The Vassar Vulcans (6-1, 4-1 in Greater Thumb West) beat Unionville-Sebewaing 22-16 (4-3, 3-2 in GTW), earning its fifth straight victory over the Patriots and their third consecutive playoff appearance.
With Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills in attendance for homecoming, it may have been their biggest win of the season, regardless of how far they go in the postseason.
Staff Sgt. Mills was injured during his time serving in Afghanistan, losing parts of all four limbs. His return to his hometown to watch his former team brought a whole community together--and a football team eager to win with their hero watching.
"We came in shaken up but we came together as a team," Vassar senior Rey Martinez said. "We did what we do and that's win."
In the Tri-Valley Conference Central, Hemlock (6-1, 6-0) was victorious over Freeland (5-2, 4-2) to move to and earn a playoff berth.
Carrollton (6-1, 5-1) clinched another playoff berth in the TVC West, defeating Saginaw Valley Lutheran (5-2, 4-2) 49-13.