HOUGHTON - The weather may have a major say in the playoff race and the WestPAC tonight as Week 7 of the prep football season takes place.
The biggest game of the weekend takes place at Agassiz Field where Calumet (3-3) hosts L'Anse (6-0) in its home finale.
The Purple Hornets are already into the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs but tough contests tonight and next week against WestPAC co-leader Northland Pines will have a lot to say about who and where they play, particularly since all but one of L'Anse's first six opponents (West Iron County) have a losing record.
The Copper Kings have won three straight games but still find themselves in a dangerous position for both the playoffs and WestPAC.
A loss eliminates them from league contention and requires them to win road games at Ironwood and Gladstone in the last two weeks plus a good enough playoff point average to qualify as a 5-4 team. If they win, Calumet could join a three-way tie atop the league if L'Anse were to defeat Northland Pines at Meadowbrook Field next week.
Calumet has dominated the recent series between the two, outscoring L'Anse 204-39 over the last four years since the Hornets' last win in 2007. That 26-6 Hornet victory was played on a Meadowbrook Field track that looked more like a peat bog than a football field.
A L'Anse win makes next week's game against the Eagles winner-take-all for the WestPAC, provided the Eagles get past an injury depleted West Iron County team in Iron River tonight.
Further south on US-41, Hancock looks for its first WestPAC win and its third win of the season tonight at McAfee Field against Ironwood.
Both teams enter the game nursing slim playoff hopes at 2-4, though the Bulldogs are coming off a notable win last Saturday at Lake Linden-Hubbell and have their next two games at home before playing Houghton in a Copper Bowl where it will be the favorite.
Ironwood has lost three straight, though taking unbeaten L'Anse to overtime last Friday can give the Red Devils a hopeful sign toward a third straight 5-4 regular season.
The first two resulted in one-and-done playoff trips in Division 7.
On the other side of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, LL-H (3-3) visits Houghton (0-6). The Lakes have won 24 consecutive meetings between the two dating back to 1981.
Ontonagon (0-6) is also at home tonight, facing the Gogebic Miners. The Miners, who were idle last week, can clinch their first non-losing season since 2006 with a victory, which would raise their record to 4-2.
Baraga (0-6) is at Forest Park Friday. The 5-1 Trojans, who lost last week at North Dickinson, last lost consecutive games in 1999.