Reed City, Evart, bid to advance to third round of football playoffs

Can a high school football team be beaten twice in one season by the same opponent?

The Reed City Coyotes are hoping the answer to that is a loud “yes” while the Evart Wildcats would prefer a “no.”

The second of five weeks of playoff action will be Friday night with Reed City home against Newaygo and Evart at Lake City.

In predistrict action last week, Reed City defeated Manistee 48-14 while Evart edged Carson City-Crystal 16-12. Reed City, 10-0, is home and faces a Newaygo squad, 8-2, that it defeated earlier in the regular season 35-7.

“They’ve got a handful of great athletes,” said Reed City coach Monty Price. “They have several playmakers and a lot of dangerous kids that can beat you.”

Price is aware of the attitude among some coaches that it’s not easy to beat a good football team twice.

“We’re not worried about the last time we met,” Price said. “That’s in the past.  We have to focus on this week and put all our attention on Newaygo.

“We won’t allow our kids to be complacent and get overconfident.”

The Coyotes were able to get off to a good playoff start against Manistee.

“Anytime you get a playoff win, it’s great for your community, for your school and for your kids,” Price said. “To do it in the fashion we did, I was very impressed with our kids’ work ethic. They came out from the opening kickoff and set the tone right away.”

Evart, 8-2, is on the road and faces a Lake City opponent, 9-1, that it fell to 32-21 during the regular season.

“I think both teams are familiar with what each club does,” said Evart coach Pat Craven. “Looking back at our previous game, at the end of the day for us, we have to protect the football on offense and stop Drew Marion. He accounts for probably 90 percent of their offense.  We have to contain him.”

Marion was tough against the Wildcats the first time they faced Lake City. The Wildcats had a strong first half but struggled in the third quarter which keyed the Trojan victory. Taking care of the football will be critical, Craven said, noting that his team was able to overcome four turnovers against Carson City-Crystal.

Lake City beat Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian 35-28 in the first round of the playoffs.

District champions this week will advance to the regional finals Nov. 9-10 at sites and against opponents to be determined later.