The 2017 season is well underway. The fourth week of the season is one of the most pivotal, as teams begin to close in on playoff berths. For some, they find themselves with a losing record, and this week is pivotal to keep any of their postseason aspirations. The MSR staff is undefeated in their broadcasts this season, and they will be back out for eight games this Friday night. Check out a quick preview of tomorrow’s action below:
#7 Grand Rapids Christian (3-0) @ South Christian (3-0)
Three teams remain undefeated in the OK Gold, and two of them will face off at East Kentwood High School on Friday night. The host Sailors are led by quarterback Andrew Haan, who also makes an impact on defense and on special teams. For the Eagles, their passing combination of Isaac Dykema and James Patrick have exploded the past two weeks, as they have averaged 47.3 points per game this season. The winner of this one is unlikely to be challenged in conference play prior to their contest with East Grand Rapids. Last season, the Eagles topped South Christian 52-42, their seventh straight victory in the series.
Hudsonville (1-2) @ Grandville (2-1)
Two OK Red rivals square off on Friday night as the Bulldogs host Hudsonville. The Eagles are off to a slow start this season, though their offense scored the most points (17) of any contest a week ago against Kentwood. For Grandville, they have two games in which they defeated inferior opponents by large margins (94-20), but also a contest in which they failed to score against a strong team. These teams both faced Holt in the non-conference, and they both won their contests (Hudsonville 7-3 and Grandville 53-13). Grandville has won three straight in this rivalry, including a 36-6 blowout last season.
Caledonia (1-2) @ Rockford (1-2)
The Fighting Scots and Rams will play on Friday night in a huge game for both teams. The winner of this contest will be back at .500, keeping their playoff hunt on track. For the loser, it will be a tough climb to the postseason with a 1-3 record. The Scots are coming in off two straight defeats against Grand Rapids Christian and West Ottawa, while the Rams have lost two in a row to Lowell and Mona Shores. This is the fourth straight year these teams have met, and the Scots are looking to win for the first time since a 42-0 shutout back in 2014. The Rams have won 77-26 in the past two seasons combined.
Sparta (3-0) @ Coopersville (2-1)
The Spartans are one of the pleasant surprises early on in 2017, as they have won three games by a 152-38 margin. This week, they hit the road for their OK Blue opener against a Coopersville team that has also started the season strong, though they lost last week to Comstock Park. Last season, Sparta hosted the Broncos and they walked away with a 27-16 victory. Both of these teams have postseason aspirations, and with games against West Catholic and Catholic Central remaining for both teams, this game is crucial in achieving that goal.
West Catholic (2-1) @ Spring Lake (0-3)
The Falcons of West Catholic will hit the road for their first OK Blue game, as they visit the Lakers of Spring Lake. After falling in the season opener, they have responded with strong victories over Muskegon Heights and Zeeland West. For Spring Lake, they hope to get back on track after an 0-3 start, especially on the offensive side where they have only scored 21 points the entire season. Last season, in their first meeting since a 2000 playoff game, the Falcons walked away with a 45-7 victory.
Tri-County (0-3) vs Remus Chippewa Hills (2-1)
The Vikings look to get into the win column for the first time in 2017 as they host the Warriors of Remus Chippewa Hills. Tri-County has lost two straight games (Big Rapids and Central Montcalm) in the final moments, and it will be another tough contest on Friday. Remus Chippewa Hills is 2-1 with victories over Fremont and Newaygo to open CSAA-Gold play. Last season, the Warriors defeated Tri-County for the third straight season by pitching a 40-0 shutout.
#10 Freeland (3-0) @ Saginaw Swan Valley (2-1)
The Falcons have finally cracked the Remax-United Power Poll, and even recorded a first-place vote, after winning their twenty-fourth straight regular season game. This week they will hit the road against the last team to defeat them in the regular season, Saginaw Swan Valley. For the Grand Rapids area readers, the Vikings have made five straight playoff appearances, and their only loss this season is a loss against Zeeland East. Last season, the Falcons walked away with a 29-14 victory at home against Swan Valley.
Portage Central (2-1) vs Traverse City Central (2-1)
The Kalamazoo Area Game of the Week features one of the Kalamazoo area’s best non-league matchups. The Trojans of Traverse City Central, coming off a 29-27 defeat to crosstown rival Traverse City West, will travel downstate to take on the Mustangs. Portage Central will also enter the game coming off of a loss, a 24-7 defeat against Stevensville-Lakeshore. Last season was the first meeting ever between these two schools, and the Trojans won 38-22.