SMCC (12-1) defeated Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian 28-0 in the semi-finals last week while the four time defending state champ Ithaca Yellowjackets won their 69th straight game by defeating Boyne City 20-16 in the other semi-final. These two teams have met once, that was in the 2010 Division 6 State Final in 2010. Ithaca won that game 45-35.
Ithaca is led by junior QB Jacob Smith. He has thrown for nearly 2,000 yards and rushed for another 1,300. He has accounted for 45 TD's through the air and on the ground. Senior Dallas Reeser has rushed for 758 yards and 12 TD's. Smith has three very good receivers in juniors; Spence Demull, Grant Gimmey and Tyler Spitzley. Demull has 57 catches and 15 TD's.
Defensively the Yellowjackets give up a paltry 8.3 ppg and have forced 40 turnovers this season. Junior LB's Jace Demenov and Aaron Barnes leads the defense along with defensive linemen Jonah Loomis and Derek Teed. Many of Ithaca's best players play both ways.
SMCC runs the T offensive formation with two backs doing most of the damage this season. Senior John Lako and junior Justin Carrabino have both had outstanding seasons. Senior QB Bryce Windham has a solid offensive line that is led by Kyle Bausman and Hunter Coombe.
SMCC's defense has been outstanding all season and into the playoffs. The Falcons are giving up 8.5 ppg. Perhaps the best performance of the season was holding Jackson Lumen Christi's high powered offense to 26 points. The defense is led by Troy Hilkins, Travis Vuich, Justin LaPlante and David Howey.
This is a game that many have been hoping for most of the season (at least I have) and for some since 2010. SMCC has defeated eight playoff teams this season while Ithaca has the most impressive resume of any in the state as they hold the longest winning streak in the country.
Both teams are extremely well coached. One of the best matchups of the day will be between Jacob Smith and Bryce Windham. Both players play QB and defensive back while each lead their teams in interceptions. SMCC 30 Ithaca 19