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Muskegon County Spotlight Games & Conference Race Updates - Week 7 of 2017 Season
Week 7 is upon us and the playoff picture is starting to take shape, with those teams that remain unbeaten punching their playoff ticket this past week. In Muskegon County those unbeatens include; Muskegon, Mona Shores, Montague, and Muskegon Catholic Central.
Also taking shape are the conference races - some hinging on the outcome of one game, while others appearing a foregone conclusion.
In the OK-Black, Muskegon and Mona Shores both remain undefeated in conference play and will clash in Week 8 in one of the most anticipated games in the entire state this season. It will be standing room only at Sailor Stadium in Week 8, in what has become one of the best rivalries in West Michigan.
In the West Michigan Conference, Montague remains undefeated and in the driver's seat. The Wildcats will take on perennial conference powerhouse Oakridge, who comes in with just one conference loss against Whitehall. Should Oakridge find a way to pull out the victory over Montague, the WMC race will be a gridlock at the top between Montague, Oakridge, and Whitehall.
In the Lakes-8 Conference, Muskegon Catholic Central has a firm grasp on first place and will clinch the conference title with a win this week over a struggling Manistee squad.
WEEK 7 SPOTLIGHT GAMES:
Oakridge (5-1) @ Montague (6-0): In Week 7, one Muskegon County game will overshadow the others, Eagles @ Wildcats. The West Michigan Conference title is on the line, as is a win that would help both team's push for playoff home games. Both of these teams have been household names in D5 and D6 postseason action in the past 10 years, and their yearly showdown has on many occasions been decided by a touchdown or less. Montague and Oakridge both bring a powerful run-game and stout defense into this match up - but with home field advantage and one of the best scoring offenses in the state, I think the Wildcats pull this one out.
Holton (3-3) @ Lakeview (3-3): Playoff implications in this CSAA-Silver match up, as both teams hope to sweep their final three games of the season and get to six wins. Holton has struggled in recent years and hasn't made the playoffs since 2007; while Lakeview has been a playoff qualifier three of the past four seasons - yet these teams seem to be pretty evenly matched this year. A three-game sweep to close season will be a very tough task for Holton with GR Northpointe Christian on the schedule, but I think the Red Devils pull this one off and spoil the Wildcat's playoff hopes.
Orchard View (2-4) @ Muskegon Heights (3-3): Heights' playoff hopes hang in the balance in this Lakes-8 Conference match up. OV had a rough start to their season but has since won two straight in convincing fashion and looked like a completely different team in those games. I think the Tigers will use their home field advantage here and pull out a nail-biter against the Cardinals, continuing their bid for a three-game sweep to close the season and make the playoffs. Unfortunately for Muskegon Heights, in Week 9 they'll be running up against a very good River Rouge squad that is 5-1 and riding a 7-year playoff streak.
Muskegon Reeths Puffer (3-3) @ Middleville Thornapple Kellogg (1-5): Reeths Puffer has been hit hard by injuries this season, losing their starting QB and best offensive lineman, and it showed last week in a loss to Jenison where the Rockets only scored 10 points. However, Reeths Puffer's playoff hopes are still alive with a favorable schedule down the stretch, starting this week with a 1-5 Middleville Thornapple Kellogg team, and concluding with Fruitport (2-4) and GR Kenowa Hills (2-4). I think the Rockets roll to an easy victory in this one and gain a bit of their confidence back, which should be enough to propel them to those final two victories and a playoff spot.
OTHER MUSKEGON COUNTY MATCH-UPS IN WEEK 7:
GR Kenowa Hills (2-4) @ Muskegon (6-0): Look for another throttling by the Big Reds in this one.
Mona Shores (6-0) @ GR Union (0-6): Season can't end soon enough for the GR Union Redhawks. Shores by a ton.
Jenison (4-2) @ Fruitport (2-4): Wildcats should win comfortably here against struggling Fruitport squad.
Whitehall (4-2) @ Shelby (0-6): Vikings hand Shelby their 29th straight loss.
North Muskegon (4-2) @ Hart (1-5): Norsemen win easy, take another step toward playoff berth.
Mason County Central (1-5) @ Ravenna (2-4): Bulldogs get the W at home.
Manistee (2-4) @ Muskegon Catholic Central (5-0): Crusaders roll, getting primed for Week 9 showdown w/Montague.