GREEN BAY - Two playoff levels done two to go before we hit the state championship games at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, which means it's getting serious in the postseason.
In regards to teams in Northeast Wisconsin, there are still teams alive in every level as we enter Level 3 Friday night. However, it's going to be tough to have a team in every level after this week.
Among the key games, not that there are small games this time of year, are the GameTime Game of the Week, featuring Freedom at Little Chute in Division 4, Plymouth at West De Pere in Division 3 and Shiocton at St. Mary's Springs in Level 6.
It's going to be fun as we watch each division get paired down to the final two teams. So with that in mind, here are my Level 3 predictions that include teams from the area:
- (2) Kimberly (9-1) at (1) Arrowhead (10-0): Many view Arrowhead as the team to beat in Division 1 and if the Papermakers are to pull of an upset they need to keep playing offense and defense (no points allowed in the postseason) like they have all year. Problem is last four opponents have combined for 20 points against Arrowhead. Pick: Arrowhead.
- (2) Hudson (9-1) vs. (1) Appleton North (10-0) at Stevens Point: Once again North can't host a game it should because of travel, so it's playing at a neutral site. The Lightning has a tall order as Hudson whipped Bay Port last week, 46-14. North has been real good all year but might this be the week its injuries catch up? Pick: Hudson.
- (2) Homestead (9-1) at (1) Green Bay Southwest (10-0), Saturday: Last week's 27-25 comeback win over Pulaski for Southwest means one of two things: The Trojans were lucky or they know how to win a tough game. This game will be tough, no doubt, and come down to which running game can find the most success. Homestead has more than 2,400 rushing yards this season, while Southwest has just under 2,400 yards. Pick: Homestead.
- (2) Plymouth (10-0) at (1) West De Pere (10-0): Plymouth edged Seymour last week, 7-6, while West De Pere, ho-hum, won 42-6 over Two Rivers. Can Plymouth's tough defense slow down the Phantoms? It'll have to to have a chance but the Phantoms' defense right now is the best around. Pick: West De Pere.
- (2) Medford (8-2) at (1) Waupaca (10-0): Comets QB Sam Menzies has more than 1,000 yards passing and rushing and 34 combined TDs. Medford has to stop Menzies to stop Waupaca. Pick: Waupaca.
- (8) Freedom (8-2) at (2) Little Chute (9-1): The GameTime Game of the Week is a rematch of Week 3, when Little Chute topped Freedom, 13-6. Since then, Little Chute has averaged about 47 points per game. Meanwhile, the Irish has played nothing like an No. 8 seed and is feeling pretty good right now, as it should. This will be a dandy. Pick: Little Chute.
- (2) Racine St. Catherine's (9-1) at (1) Brillion (9-1), Saturday: This appears to be Brillion's toughest playoff test, but being at home with the running attack of Brandon Pribbernow (1,167 yards) and Eric Kittel (892) might just be enough. Pick: Brillion.
- (2) Shiocton (9-1) at (1) St. Mary's Springs (10-0), Saturday: A rematch of last year's state title game won by Springs, 24-0. Based on scores this year, the Ledgers look better this season and that's not good for Shiocton. Springs leads the state in scoring at 52 points per game. Pick: Springs.
- (3) Owen-Withee (9-1) at (1) Hilbert (10-0), Saturday: Hilbert has 2,342 yards rushing and 371 yards passing, so the Wolves running game better be ready to take on an Owen-Withee team that won at Suring last week. Pick: HIlbert. Level 1 picks: 20-9
Level 2 picks: 12-4
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay