By Craig Beilfuss

NORTON SHORES–The Mona Shores Sailors will kick off the Division 2 MHSAA 2022 football playoffs on Friday evening when they host the Traverse City Central Trojans.

Gametime is 7 p.m.

The Sailors finished the regular season with a 7-2 record and finished the OK-Green slate in a three-way tie for first place with Muskegon and Zeeland West. All three teams finished 6-1 in the league. Shores lost to Rockford 31-27 in the second week of the season and to Muskegon 55-35 last Friday.

But, now all eyes are on the playoffs, where a victory sends you into the next round and a loss sends you home.

Traverse City Central, a member of the Saginaw Valley League North, is 5-4 and finished in third place in the league at 4-2.

The Sailors are led on offense by sophomore quarterback Johnathan Pittman, who completed 65-of-95 passes (68 percent) for 1,034 yards. He threw for 13 touchdowns and was picked off three times.

Behind Pittman in the backfield is running back Dahmir Farnum, who carried the ball 115 times for 1,127 yards and 17 touchdowns.

The Sailors defense comes in with seven defensive players who have racked up at least 40 tackles on the season. The defense is led by Trent Rosenthal with 49 tackles. He is followed by Hayden Terpstra with 48 tackles. Jesse Love and Ja’Mari Taylor each finished the with 46 tackles.

Traverse City looks tough on film,” Sailors coach Matt Koziak said. “They are extremely well coached. Their kids play hard. If you look at their schedule, they’ve played some really good teams. We will have to play really well in order to beat them.”

The winner of Friday’s game advances to the district final game against the winner of Reeths-Puffer and Forest Hills Central. Mona Shores will host the second-round game if Reeths-Puffer wins and hit the road if Forest Hills Central wins.