School is finally back in session for every student in Michigan, and for the first time this season we have a full schedule of broadcasts on Friday night. There are eight games that will be broadcast LIVE on Michigan Sports Radio this Friday, and they all begin pregame coverage at approximately 6:30.
#1 Lowell (2-0) vs #5 East Grand Rapids (2-0)
One of West Michigan’s premier rivalries is renewed yet again on Friday night, but for the second year as non-conference foes. Coach Noel Dean’s Red Arrows look like one of the state’s top teams after defeating Warren DeLaSalle 36-6 and Rockford 14-0. On the other side, Casey Longo’s bunch has started the year undefeated as well, defeating Farmington Hills Harrison and Forest Hills Northern. Both of these teams find themselves in this week’s Remax-United Power Poll, as Lowell sits at #1, while East is #5. This should be a fantastic battle of senior quarterbacks, in Lowell’s David Kruse against East Grand Rapids’ Mike Malewitz, as both teams find themselves as favorites in their respective leagues. Lowell has won six consecutive contests in this rivalry, including 34-7 in 2016.
Hudsonville (1-1) vs #7 East Kentwood (2-0)
OK-Red play begins in the season’s third week as Hudsonville will host the Falcons of East Kentwood. Last week, Hudsonville got in the win column for the first time in 2017 when they defeated Holt 7-3. Their offense has struggled so far this season, averaging just 10.5 points per game, and they will be tested against a Kentwood team that has shown strong efforts on both sides of the ball. In their first two games, the Falcons have outscored their opponents 66-6, and as a result they sit at #7 in the Remax-United Power Poll. The Eagles have won three straight in this matchup, including an epic 25-18 game last season.
Tri-County (0-2, 0-1 CSAA) at Big Rapids (0-2, 0-1 CSAA)
The Vikings and Cardinals face off in the second week of CSAA-Gold play, and each team is looking for their first win of the season. For Tri-County, they fell just short a week ago against Stanton Central Montcalm, while Big Rapids’ offense sputtered against Grant in a 21-7 loss. Both teams need this win to avoid an almost inescapable 0-3 start to their season. A season ago, Tri-County defeated the Cardinals 13-12, but Big Rapids holds the 6-4 all-time edge in the series.
Freeland (2-0, 1-0 TVC) vs Shepherd (1-1, 0-1 TVC)
The Falcons, who received a first place vote in the Remax-United Power Poll, are coming off of a win against Chesaning to open TVC play. This week, their pursuit for another TVC title brings Shepherd to town. The Bluejays showed promise offensively last week, but their 32 points were not enough against Swan Valley, as they suffered a 22-point loss. Freeland has won ten consecutive meetings against Shepherd, with the Bluejays last win coming in a 19-15 win back in 2006.
Coopersville (2-0) at Comstock Park (2-0)
OK Blue play kicks off Friday night for two teams that have surprised many in their strong starts. Coopersville, winners of one game a season ago, is 2-0 after a convincing win over Fruitport and a comeback win against Hamilton. Their foe, the Panthers of Comstock Park have shown a strong offense led by tailback JoJo Whitley, as they have averaged 43.5 points per game in a pair of wins over Northview and Wyoming. Last year, Comstock Park won this matchup 41-18, their fifth straight win in the series.
West Catholic (1-1) at #10 Zeeland West (1-1)
A pair of strong teams with tough losses early meet up in Zeeland in the season’s third week. The #10 ranked Dux will play host to four-time defending Division 5 State Champion West Catholic in a battle of 1-1 teams. West Catholic fell just a few points short of beating Lumen in the season opener before bouncing back with a dominant win over Muskegon Heights last week. The Dux started off with a dominant win over Cedar Springs before falling on the road against Mona Shores a week ago. Both teams are considered strong contenders to win their conference again this season, and this matchup should be even better than last year’s 38-22 Dux win.
Schoolcraft (1-1) vs Galesburg-Augusta (1-1)
The Eagles of Schoolcraft enter Friday’s contest with a record of 1-1, defeating Fennville and losing to Berrien Springs. This week, they will take on the Rams of Galesburg-Augusta, who also split their first two contests, losing to Union City before beating New Buffalo. These two schools have played in each of the past nine seasons, nine of them as league opponents, but this year they are in separate divisions of the SAC. Schoolcraft holds a nine-game winning streak against GA, including a 56-10 win last season.
#6 Rockford (2-0) at #3 Mona Shores (2-0)
The eighth game on the docket for Michigan Sports Radio is another battle of teams that should be considered strong contenders for their respective league titles. The #6 Rockford Rams, who have struggled offensively, but only allowed 14 points so far this season (a 14-0 win over Saline and a 14-0 loss to Lowell) will have their toughest defensive test of the season on Friday night. The Mona Shores Sailors, ranked third in this week’s Remax-United Power Poll are currently averaging 41.5 points per game on the season, and this is an impressive number given the strong level of competition they have faced so far (Canton and Zeeland West). Last season, Rockford won a 37-23 contest, but this series has gone back and forth over the past three seasons, as the Rams hold a narrow 2-1 series edge.