Grass Lake finished 3rd in the Cascades Conference and are coming off a round 1 playoff victory over Manchester, 39-7. The Warriors are a perennial playoff team, qualifying 15 of the last 16 seasons. Grass Lake has an overall playoff record of 21-23 and are fronted by Head Coach Randy Cole. St. Mary Catholic Central (SMCC) resides in the Huron League and finished 3-2 in conference. SMCC is coming off a round one playoff victory over Leslie, 40-20. The 2019 State Champion Falcons have qualified for the MHSAA playoffs 18 times since 2000 with an overall playoff record of 52-21. Leading the charge for the Falcons is 6th year Head Coach Adam Kipf. This will be the 4th meeting between these two teams, with SMCC winning the previous three.
Grass Lake Warriors (5-2 Cascades Conference)
The Warriors come at you offensively with a very balanced attack, 1,654 yards through the air and 1,419 on the ground. Grass lake averages 35 points per game while only giving up 19.5. Leading the air assault is QB ’21 Carson Farley 102-163, 62.6% 18 TD 8 INT. Coming down with Farley’s passes are WR ’21 Josh Sherwood 33-548 6TD, WR ’21 Travis Fernamberg 27-435 6TD and WR ’21 Braedon Leathed 24-352 3 TD. Seeing the majority of the carries in the ground game are RB ’21 Trenton Holden 72-665 10TD and RB ’23 Andrew Stockton 74-459 4 TD. Other players to watch for are DB ’21 Ethan Allain, LB ’21 Evan Stucky and ’22 Nick Woolery.
Comment from Coach Cole: “We look forward to the opportunity to play a team and program the caliber of Monroe St. Mary’s CC. They check all the boxes for what a really good football team consists of. Our team understands that it will take a great overall team effort for Friday night.”
Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central Falcons (5-2 Huron League)
The Falcons of SMCC do things on the ground out of their Full House T offense, averaging 31.2 points per game, while giving up 24. Taking the snaps for SMCC will be QB ’22 Mitch Kemmerling 11-19 231 4TD passing and 41-290 4TD rushing. St. Mary features a stable of backs including ’23 Cole Jondro 91-952 8TD, ’21 Jackson Taylor 53-294 3TD, ’22 Blake Birkenhier 40-278 5TD, ’22 Garret Bergmoser 60-234 3TD and ’21 Brenden Murray 24-146 1TD. If Coach Kipf decides to throw the ball, TE ’21 Timothy Barno 8-169 2TD, is usually on the other end. Other players to keep an eye on include, OL/DL ’21 Zach Patterson, TE/LB ’22 Emiliano Sauceda, LB ’23 Alphonso Leal and OL/DL ’22 Noah Smith.
Comment from Coach Kipf: “Grass Lake is a good football team. They will throw all over the field so our defense will have to play their best game of the season. We have to have a great pass rush and our secondary has to be superb in coverage. On the offensive side, our line will have to set the tone upfront. This game will require a total team effort in order to win.”
FNV thoughts: Both teams present significant challenges for each other. Can SMCC contain the passing attack of Grass Lake and conversely, can Grass Lake keep in check the power run game of the Falcons? There is a good chance that neither team will have the answer on defense, turning this into a high scoring affair. To be honest, I see exactly that. With a trip to the District Championship on the line, who will figure out who first?
- Gary’s Pick: SMCC
- Chris’ Pick: SMCC
- Frank’s Pick: SMCC