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Cardinals, Owls and Thunderbolts look to set the tone early

Johannesburg-Lewiston is having one of their best seasons in program history. The Cardinals ended the regular season with a (9-0) record and haven’t done that since 1998. Nine of the last 11 seasons have been a trip to the postseason and the reason for that is because they’re dominating on both sides of the football. The defense is allowing an average of nine points a game and the offense is averaging over 35 points a contest. Sheldon Huff and Logan Finnerty have been hard to stop as they’ve each rushed for over 1,000 yards and are looking for more.

“I’m pleased they have a bunch of yards,” said head coach Joe Smokevitch. “They’re leading on the football field and are giving credit to the linemen.”

On Friday, the No. 1 seed Cardinals will have home-field advantage as they go up against No. 4 seed Blanchard Montabella (5-4). This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

The top-seeded Owls will be home for the first time in school history. They will be squaring off with No. 4 seed McBain (5-4) on Friday at 7 p.m. Oscoda will be looking for their first postseason victory since 2000.

“The players are really looking forward to the game,” said head coach Mark Whitley. “We’ve had a great week of practice. They’re ready to get after it and play the game.”

The Owls finished the regular season with an (8-1) record. Despite their 35-0 loss to Breckenridge back on Oct. 18, the Owls have been hard to stop on both sides of the ball. They’re averaging over 37 points a game and are allowing seven points on defense.

This season, Mio (8-1) moved from playing 11-man football to eight man football. Ever since the change, head coach Jason Socia and the Thunderbolts have been playing out of their minds. This is the first postseason appearance for the Thunderbolts since 2013.

On Friday, the No. 1 seed will host No. 4 seed Mayville (6-3) in the first round of Districts. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.