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Top 5 Area Games: Playoffs – First Round

The 2020 high school football postseason begins Thursday with several intriguing first-round matchups on tap in northern Michigan.

Friday, Oct. 30
Division 5 District
Tri County (2-4) at Central Montcalm (4-2), 7 p.m. – A Week 4 rematch that saw Central Montcalm sneak out a 7-0 win. Tri County has just two wins on the year but has outscored its opponents 90-81 and dropped four games by eight points or less. The Vikings are seeking their first playoff win since 2004 while Hornets haven’t won in the postseason since 2009. The all-time series is tied at 17-17.

Friday, Oct. 30
Division 6 District
Kent City (5-1) at No. 5 Clare (6-0), 7 p.m. – These two teams have found themselves in a stacked district that also features the likes of Montague and Muskegon Catholic Central. Kent City is fresh off a surprising 26-20 loss to Muskegon Orchard View while Clare rallied for a 26-20 win over Sanford Meridian for an outright Jack Pine Conference championships. This marks the first meeting in the series.

Friday, Oct. 30
Division 8 District
White Cloud (2-4) at Holton (2-4), 7 p.m. – This matchup on paper doesn’t look like much, but these two met in Week 1 with Holton coming away with a 15-7 win. Both of White Cloud’s wins have come via forfeit. This game represents White Cloud’s best shot at a playoff win for the first time since 1987. Holton leads the all-time series at 32-26-1.

Friday, Oct. 30
Division 7 District
Houghton Lake (4-2) at Evart (4-2), 7 p.m. – Our Sports Overtime Game of the Week, Evart handed Houghton Lake its lone Highland Conference loss back in Week 3 with a 29-22 defeat. The Wildcats have won four straight while Houghton Lake is coming off a 24-6 loss to Oscoda. Evart last won a playoff game in 2012. The Wildcats lead the all-time series at 8-6.

Saturday, Oct. 31
8-Player Division 1 Regional
Newberry (3-3) at Onaway (6-0), 2 p.m. – Fresh off its first undefeated regular season since 1989, Onaway is seeking its first playoff win since 1976. Newberry is making its first playoff appearance as an 8-player team and prepares to face a Cardinals team it hasn’t met since 1998. Onaway leads the all-time series at 10-2.

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