The North Central Jets will be hosting a playoff game for the first time in school history and they'll be doing it with what may be their highest ranking ever in the UPSSA Football Poll.
North Central (7-2) was ranked No. 2 in the final poll of the season, their highest ranking of the season and quite possibly the highest the school has ever been ranked.
The Jets defeated perennial nemesis Stephenson (4-5) in Week 9 27-22 to reach seven wins for the first time since 1993. North Central will open the playoffs against No. 5 Munising (6-3). The Mustangs are ranked for the first time this season after knocking off L'Anse (7-2) to become postseason eligible. Munising has won six games in a row after an 0-3 start but will have to travel to face the Jets. North Central defeated the Mustangs at Munising 14-12 in a Week Two meeting this season.
8-Man No. 1 Rapid River (9-0) is ready for their playoff opener after completing the first undefeated regular season in school history. The Rockets enter the postseason as the top overall seed in the state according to the MHSSA playoff points system and will play at home throughout their run, beginning Friday night against Posen (4-5). Rapid River defeated Posen 64-26 in a Week Two matchup this season.
Plenty of other teams across the U.P. are ready for playoff matchups this week. There are five undefeated teams across the Upper Peninsula. No. 1 Menominee (9-0) and defending Division 7 state champion Ishpeming (9-0) will open the playoffs at home as one of the top seeds in their respective divisions. The Maroons are set to take on Houghton (6-3) which is in the postseason for the first time since 2001. Ishpeming will open the postseason against Mancelona. Another undefeated team is No. 4 West Iron County (9-0). The Wykons are unbeaten heading into the postseason for the first time in school history and will take on Traverse City St. Francis (5-4). Little Five N o. 1 Forest Park (9-0) is looking to make another long playoff run, beginning Friday against Gogebic (6-3).
No. 1 Menominee (3) (9-0) 23
No. 2 Ishpeming (2) (9-0) 22
No. 3 Negaunee (8-1) 14
No. 4 West Iron County (9-0) 11
No. 5 Kingsford (7-2) 2
Others receiving votes:?Houghton (6-3) 1; Marquette (5-3) 1; Sault Ste. Marie (6-3) 1.
No. 1 Forest Park (5) (9-0)25
No. 2 North Central (7-2) 17
No. 3 North Dickinson (6-2)14
No. 4 St. Ignace (7-2) 13
No. 5 Munising (6-3) 5
No. 1 Rapid River (5) (9-0) 25
No. 2 Cedarville (8-1) 20
First-place votes follow team name. Voting conducted by five-member panel for the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.