By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Two thirds of the MHSAA football regular season are complete. And one tenth of Michigan’s teams are still perfect – at least two for only a few more hours.
A total of 59 teams are 6-0, and four are playing each other in two of our most significant clashes in the state this weekend.
See below for those matchups and more from your neighborhood. And be sure to check out the first-time, full-hour MHSAA Football Friday Overtime, kicking off with highlights from 13 games at 11:30 p.m. tonight on Fox Sports Detroit.
Also, remember to visit the MHSAA Score Center all weekend for updated scores and standings.
(All games below are tonight unless noted. Go to Score Center for additional dates and kickoff times.)
Grand Ledge (5-1) at Lansing Everett (6-0)
The Vikings have turned aside all challengers in their pursuit of a first league title since 1986. But despite a 6-0 win over East Lansing last week, the toughest might still be yet to come. Grand Ledge has won five straight since opening with a loss to East Kentwood, and over the years has thrived in games when everyone else is talking more about the other team.
Others that caught my eye: Pewamo-Westphalia (5-1) at Fowler (5-1), Grand Blanc (4-2) at Hartland (6-0), Lansing Catholic (5-1) at Portland (6-0), Olivet (5-1) at Battle Creek Pennfield (5-1).
Thumb and Bay
Flint Carman-Ainsworth (6-0) at Flint Powers Catholic (6-0)
Powers' season has been plenty eventful; the reigning MHSAA Division 5 champion owns wins over reigning Division 7 champ Saginaw Nouvel and reigning Division 3 runner-up Mount Pleasant, and fought through an emotional evening a week ago to beat Davison on the same day as retired coach Jack Pratt's funeral. Carman-Ainsworth's journey to this potential Saginaw Valley Association South title decider has rolled along a little more quietly. All the Cavaliers have done is outscore their first three league opponents by a combined 148-8.
Others that caught my eye: Frankenmuth (6-0) at Essexville Garber (4-2), Freeland (5-1) at Hemlock (5-1), Marysville (5-1) at Marine City (5-1), Croswell-Lexington (6-0) at Almont (4-2).
Lower Up North
St. Ignace (6-0) at Pickford (5-1)
Both are newcomers to the Ski Valley Conference this fall, from different former leagues, and are dominating the North division. The winner tonight claims a share of the league title, and Pickford already has beaten third-place Pellston big. A sixth win would give the Panthers their most since 2007. The Saints aren't budging, outscoring opponents 253-12 so far.
Others that caught my eye: Maple City Glen Lake (6-0) at Frankfort (3-3), Grayling (6-0) at Kalkaska (5-1), Johannesburg-Lewiston (4-2) at Onaway (5-1), Benzie Central (3-3) at Kingsley (4-2).
Ishepming (6-0) at Negaunee (6-0)
Two of six undefeated teams in the Upper Peninsula meet to decide at least a share of the Mid-Peninsula Conference – and eventually, this result could decide the whole title with the way these two have dominated. Negaunee has had a few close calls, but has some additional incentive after losing to Ishpeming in six of the last seven meetings.
Others that caught my eye: Marquette (4-2) at Menominee (5-1), Iron Mountain North Dickinson (6-0) at Powers North Central (4-2), Kingsford (5-1) at Iron Mountain (4-2), Rapid River (4-1) at Eben Junction Superior Central (5-1).
Muskegon Oakridge (6-0) at Shelby (5-1)
Winning the West Michigan Conference generally is a strong endorsement for a team's playoff hopes. Six of eight league teams still are up for automatic playoff berths, but Oakridge can claim a share of the championship tonight. Shelby's lone loss was to Montague, which lost to Oakridge; a Shelby win would create a three-way tie for first place between all three.
Others that caught my eye: Grand Rapids South Christian (4-2) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (6-0), Caledonia (5-1) at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (4-2), East Grand Rapids (2-4) at Lowell (5-1), Grand Rapids Northview (5-1) at Cedar Springs (4-2).
Garden City (4-2) at Dearborn Heights Robichaud (6-0)
Robichaud hasn't been perfect this deep into a season since 1991, and got a lot of the heavy work out of the way last week by beating reigning league champion Redford Thurston to earn a share of the Western Wayne Athletic Conference Red. But the Bulldogs can't forget about Garden City, which like Thurston is just a win back of Robichaud and would create a three-way title with a win tonight.
Others that caught my eye: Farmington Hills Harrison (4-2) at Oak Park (6-0), Birmingham Seaholm (5-1) at Bloomfield Hills Lahser (5-1), Plymouth (5-1) at Canton (4-2), Detroit Catholic Central (4-2) at Birmingham Brother Rice (4-2), Saturday.
Southwest and Border
Dowagiac (6-0) at Three Rivers (4-2)
Dowagiac hasn't given up a point in three games and easily could look ahead to Edwardsburg, next week's opponent and the other team tied for first in the Wolverine B Conference South. But the Chieftains won't overlook Three Rivers, which is two eight-point losses from being 6-0 -- including one of those to Edwardsburg two weeks ago.
Others that caught my eye: Lawton (5-1) at Marcellus (5-1), Mattawan (6-0) at Portage Central (5-1), Niles Brandywine (4-2) at St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic (6-0), Hartford (5-1) at Decatur (5-1).
PHOTO: Portland running back Jacob Kimmell works to break away from multiple tacklers during the Raiders' 36-13 win over Corunna on Sept. 8. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com).