The fifth week of the high school football season is upon us, which means that we officially at the halfway point of the regular season. Certain teams find themselves just two wins away from clinching a spot in the playoffs, while others have their backs against the wall unable to afford another loss. The Michigan Sports Radio team will be LIVE all across the area this week to bring you some of the premier matchups. Check out a quick preview of them all below:
Greenville (1-3) vs Ottawa Hills (1-3)
The Yellowjackets of Greenville continue their season this week with an OK White contest against Ottawa Hills. With Forest Hills Central still on the schedule, this game is must win for Greenville who has little margin for error in their playoff pursuit. After a season opening win over Union, the Bengals have struggled in their past three games, as they have been outscored 111-30 in three defeats. These two teams have played three times in their histories, dating back to a 45-7 Greenville victory in the 2005 district finals. As members of the OK White the past two seasons, Greenville has defeated Ottawa Hills twice by scores of 33-6 and 42-6.
Hudsonville (4-0) at Jenison (3-1)
One of the more surprising teams in the area thus far has been the Eagles of Hudsonville. They have won all four of Coach Brent Sandee’s games as head coach, and they have put themselves in solid position to make a postseason push. They will attempt to move to 5-0 when they travel to neighboring Jenison to take on the Wildcats. After a tough season opening loss to Forest Hills Central, the Wildcats have reeled off three straight victories. This is a pivotal game for Jenison if they want to make the playoffs, as they face Muskegon and Mona Shores in the next two weeks. These former OK Red foes played every year from 1993 to 2011, and 23 total times since 1950. They have not met since Jenison made the move out of the OK Red, but Jenison holds a 14-9 advantage despite the fact that Hudsonville has won the last eight meetings.
West Catholic (1-3) vs Sparta (2-2)
The Falcons of West Catholic have their backs against the wall this week as they face the Spartans of Sparta. With three losses in four games, and the tougher portions of the OK Blue slate ahead, West Catholic has almost no margin for error. This week, they will take on a Sparta team that has been shut out in their first two league contests after scoring non-conference wins against Lansing Everett and Union. West Catholic has won all eight meetings between the schools, dating back to their alignment in the OK Blue starting in 2008. Last year, the Falcons emerged victorious 49-21.
East Grand Rapids (2-2) at Wayland Union (3-1)
The Pioneers of East Grand Rapids, as well as Forest Hills Central and Grandville, are three 2-2 teams that find themselves playing like some of the area’s best teams. Last week, East took down their second Forest Hills school, this time it was Eastern to even their record at 2-2. OK Gold play will continue for the back-to-back league champions, who have won all thirteen conference games since joining the league in 2016, when they travel to Wayland. The Wildcats won their first three games before bowing out to Middleville last week. In the two meetings since they have been members of the Gold, East has scored at least forty points. The Pioneers also defeated Wayland in 2002 and 2003 by at least 32 points.
Rockford (1-3) vs Grand Haven (2-2)
The Rams of Rockford find themselves in a very unfamiliar position, with little margin for error in pursuit of their playoff spot. With East Kentwood, Grandville, Caledonia and Hudsonville on the horizon, this week’s game against Grand Haven is crucial for their playoff push. The Buccaneers defeated Reeths-Puffer and Traverse City West to start the season 2-0, but they have been defeated handily by Hudsonville and Grandville each of the past two weeks. Last year’s 39-10 Rams win in late September was Rockford’s seventh straight in this matchup. Rockford has won 31 of 35 meetings dating back to 1985.
Coopersville (1-3) vs Grand Rapids Catholic Central (3-1)
The Broncos took an early lead a week ago, but they ultimately suffered their second league loss in a 38-8 game against Spring Lake. This week, they look to get back on track against the two-time defending Division 4 State Champion Cougars of Grand Rapids Catholic Central. Outside of the Week 2 loss to Saline, the Cougars have played extremely well to defeat Muskegon Heights, Sparta and Zeeland East. These two teams have played eight times, and Catholic Central has won all eight meetings by at least sixteen points.
Freeland (3-1) vs Standish-Sterling (1-3)
The Annual Freeland “Clash for the Cure” Game takes place this Friday as the Falcons host Standish-Sterling. Despite a hiccup in Week 3 against Swan Valley, Freeland has been playing tremendous football this year. They take on a Standish-Sterling bunch that has lost each of their past three contests. Last year, Freeland defeated Standish-Sterling 27-21, their third win in as many tries against the Panthers.
Tri County (2-2) at Grant (2-2)
The Vikings are off to their best start in three years, and they hope to continue this momentum against Grant on Friday night. Grant is also 2-2, but they have lost their past two CSAA-Gold contests to Reed City and Chippewa Hills. Last year, Tri-County was defeated by the Tigers 42-6, their fourth straight defeat in the series. The last time Tri-County won in this rivalry was 2013, when these two schools were members of the Lakes-8 Conference. Tri-County holds the all-time advantage by a 27-25-2 margin.
Newaygo (2-2) at Fremont (1-3)
After a pair of early defeats, the Lions of Newaygo have rattled off two straight wins to even their record at 2-2. They will continue league play this week against the Packers of Fremont. Last week, Fremont snapped a 30-game losing streak with a 26-12 victory of Stanton Central Montcalm. Fremont has won 14 of 23 all time meetings, but Newaygo is currently on a two-game winning streak, including a 48-12 win in 2017.