2019 MHSAA State Finals Preview

Written by
Zackary R. Boyer
Photo Credit

It is that time of year again. The time of year where tens of thousands of people flock to Ford Field for three days of football.

The Detroit Lions will host the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving and then when the pros are done, it will be time for the next generation of football players to take the field.

This year there is a lot of blueblood talent returning to Ford Field for the MHSAA state finals. Thirteen schools are making at least their second appearance to the state finals. This is only one of many major headlines this season.

Major Headlines:

  • There are 12 public schools compared to just four private schools.
  • Six of the eight matchups will feature schools meeting for the first time ever.
  • Three schools are making their first ever appearance to the state finals.
  • Five schools are making their second consecutive appearance to Ford Field.
  • Two of their those schools are at Ford Field for their fourth consecutive appearance.
  • Three schools are looking to repeat as state champions.
  • Five schools are looking for their first ever state title.

Within these headlines are many other smaller headlines. This season there is only one matchup that features two undefeated schools. That is the division seven game between Pewamo-Westphalia and Jackson Lumen Christi. Both schools have become small school power houses in Michigan and will meet for the first time ever on the gridiron with a state title on the line.

Match ups:

Division One (Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.)

Brighton Bulldogs (11-2) vs. Davison Cardinals (11-2)

State Finals History

Brighton: 0-0

First appearance

Davison: 0-0

First appearance

Facts of the Game

  • First meeting between schools.
  • Brighton defeated Belleville, 22-19 in semifinal.
  • Davison defeated Sterling Heights Stevenson, 34-27 (OT) in semifinal.

Division Two (Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.)

Muskegon Mona Shores Sailors (11-2) vs. Detroit Martin Luther King Crusaders (11-2)

State Finals History

Muskegon Mona Shores: 0-2

Loss- 2018, 16-19 against Warren De La Salle

Loss- 2014, 8-44 against Warren De La Salle

Detroit Martin Luther King: 4-2

Win- 2018, 41-25 against Muskegon

Win- 2016, 18-0 against Walled Lake Western

Win- 2015, 40-38 against Lowell

Win- 2007, 47-21 against Midland

Loss- 1990, 0-21 against Detroit Catholic Central

Loss- 1989, 13-16 against Muskegon

Facts of the Game

  • First meeting between schools.
  • Muskegon Mona Shores is looking for their first title in their third try.
  • Detroit Martin Luther King is looking for back-to-back titles for the second time in school history (2015-2016).

Division Three (Saturday Nov. 30, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.)

Muskegon Big Reds (13-0) vs. River Rouge Panthers (12-1)

State Finals History:

Muskegon: 6-5

Loss- 2018, 25-41 against Detroit Martin Luther King

Win- 2017, 28-10 against Farming Hills Harrison

Loss- 2016, 29-28 against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

Loss- 2014, 0-7 against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

Loss- 2013, 21-28 against Birmingham Brother Rice

Loss- 2012, 28-35 against Birmingham Brother Rice

Win- 2008, 34-14 against Warren De La Salle

Win- 2006, 32-30 against Warren De La Salle

Win- 2004, 31-7 against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

Win-1989, 16-13 against Detroit Martin Luther King

Win- 1986, 10-0 against Sterling Heights Stevenson

River Rouge: 0-1

Loss- 2015, Grand Rapids West Catholic, 34-40

Facts of the Game:

  • Fourth straight appearance in the state finals for Muskegon.
  • Second appearance in school history for River Rouge.
  • First meeting between schools.

Division Four (Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.)

Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars (12-1) vs. Detroit Country Day Yellowjackets (13-0)

State Finals History

Grand Rapids Catholic Central: 4-2

Win-2017, 42-31 against Edwardsburg

Win-2016, 10-7 against Detroit Country Day

Win- 2010, 27-23 against Williamston

Loss- 2005, 10-17 against Flint Powers Catholic

Win- 1987, 19-7 against Farming Hills Harrison

Loss- 1978, 12-13 against Warren Woods

Detroit Country Day: 3-5

Loss- 2016, 7-10 against Grand Rapids West Catholic

Loss- 2012, 7-40 against Grand Rapids South Christian

Loss-2008, 20-35 against Holland Christian

Loss- 2007, 7-21 against Marine City

Win- 1999, 39-32 against Muskegon Orchard View

Win- 1995, 28-14 against Muskegon Orchard View

Loss- 1994, 41-50 against Belding

Win- 1986, 18-14 against Muskegon Catholic Central

Facts of the Game

  • Grand Rapids Catholic Central leads all-time series between these two schools, 5-2.
  • Detroit Country Day is looking to avenge 2016 state finals loss at the hands of Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
  • Last matchup between two schools was in 2016 state finals.

