Top 25 Michigan HS football teams after Round 1 of the postseason: Three drop out, replaced by Dakota, GRCC, Swan Valley
We promised we’d keep the rankings going into the playoffs and — despite them being later in the week than we’d wanted — here they are.
There’s one rule in the postseason, as far as the rankings are concerned: Win.
If you win, you stay in.
If you lose, you drop out.
Three teams dropped out after the first week of postseason play: No. 10 River Rouge lost to No. 9 Detroit King, No. 20 Jackson fell to Okemos, and No. 23 Brighton lost to East Kentwood.
Those teams — which had only previously lost to Cass Tech (Rouge) and Belleville (Brighton, twice) — were replaced by Macomb Dakota from the MAC Red, two-time defending Division 4 champion Grand Rapids Catholic Central and last year’s Division 5 runner-up, Saginaw Swan Valley.
Here are the Top 25 rankings, after Week 10 (or Round 1 of the playoffs):
1 Muskegon (10-0, 6-0 OK Black) — Just like in their Week 3 meeting, East Grand Rapids gave the defending D3 champs fits in Friday’s predistrict rematch, as the Pioneers were within one score with just over eight minutes remaining in the game, before Muskegon held on to win, 42-35. Jalen Broussard had 202 rushing yards and three TDs for EGR, while Cameron Martinez ran for 250 yards and a TD on 33 carries for Muskegon, and threw a TD pass, as well. Demario Robinson scored on a kick return, rush and pass reception for the Big Reds, finishing with 181 yards from scrimmage. (Last week: 1) Up next: D3 district final vs. Grand Rapids Christian
2 Cass Tech (10-0, 4-0 PSL Green) — The Technicians beat Detroit Western International, 55-7, in a first-round walk-over, but the road gets much tougher now. In the district final, they take on a Fordson team they edged by five points in last year’s district title game, and if they advance they’ll get either Macomb Dakota, or a Clinton Township Chippewa Valley team they edged by six points in last year’s regional contest. After that would likely be either No. 3 Belleville, No. 17 Novi Detroit Catholic Central, or a No. 13 West Bloomfield team that knocked Cass out in last year’s semifinals, 9-7. (Last week: 2) Up next: D1 district final vs. No. 19 Dearborn Fordson
3 Belleville (10-0, 7-0 KLAA East) — Christian Dhue-Reid threw for three TDs — two to Jalen Williams _ as Belleville beat KLAA East rival Dearborn, 28-7. That sets up a potentially momentous playoff battle for the Tigers this week. Why is a game against a 7-3 Monroe team they haven't faced in 10 years so momentous? Because Belleville’s never advanced past the second round of the playoffs in 12 previous postseason appearances. Nine were one-and-dones, while the other four were second-round ousters, like last year’s 28-25 loss to Canton in the district finals. (Last week: 3) Up next: D1 district final vs. Monroe
4 Clinton Twp. Chippewa Valley (10-0, 5-0 MAC Red) — Andre Chenault ran for 182 yards and four TDs, as the Big Reds beat Utica Eisenhower, 34-7, in the Division 1 first round. Next up, Chippewa Valley faces a Dakota team it beat in Week 5, 24-17, en route to a MAC Red title. That was the Big Reds’ lowest scoring total in their last 21 games, dating back to a 20-17 win over Lake Orion in last year’s season opener. (Last week: 4) Up next: D1 district final vs. No. 24 Macomb Dakota
5 East Kentwood (9-1, 6-0 OK Red) — The Falcons trailed No. 23 Brighton by two touchdowns in a first half that featured 56 total points, but tied it up at 28-28 at the half, and won it, 31-28, on Christian Tanner’s 37-yard third-quarter field goal. That score held as the Bulldogs missed a potentially game-tying 41-yard field goal in the waning seconds. Kionte Blakely had 184 yards on the ground and two rushing TDs, while Kyle Dent threw for 188 yards and a score, and ran for 62 yards and another. (Last week: 5) Up next: D1 district final at No. 6 Saline
6 Saline (9-1, 5-0 SEC Red) — Held Kalamazoo Central to 46 yards in the first half, and 143 for the game in a 26-7 first-round win. Brendan Munday had 136 yards rushing and a touchdown, while Andrew Arbaugh threw for 170 yards and a score. (Last week: 6) Up next: D1 district final vs. No. 5 East Kentwood
7 Lapeer (9-0, 6-0 SVL Blue) — Phoenix Dickson had a touchdown run and an interception return for a TD, as the Lightning beat Grand Blanc, 35-0. Jalen Kirkland had 121 yards and a TD on the ground, while Brady Apple threw for 125 yards and a score, as the Lightning stayed unbeaten. This weekend is the true test of Lapeer’s playoff mettle: Since the merger of East and West, Lapeer has made the playoffs all five seasons, but lost in the first round twice, and the second round twice — once to eventual state champ Clarkston in 2014, and once to eventual state champ Romeo in 2015. (Last week: 7) Up next: D1 district final vs. No. 22 Oxford
