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8 West Michigan football teams vying for a trip to Ford Field

This is it. It's an opportunity every high school football player dreams of. Now eight West Michigan teams are one win away from a chance to represent their school on the biggest stage in Michigan high school football.
Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE/Matt Gard

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A year of hard work and dedication to getting better is about to come to a head for some of our West Michigan football teams. Eight teams are still in the playoffs this year with the goal of heading to Detroit to play for a state championship. Here's a look at the teams playing, how they got there, and who their opponents are.

Team: Mona Shores Sailors (11-1, 5-1 in OK Black)

Division: 2

How they got here: After a close call against Forest Hills Central, the Sailors have been on cruise control the last few weeks, thumping Jenison and Portage Northern. Led by big running back Sincere Dent, Mona Shores is averaging 47 points during the playoffs.

Their opponents this week: The Midland Chemics are 9-3 and finished second in the Saginaw Valley League's red division. They haven't lost since September.

The venue: 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at Grand Ledge High School

Team: Muskegon Big Reds (12-0, 6-0 in OK Black)

Division: 3

How they got here: It's been nearly two calendar years since Muskegon lost a game. The Big Reds won last year's title as an undefeated team and so far this year they've kept it up, led by 13 On Your Sidelines MVP of the Year, Cameron Martinez.

Their opponents this week: Zeeland East (See below)

The venue: 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at Grand Haven High School

Team: Zeeland East Chix (11-1, 6-0 in OK Green)

Division: 3

How they got here: The Chix haven't lost since early September, and that game was against Grand Rapids Catholic Central, who is also still in the mix. Quarterback Gabe Taylor has been making big plays for the Chix this season and looks to continue.

Their opponents this week: Muskegon (See above)

The venue: 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at Grand Haven High School

Team: Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars (11-1, 6-0 in OK Blue)

Division: 4

How they got here: The Cougars are on a 10-game winning streak led by quarterback Joe Collins and running back Erik Grabow. Their only loss of the year game against the powerhouse Saline Hornets who are also still in the playoffs in Division 1.

Their opponents this week: The 12-0 Edwardsburg Eddies are the powerhouse team in southwestern Michigan. They haven't lost all year, with their last loss coming at the hands of GRCC in last year's state finals.

The venue: 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at Vicksburg High School

Team: Unity Christian Crusaders (10-2, 4-2 in OK Green)

Division: 5

How they got here: Unity Christian finished third in the OK Green with losses against both Zeeland East and West. Their playoff journey has seen them take down West Catholic, Oakridge and Kalamazoo United.

Their opponents this week: The 12-0 Saginaw Swan Valley Vikings are known throughout the state as a perennial winner. Their last loss came in the 2017 state finals against West Catholic.

The venue: 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at Greenville High School

Team: Portland Red Raiders (12-0, 5-0 in CAAC White)

Division: 5

How they got here: Defense. Some schools could only hope to sniff the end zone when they're playing against Portland. They shut out five teams and only one team, Montague, managed to score 20 points against the Red Raiders.

Their opponents this week: Besides having a clever mascot name, the Marine City Mariners have a lot going for them. They're 10-2 with their only losses coming to playoff teams, including Madison Heights Madison, which is still in the Division 7 playoffs.

The venue: 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at Howell High School

Team: Montague Wildcats (10-2, 7-0 in West Michigan Conference)

Division: 6

How they got here: Montague has been preparing for this moment all year. During our Two-A-Days segment in the preseason, the players and coaches told us straight up that a state title was their goal. Montague may have two losses, but those losses came at the hands of powerhouses Reed City and Portland.

Their opponents this week: Traverse City Saint Francis is a powerhouse up north. They're 12-0 and they've had double digits in the win column every year since 2014. Their offense was only held to fewer than 40 points once this year.

The venue: 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at Mount Pleasant High School

Team: Holton Red Devils (8-4, 3-2 in CSAA Silver)

Division: 8

How they got here: Holton did not secure the six regular season wins needed to guarantee a playoff spot, but we're glad the Red Devils were one of the 5-4 teams picked. Since then, they've won three straight, including two tight battles against Martin and Mendon. Hopefully a community celebration held Thursday night will fuel them.

Their opponents this week: The 12-0 Reading Rangers have an offensive attack that gives defensive coordinators nightmares. The last time they were held to fewer than 40 points as week one, but they did manage to shut out Sand Creek that night.

The venue: 1 p.m. Saturday, November 17 at Battle Creek Harper Creek High School

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Matt Gard is the Senior Producer of 13 ON YOUR SIDE Mornings. If you have a story idea, you can contact him on Twitter, @mgard_wzzm13 or by email, MattGard@13ONYOURSIDE.com.