The 2021 high school football season is now complete.  And it was a very successful one in the Mid-Michigan area with five area teams winning regional titles and advancing to the state semifinals, and three of them moving on to Ford Field for the state championship tilts.

Lansing Catholic (Division 6) and Pewamo-Westphalia (Division 7) were victorious at Ford Field and won state titles, while DeWitt (Division 3) came up just short (one foot short) in the final game against Detroit Martin Luther King.

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Congratulations to DeWitt (CAAC Blue), Mason, Williamston, Haslett (CAAC Red tri-champs), Lansing Catholic (CAAC White), Olivet (GLAC), and Pewamo-Westphalia (CMAC) were our area league champions in 2021.

Here's a list of the (very) unofficial postseason awards for H.S. football in the Mid-Michigan area.

GAME OF THE YEAR

Lansing Catholic (Cougar mascot pictured above) defeating Portland 31-29 in Week 6 at Catholic. The Cougars had a 28-7 lead in the 3rd quarter, but the Raiders rallied back to take the lead 29-28 with just under a minute to play.

Catholic came back down the field and senior Jonah Richards hit a 33 yard field goal as time ran out to give the Cougs the win.  An instant classic if there ever was one.

UPSET OF THE YEAR

Mason knocking off perennial power Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice in the Division 3 regional championship game at Lawrence Tech University 20-17.

Freshman QB Cason Carswell threw a 6 yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Derek Badgley with 10 seconds left to give the Bulldogs the win and their first regional title in school history.

Honorable Mention:  Portland upsetting DeWitt 20-17 in Week 2 at Portland.  Hayden Getchall's touchdown pass to Ethan Patrick in the final seconds gave the Raiders a huge win over the defending Division 3 state champs.

DEFENSIVE GAME OF THE YEAR

P-W's 12-7 victory over Lansing Catholic in Week 9 at P-W.  Despite injuries to key players, the Pirate defense held Catholic's potent offense to just one touchdown.  Catholic's defense was very good, too.  But backup QB Troy Wertman's TD in the fourth quarter was the difference for the Pirates.

This was a game of really good defense (for both teams) as opposed to bad offense.  And it turned out to be a game between two eventual state champions.

And it was also announced this week that the two teams will play each other again in Week 9 the next two years.  That's good for EVERYBODY who loves high school football in the area.

Honorable Mention:  Portland shutting out Kalamazoo United 21-0 in the Division 5 regional finals.  United had the ball inside Portland's 20-yard line four times and failed to score.  Two ended up with forced fumbles and the other two were turnovers on downs.

GOAL-LINE STAND OF THE YEAR

Unfortunately for DeWitt fans, it's Detroit Martin Luther King's goal-line stop on fourth down in the Division 3 title game.  The Crusaders stopped 1,000 yard rusher Bryce Debri on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line with just under three minutes left to preserve the 25-21 victory over the Panthers.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

DeWitt senior QB Tyler Holtz.  He threw for nearly 3,000 yards this season with 41 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions.

The future Ivy Leaguer (he's headed to Brown University) led the Panthers to a pair of state finals appearances (won it in 2020, runners-up in 2021) during his career.  Pretty remarkable.

COACH OF THE YEAR

P-W's Jeremy Miller.  Injuries ravaged this team all season long.  Their starting RB, Tanner Wirth, was lost for the season early on.  And they lost their starting QB and other key players for a majority of the season.

In response to that, all they did was go 14-0 and win the Division 7 state championship.  Their fourth state title in the last six years.  The Pirate machine rolls on.

Honorable Mention:

Lansing Catholic's Jim Baker.  The first-year coach replaced a legend in Jim Ahearn, and all he did was go 13-1 and win the Division 5 state title.

The Cougars had great senior leadership with QB Joey Baker (the coach's son) and WR Alex Watters, who won two state titles in three years on varsity.

What do you guys think??  Let us know.

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