DETROIT — It all comes down to this.
After four months and 13 weeks of games, the final week of the high school football season has come.
This Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24-25, Detroit’s Ford Field will welcome in the state’s best teams and players across each division for the annual Michigan High School Athletic Association football state championships.
There’s plenty of intriguing matchups, even after what were considered a few upsets in the semifinal round.
Three teams will be going for a repeat title in Belleville, Warren De La Salle and Detroit Martin Luther King. For De La Salle the dynasty can be added to with what would be their fifth state championship since 2014. They were also runner-up in 2020.
Speaking of runner-up, a trio of teams are also back for redemption, as Traverse City St. Francis, Frankenmuth and Ubly all finished runner-up in 2020 and are back to finish the job.
The Gladiators of St. Francis will be the lone team out of the Northern Michigan area making the trip and will meet a Jackson Lumen Christi team that earned three straight Division 6 titles from 2016 to 2018, as well as a runner-up finish in Division 7 in 2019.
While they last won a title in 2017, the Muskegon Big Reds are back in the finals and going for their 13th state title in school history.
Both Gladwin and Goodrich have some catching up to do in that regard, as they’ll both be playing in their very first state championship game.
The lone Upper Peninsula team making the trip will be Negaunee in Division 6, with the Miners looking to cap a 14-0 season with their first state title since 2002.
Caledonia is also back after an extended hiatus, having last made the finals and won in 2005.
Three teams out of the Grand Rapids area will compete, with West Catholic back in the finals after winning five straight from 2013 to 2017, while finishing runner-up in 2012 and first winning a title in 2010. Forest Hills Central is going for its first-ever title after a runner-up finish in 1994 and South Christian returns after last having won in 2014.
The final team making an appearance is Ottawa Lake Whiteford, who is going for their second state title, with a victory in the finals last coming in 2017, also in Division 8.
All games will be broadcast on Bally Sports and the Bally Sports app, along with the NFHS Network online.
Get semifinal scores, championship matchups and the players to watch throughout Friday and Saturday below.
Caledonia 21, Clarkston 0
Belleville 29, Detroit Cass Tech 28 (OT)
GR Forest Hills Central 20, Dexter 17 (2 OT)
Warren De La Salle 43, Birmingham Groves 15
Muskegon 49, DeWitt 21
Detroit King 52, Mason 17
GR South Christian 26, Edwardsburg 20
Goodrich 51, Riverview 26
Gladwin 28, GR Catholic Central 21
Frankenmuth 38, Detroit Country Day 0
Negaunee 13, Reed City 12
GR West Catholic 33, Clinton 14
Traverse City St. Francis 53, New Lothrop 8
Jackson Lumen Christi 20, Napoleon 7
Ubly 41, Iron Mountain 14
Ottawa Lake Whiteford 44, Clarkston Everest 6
Ubly (13-0) vs. Ottawa Lake Whiteford (13-0), 10 a.m.
Warren De La Salle (12-1) vs. GR Forest Hill Central (13-0), 1 p.m.
Negaunee (13-0) vs. GR West Catholic (12-1), 4:30 p.m.
Goodrich (12-1) vs. GR South Christian (13-0), 7:30 p.m.
Jackson Lumen Christi (10-3) vs. TC St. Francis (13-0), 10 a.m.
Caledonia (12-1) vs. Belleville (13-0), 1 p.m.
Gladwin (13-0) vs. Frankenmuth (13-0), 4:30 p.m.
Detroit King (9-3) vs. Muskegon (11-2), 7:30 p.m.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
(247Sports national position rank and commitment* OR offers)
QB: Dante Moore, Detroit King - #4 (’23) - Oregon*
QB: Brady Drogosh, De La Salle - #27 (’23) - Cincinnati*
QB: Bryce Underwood, Belleville - #1 (’25) - Michigan, MSU, Miami (Fla.), Notre Dame
QB: Mason McKenzie, Caledonia - N/A (’23) - GVSU, SVSU, Illinois State
RB: Timmy Kloska, GR West Catholic - N/A (’23) - Air Force*
RB: Brock Townsend, Caledonia - N/A (’24) - Toledo, WMU, CMU
RB: Derrick Walker, Lumen Christi - N/A (’23) - GVSU (offer)
TE: Derek Pennington Jr., Caledonia - N/A (’24) - CMU, WMU
OL: Johnathan Slack, Detroit King - #45 (’23) - Michigan St.*
OL: Nathaniel Johnson, Belleville - #44 (’24) - Kentucky, Maryland, WMU
DE: Kenneth Merrieweather, Detroit King - #76 (’23) - Southern Miss*
DE: Messiah Blair, Detroit King - #84 (’23) - Eastern Mich.*
DE: Mason Muragin, De La Salle - #102 (’23) - Illinois*
DE: Connor Smith, Lumen Christi - N/A (’23) - Grand Valley State*
LB: Jeremiah Beasley, Belleville - #20 (’24) - MSU, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky
S: Jameel Croft, Detroit King - #67 (’23) - Kansas*
S: Ty Hudkins, GR Forest Hills Central - N/A (’24) - Western Mich. (offer)
ATH: Mychal Yharbrough, Belleville - #137 (’23) - Miami (OH)*
ATH: Jamari Allen, De La Salle - #177 (’23) - Central Mich.*
Contact Sports Editor Drew Kochanny at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @DrewKochanny, and Instagram, @drewkochanny
This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Everything you need to know for the Michigan football state finals