8 Oak Park (8-1, 6-0 OAA White) — The Knights stopped the Eagles on a fourth-and-goal that could’ve tied the game at 14-14, and went on to score the first three TDs of the second half to beat Ferndale 40-20. Four different players scored rushing touchdowns for Oak Park, led by two from Davion Primm, while D’wan Mathis had a rushing TD and threw a TD pass to Maliq Carr. (Last week: 8) Up next: D2 district final vs. No. 12 Warren De La Salle
9 Detroit King (7-2, 5-0 PSL Black) — The Crusaders won a defensive struggle, beating then-No. 10 River Rouge, 7-6, in the Division 3 first round. Dequan Finn hit Dominick Polidore-Hannah with an 18-yard TD pass, then the King defense squelched the potential tying PAT after River Rouge scored a defensive touchdown with 11:03 left, when Yusuf Abdul Aziz returned an interception for a TD. (Last week: 9) Up next: D3 district final at Warren Woods-Tower
10 Muskegon Mona Shores (9-1, 5-1 OK Black) — Tre’shawn Hatcher (110 yards), Sincer’e Dent (149 yards, three TDs) and Caden Broersma (104 yards) all eclipsed the 100-yard plateau rushing for the Sailors, who avenged last year’s district finals loss to Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, with a 34-28 win. Luke Majick ran for 72 yards and two TDs and threw for 118 yards and one score for the Rangers, who started off the season as a Top 25 team, but suffered four of their five losses by 18 total points (the other was a 33-0 shellacking by Grand Rapids Northview) in a 5-5 season. (Last week: 11) Up next: D2 district final vs. Jenison
11 Clarkston (8-2, 5-1 OAA Red) — The Wolves built a 21-7 halftime lead, and beat rival Lake Orion for the eighth straight time, this time 30-7 in the D1 district opener. Tristan Mattson had three second-half field goals to pad the lead, while Jake Jensen threw one TD, and ran for another. (Last week: 12) Up next: D1 district final vs. White Lake Lakeland
12 Warren De La Salle (8-2, 2-1 CHSL Central) — Unable to use their own ‘home’ field at Wayne State, De La Salle went on the road to open the defense of their Division 2 title and beat Warren-Mott, 26-10, in the first round. Evan Vaillancourt scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, while Jake Rogers ran one in, and Daniel Hepler had a pair of field goals in the win for the Pilots, who now face Oak Park in a rematch of last year’s 14-7 regional win for De La Salle. (Last week: 13) Up next: D2 district final at No. 8 Oak Park
13 West Bloomfield (8-2, 4-2 OAA Red) — C.J. Harris threw five touchdown passes — three to Tre Mosley, one to Lydell Shepherd and one to Lance Dixon — as West Bloomfield beat Plymouth, 49-14. Dixon and Corey Williams had TD runs for the Lakers, who have made it past the first round of the playoffs in four of the last five seasons. (Last week: 14) Up next: D1 district final vs. No. 17 Novi Detroit Catholic Central
14 DeWitt (10-0, 6-0 CAAC Blue) — Despite St. Johns stacking the box, quarterback Blake Gatfield ran for two first-half TDs, as DeWitt pulled away from a 7-7 tie just before the half to beat St. Johns, 34-7. Gatfield threw for a second-half score, while Thaddeus Anwar and Tyler Warren ran for scores. Up next is a rematch of the Week 5 CAAC Blue battle with East Lansing, the Trojans’ only loss to date. (Last week: 15) Up next: D3 district final vs. East Lansing
15 Zeeland East (9-1, 6-0 OK Green) — Gabe Taylor threw for 135 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 154 yards and two more scores, as the Chix held Stevensville Lakeshore to 96 yards of total offense in a 56-7 win. Up next is a repeat of the Week 8 matchup between cross-town rivals, won by the Chix. Three times since 2012, the Chix have won the regular-season meeting against Zeeland East, only to lose the playoff rematch to the Dux. (Last week: 16) Up next: D3 district final vs. Zeeland West
16 Mt. Pleasant (10-0, 6-0 SVL Red) — Zach Mogg had 181 yards and three TDs on the ground, as the Oilers beat Petoskey, 35-6, in a Division 3 playoff opener. Jackson Ostrowsky threw a pair of TD passes for Mt. Pleasant. The Oilers, who have allowed just 74 points in 10 games — the fewest in a season for the program since 1994 — now faces a Cedar Springs team that has allowed just 102, 56 of those in games vs. playoff-bound Allendale and Swan Valley. (Last week: 17) Up next: D3 district final vs. Cedar Springs
