By Frank Vacjner
Playoff football returns to Hemelgarn Field in Ida, as the Blue Streaks welcome Dearborn Heights Robichaud in the opening round. This is the second time both teams have met in the playoffs, as Ida outlasted the Bulldogs 39-30 in the District Championship in 2015. The Blue Streaks enter with a playoff record of 8-9 and coming off of a 38-14 win over playoff-bound Blissfield, while the Bulldogs come in with a playoff record of 11-10 and a 28-22 loss to Detroit Community.
Ida: 7-2 (5-2, LCAA)
Record vs. playoff teams: 1-2
The Blue Streaks are now 2-for-2 in terms of making the postseason under Jeff Potter, as they have now qualified for a sixth consecutive season. Ida’s full house T offense comes in averaging 31.8 points per game, led by senior RBs Jake Weilnau (1096 rush yards, 14 TDs, ) and Sam Brettschneider (779 yards, 6 TDs). Senior QB Clay Sampson (324 pass yards, 374 rush yards, 10 total TDs) hasn’t had to do too much, but has been effective when called upon.
A defense led by senior DL Alex Longenbarger (92 tackles, 5 sacks, forced fumble), LB Weilnau (60 tackles, 5 sacks, forced fumble, fumble recovery), senior LB Zach Johnston (59 tackles, 2 sacks, fumble recovery), senior LB Zach Stein (56 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 2 sacks), and junior DB Jaxson Gianino (33 tackles, 3 interceptions) has allowed 17.2 points per game, and has recorded 28 sacks.
Dearborn Heights Robichaud: 6-3 (5-2, Western Wayne Athletic Association)
Record vs. playoff teams: 0-3
This is the first playoff appearance for the Bulldogs since 2015, and much like Ida last season, did so with a first year head coach in Donny Scott. The Bulldogs averaged 29.7 points per game in eight games (game against Livonia Clarenceville was won by forfeit) out of a spread offense led by freshman QB David Williams. Williams has solid targets in junior Cameron Underwood and senior Taiwan Williams.
Robichaud’s defense is led by senior LB Dyzek Flemming, sophomore DT Ricardo Frazier, and senior DBs Darrius Atkinson and Rayon Williamson. As a unit, the Bulldogs gave up 21.6 points per contest all season, but allowed 34.3 in losses to playoff teams Crestwood, Garden City, and Detroit Community
Frank’s Pick: Ida 32 Robichaud 21
Gary’s Pick: Ida 31 Robichaud 20
Chris’s Pick Ida 34 Robichuad 26