ’10 and ’11, and the Division 2 finalist the last two years, Muskegon (8-1). All are contenders for the title and are seeded in the other three regions. Hoover deserves a break here and there. PICK: Allen Park by 14.
Fraser (6-3) at Dearborn Fordson (9-0), Fri., 7: Good thing Fordson played Monroe last week. That was a physical game. Fraser likes to play physical. The Ramblers will try to control the clock with a two-tight end offense led by quarterback Dylan Walker. Fordson has been a big-play team all season and will need a few this game to advance. PICK: Fordson by 4.
Grandville (5-4) at East Kentwood (8-1), Sat., 1: East Kentwood won the first meeting on Sept. 19, 39-38. This game might not get to the high 30s (temperature-wise either) but look for each team to score a few touchdowns. &nb