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West Michigan Conference playoff football roundup (district finals 2023)

Whitehall, Oakridge, Hart, and Manistee see their seasons come to an end. North Muskegon plays Saturday.

Friday night was a rough one for West Michigan Conference football teams in district finals game.

All four teams competing on Friday lost and saw their seasons come to an end.

Top-ranked North Muskegon (10-0) takes on fourth-ranked Lawton (9-1) in a Division 7 district final at 1 p.m. Saturday at Oakridge’s Russell A. Erickson Stadium.

Here is a roundup of district title games involving West Michigan Conference teams on Friday:


BIG RAPIDS 28, WHITEHALL 27: Top-ranked Whitehall’s dream of chasing a state title was cut short in a district finals upset against a determined, well-executing Big Rapids squad at Holton’s Red Devil Stadium.

CLICK HERE for a column by Scott DeCamp as well as reaction and highlight videos.


GRAND RAPIDS WEST CATHOLIC 45, OAKRIDGE 0: Unbeaten West Catholic built an early lead and pulled away from visiting Oakridge in this district final. The Falcons led 17-0 after the first quarter, 31-0 at halftime, and 45-0 through three quarters.

West Catholic outgained Oakridge in total offense, 428-136, including 224-32 in passing yards. Charlie DeBruyn rushed 171 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries for the Falcons, while Alex Wickstrom went 8-of-13 passing for 224 yards and three TDs.

Trever Jones led Oakridge with 91 rushing yards on 17 carries. Brody Jennings paced the Eagles defense with eight solo tackles and an assist, while Evan Miller made seven stops.

Oakridge closes the season with a 7-4 record. West Catholic (10-0) advances to next week’s regional final against arch-rival Grand Rapids Catholic Central (9-1).

Photo by Courtney Jimison | CatchMark


REED CITY 50, HART 18: Hart’s historic season came to an end in a district finals matchup against a big, physical, and perennially strong Reed City program. For the first time all season, Hart lost the turnover battle, 3-0.

Pirates standout running back JoseLuis Andaverde was limited to 15 yards on 10 carries. Connor Edwards led the team with 48 yards and a TD on four carries. Alex Hicks scored on a TD run, while Eman Hertzler caught a TD pass. Hart finished with 133 rushing yards on 31 attempts and 229 total yards of offense. Joaquin Flores led the Pirates defense with 16 tackles, while Ty Thomas and Chase Gale made 13 and 10 stops, respectively.

Hart closes the season with a 9-2 record. It’s the most wins for the Pirates in program history. This was the first season in which they earned a playoff berth, and they went on to their first-ever postseason win last week.

Reed City (8-3) advances to host Midland Bullock Creek (8-3) in next week’s regional finals.

In this file photo, Hart players stand for the National Anthem prior to their win over Ravenna on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, in Hart, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

KINGSLEY 37, MANISTEE 18: Manistee struck first on Kaden Kott’s 85-yard scoring run early in the game, but Kingsley took control and won this district finals matchup.

Nick Hornkohl led Manistee with 151 rushing yards and a TD on 14 carries. Braydon Sorenson paced the Mariners with 18 tackles.

Manistee closes the season with an 8-3 record in head coach Troy Bytwork’s final season at the helm.

Kingsley (9-2) advances to next week’s regional finals against visiting Gladstone (9-2).

Photo by Courtney Jimison | CatchMark

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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