17 Novi Detroit Catholic Central (7-3, 2-1 CHSL Central) — Despite 268 yards and four TDs from Chiefs fullback Steven Walker, Catholic Central got four TDs from Cole Price to beat Canton, 49-28. Marco Genrich threw for 189 yards and two scores, while Jonathan Brewer returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown. (Last week: 18) Up next: D1 district final at No. 13 West Bloomfield
18 South Lyon (10-0, 8-0 LVC) — Three different players rushed for 50 yards or more for South Lyon, and Connor Fracassi threw for 157 yards and three scores, as the Lions escaped a first-round upset bid by Dexter, 31-24 in OT. Fracassi threw a third TD pass to Ron Menard to go ahead in OT, and Jake Newman intercepted a second pass in the game to seal the win. (Last week: 19) Up next: D2 district final vs. Walled Lake Western
19 Dearborn Fordson (9-1, 6-1 KLAA East) — The Tractors had to rally from a 17-3 deficit to beat Grosse Pointe South, 24-17. Hussein Ajami threw a pair of TD passes in the comeback, while Abraham Jaafar ripped off a 54-yard TD run. Collin McQueen scored a pair of TDs for GP South. The Tractors have faced Cass Tech in the postseason seven of the last nine seasons. (Last week: 21) Up next: D1 district final at No. 2 Cass Tech
20 Birmingham Groves (8-2, 6-1 OAA White) — Damonte McCurdy had TD runs of 7, 55, 65 and 1 yards, as Groves beat Birmingham Seaholm for the second straight week — this time 35-14 — to advance to the D2 district finals for the fourth time in five seasons. The Falcons are 1-6 all-time vs. Brother Rice in the postseason, with the lone win coming two seasons ago. (Last week: 22) Up next: D2 district final vs. Birmingham Brother Rice
21 Port Huron Northern (9-1, 5-0 MAC Blue) — After giving up 164 first-half passing yards, Port Huron Northern scored the final 15 points of the game to rally and beat St. Clair Shores Lake Shore, 28-18. Seth Klink threw for 116 yards and three TDs for Northern, while Theo Ellis Jr. had 146 yards rushing and a TD. (Last week: 24) Up next: D2 district final vs. St. Clair Shores Lakeview
22 Oxford (8-2, 4-2 OAA Red) — Austin Schlict ran for three TDs and recovered a blocked punt for a fourth, as Oxford beat Davison, 38-13. The Wildcats defense held Davison QB Cannon Hall to 151 yards passing and just 4 rushing, intercepting three passes. (Last week: 25) Up next: D1 district final at No. 7 Lapeer
23 Grand Rapids Catholic Central (9-1, 6-0 OK Blue) — Joe Collins threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns, and Nate Trudeau had eight catches for 167 yards and a score, as GRCC beat Spring Lake, 59-7, in Division 4 predistrict. Spring Lake lost five in a row after a 5-0 start, while the Cougars won their 11th straight postseason contest, and their eighth straight overall since a Week 2 loss to No. 6 Saline. (Last week: NR) Up next: D4 district final vs. Whitehall
24 Macomb Dakota (8-2, 3-2 MAC Red) — De’Javion Stepney had the game-winning touchdown run on his first carry of the game, scoring with 8:16 left as Dakota rallied to beat Romeo, 21-17. Dustin Solomon had 139 yards rushing, and Mark Tocco threw a pair of TDs to Brandon Michalak in the win. (Last week: NR) Up next: D1 district final at No. 4 Clinton Township Chippewa Valley
25 Saginaw Swan Valley (10-0, 5-0 TVC Central) — Alex Fries threw for 133 yards and two TDs, as Swan Valley took a 41-0 halftime lead, and beat Howard City Tri-County, 41-7, in a Division 5 predistrict. Three different players had rushing touchdowns, with Chase Mendoza adding a TD catch to his. The Vikings’ only loss in their last 23 games came to Grand Rapids West Catholic in last year’s D5 title game, and they’ve won 10 games this season by an average of 32.7 points per game, giving up more than seven points in a game just three times (Cedar Springs, St. Johns, Frankenmuth), all to playoff-bound opponents. (Last week: NR) Up next: D5 district final vs. Freeland
Dropped out: No. 10 River Rouge (8-2, 4-0 Michigan Metro Blue); No. 20 Jackson (9-1, 7-0 SEC White); No. 23 Brighton (7-3, 7-0 KLAA West)
Ten others to keep an eye on: Jackson Lumen Christi (10-0, 8-0 Interstate-8), Pewamo-Westphalia (10-0, 7-0 CMAC), Edwardsburg (10-0, 9-0 Wolverine Conf.), Madison Heights Madison (10-0, 5-0 MAC Silver), Traverse City St. Francis (10-0, 6-0 NMFL-Legends), Calumet (10-0, 7-0 West-PAC-A), Portland (10-0, 5-0 CAAC White), Flint Hamady (10-0, 4-0 GAC Blue), Reed City (10-0, 7-0 CSAA Gold), Almont (10-0, 7-0 Blue Water)
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