Area football teams enter playoff season



REED CITY -- The area’s three 11-man football team’s found out on Sunday who they will be playing in the first round of the playoffs this week.

Exact dates and times of these games will be announced this week.

Because all teams were eligible for playoffs this year to make up for lost games from the COVID pandemic, it’s a six-week process for 11-man.

Each district has eight teams, which means there will be three rounds of district play to determine a champ. The two district champs play in a regional title game. Regional winners advance to the semifinal round and that’s followed by the state title game. The semifinal game and title games are at neutral sites.

In Division 5, Reed City (6-0) will host Cheboygan (0-6).

Reed City has the highest playoff average, 51.433 of any team in its district and region, and could conceivably host four straight playoff games if it would keep winning.

In Division 7, in District 50, Houghton Lake (4-2) is at Evart (4-2) and Pine River (1-5) is at Beaverton (5-1).

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.

All playoff tickets will be sold online only via GoFan at 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.

The 8-player finals will take place Nov. 27-28, and the 11-player finals will be played Dec. 4-5. An announcement on where those finals will be played, and including additional spectator information, will come later.

Pine River coach Terry Martin will prepare his team for Beaverton.

"They have had a great season, play physical football and have a special athlete at QB," Martin said. "They play physical on defense. The quarterback makes big plays with his legs and arm. We have to be physical and make secure tackles in defense. Arm tackles won’t bring down any of their backs. We have struggled down the stretch hoping to pick up some momentum with a couple extra guys we will have available. We will be able to dress and play everyone on our roster.

"I think we have an extremely tough district. The top 5 teams have all had strong seasons."