Mt. Pleasant aims for win in first playoff appearance since 2015

Listen to Petoskey vs. Mt. Pleasant in the first round of the MHSAA Playoffs LIVE on ESPN 100.9-FM beginning at 6:30pm. Brad Tunney & Matt DeVries will be on the call.

By @EvanPetzold

In Week 1 of the season, Mt. Pleasant defeated Petoskey, 13-0. Eight weeks later, the Oilers (9-0) aim to do the same. The Saginaw Valley League Blue regular season champions went unblemished in 2018, earning the No. 1 spot in their Division 3 district.

Mt. Pleasant hosts the Northmen (5-4) at 7 p.m. on Oct. 26 at Community Memorial Stadium in a game played for the fourth time between the two programs. The Oilers currently hold a 3-1 record, winning in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

The winner of Mt. Pleasant-Petoskey play either Cedar Springs or Gaylord in the Division 3 district finals. Whoever takes the district final championship is likely to play powerhouse Muskegon in the Division 3 MHSAA State Quarterfinals.

Allowing 68 total points this season, Mt. Pleasant has a prolific defense to go hand-in-hand with its exquisite offense – led by senior quarterback Jackson Ostrowsky.

The 6-foot, 195-pound signal caller is 82-of-136 through the air for 1,365 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has 357 rushing yards on 69 carries and nine scores.

“They’re going to put it up,” Petoskey head coach Kerry VanOrman told the Petoskey News. “They’ve got game breakers and we can’t allow big plays defensively.”

If it’s not Jackson supplying offense for the Oilers, junior running back Zach Mogg is the next man up. Providing a lethal one-two punch with his quarterback, Mogg has 175 carries for 1,067 yards and 11 scores.

Jackson’s brother, Jo Ostrowsky, is the second-best statistical receiver in the SVL Blue. All from his older brother, the junior wideout has caught six touchdowns.

The first time Mt. Pleasant met Petoskey this season, Jackson found Jo for a 45-yard touchdown. Later, Jackson scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak, making it a 13-0 game ­– the final score.

Petoskey is led by junior quarterback Gabe Whitmore, who fought throughout the first few weeks of the season to earn the starting spot.

The Oilers, with Ostrowsky at the helm, have defeated Petoskey, Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills, Bay City John Glenn, Bay City Central, Bay City Western, Midland, Saginaw, Midland Dow and Saginaw Heritage.

Petoskey has fallen to Mt. Pleasant, Escanaba, Traverse City Central and Traverse City West in 2018.

In order to improve to 10-0 and advance in the playoffs, Mt. Pleasant will be tasked with downing Petoskey for the second time this season.

“It’s exciting to play them again, no doubt,” VanOrman said. “They’ve got a nice football team, they really do. We’ve got our work cut out for us, there’s no doubt about that. It’s going to be a challenge.”