Division Five (Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.)

Lansing Catholic Central Cougars (12-1) vs. Almont Raiders (13-0)

State Finals History

Lansing Catholic Central: 1-2

Loss- 2014, 20-24 against Grand Rapids West Catholic

Loss- 2011, 56-26 against Flint Powers Catholic

Win- 1985, 33-6 against Saint Ignace

Almont: 0-0

First appearance

Facts of the Game

  • First appearance for Almont.
  • Lansing Catholic Central fourth appearance, third since 2011.
  • Lansing Catholic Central defeated Almont in only meeting between the schools in the 2014 state semifinals by a score of 21-14.

Division Six (Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.)

Maple City Glen Lake Lakers (12-1) vs. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central Falcons (11-1)

State Finals History

Maple City Glen Lake: 1-2

Loss-2016, 14-26 against Jackson Lumen Christi

Loss- 1996, 7-47 against Pittsford

Win- 1994, 20-10 against Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central: 2-4

Win-2014, 22-12 against Ithaca

Loss- 2010, 35-45 against Ithaca

Loss- 2009, 21-24 against Montague

Loss- 2005, 21-31 against Kingsley

Win- 1991, 16-7 against Coopersville

Loss- 1984, 21-33 against Wyoming Park

Facts of the Game

  • First trip to the state finals for Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central since ending Ithaca’s history 69 game win streak in 2014.
  • First meeting between schools.
  • Maple City Glen Lake is looking for their first title since 1994.

Division Seven (Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.)

Pewamo-Westphalia Pirates (13-0) vs. Jackson Lumen Christi Titans (12-0)

State Finals History

Pewamo-Westphalia: 2-2

Win- 2017, 21-0 against Saugatuck

Win- 2016, 28-14 against Detroit Loyola

Loss- 2015, 16-22 against Ishpeming

Loss- 2011, 26-56 against Saginaw Nouvel Catholic

Jackson Lumen Christi: 11-2

Win- 2018, 42-28 against Montague

Win- 2017, 40 to 34 against Ithaca

Win- 2016, 26 to 14 against Maple City Glen Lake

Win- 2009, 42 to 7 against Clare

Loss- 2007, 7 to 21 against Menominee

Loss- 2005, 28 to 42 against Muskegon Oakridge

Win- 2004, 13 to 0 against Midland Bullock Creek

Win- 2003, 23 to 0 against Muskegon Oakridge

Win- 2001, 49 to 0 against Livonia Clarenceville

Win- 2000, 42 to 15 against Spring Lake

Win- 1996, 17 to 11 against Belding

Win- 1979, 21 to 0 against Grand Rapids West Catholic

Win- 1977, 17 to 16 against Saginaw MacArthur

Facts of the Game

  • Jackson Lumen Christi holds the longest active win streak in Michigan at 35 games.
  • First ever meeting between schools.
  • Pewamo-Westphalia has pitched 8 shutouts this season on defense.

Division Eight (Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.)

Beal City Aggies (12-1) vs. Reading Rangers (12-1)

State Finals History

Beal City: 2-5

Loss- 2013, 12-35 against Muskegon Catholic Central

Loss- 2012, 10-35 against Harbor Beach

Win- 2009, 41-23 against Crystal Falls Forest Park

Loss- 2003, 9-20 against Detroit De Porres

Loss- 2001, 0-20 against Mendon

Win- 1994, 35-14 against Litchfield

Loss- 1987, 0-21 against Martin

Reading: 1-0

Win-2018, 39-20 against Breckenridge

Facts of the Game

  • Reading is looking win back-to-back titles.
  • Beal City was 2-7 last season.
  • First meeting between schools.