Airport earned their way into the MHSAA playoffs for the first time since 2012. We last saw the Jets in week 9, handing Melvindale a lopsided loss to the score of 47-0. The Jets finished 4th in Huron League with a 4-3 record. Airport has an overall playoff record of 6-14. Milan is coming of a week 9 dismantling of Tecumseh 47-7. The Big Reds won the Huron league going undefeated with a 7-0 mark. Milan has an overall playoff record of 14-18, qualifying 12 of the last 15 seasons. This is the 54th meeting between these two teams with Milan having the edge with a 37-15-1 record.
Carleton Airport Jets (6-3 Huron League)
Airport has improved each and every year under Coach Jim Duffy’s tenure, now in his 3rd year. As most high school teams, The Jets do most of their work on the ground with an excellent run game. Leading rushers for the Jets are Jacob Pac, Avery Adkins and Cole Vanwasshenova.
Other stand out players include: Justin Chambless MLB, Austin Lakatos T, Massimo Menna T.
Airport enters the playoffs scoring 29 points per game while giving up 18.8.
Comment from Coach Duffy: “We need to do a better job finishing drives. We moved the ball consistently when we saw them in week 8 but stalled out too many times. Also, defensively, we need to get off the field on 3rd and 4th down. They converted a few 3rd and long and 4th and short situations.”
Milan Big Reds (9-0 Huron League)
Milan is coming into the playoffs after a fabulous regular season. The #1 seed in their district, the Big Reds look to continue their fine play. At the heart of things for Milan is D1 college prospect Tristen Hines. Hines gets it done on the ground and through the air with over 1,300 yards rushing and over 1,000 yards passing. The all-purpose Hines has accounted for 35 touchdowns both rushing and passing.
Hines isn’t the only standout for the Big Reds. Evan Furtney(23.2 yards per reception), Cole Mcelvany(6.2 yards per carry) and Kendrick McBride(24 yards per reception) help make this offensive attack very hard to stop. Defensively Milan is led by Justin Wojtysiak(94 tackles), Noah Cartwright(67 tackles) and Parker Reed(11 tackles for loss).
Milan averages 36.3 points per game on the season while giving up just 15.5.
FNV Thoughts: These are two teams who are very familiar with each other. This will be the 4th time Duffy and Hoskins will go to battle and the 2nd time this year. Milan took the first contest in a close battle 20-6. Airport thought there were plays to be made but couldn’t execute when needed. I am sure Milan had a lot to do with that. More times than one would think, the team that lost the first game, wins the rematch. It’s hard to beat a team once, let alone twice. Both teams come into this game playing really good football. I look for this game to come down to a play or two. Who will make the big play? Is limiting Hines’ big plays even possible? How will Milan stop the rugged running style of Pac? Who will win the all important turnover battle? Find the answers to these questions Friday night at Joe O’Donnell Field.