The fourth week of the season is here already! Teams have completed a third of their regular seasons, and we enter the biggest stretch of the season. In the second trimester of the season, conference championship races take form, playoff aspirations are crushed for some and kept alive for others. So after you take a look back at last week’s Core Power Performance Impact Players of the Week and the latest Remax-United Power Poll, let’s take a look at this week’s action.
Forest Hills Eastern (2-1, 1-0) vs East Grand Rapids (1-2, 0-0)
The Pioneers begin their OK Gold campaign on Friday night after completing a grueling non-conference schedule that saw losses to Zeeland West and Muskegon. Their first league foe will be no push over however, as the FHE Hawks are 2-1 on the year. This is their best start since they began 2015 by winning the first eight games. FHE has won two straight games, including a 21-14 contest against Middleville last week. In the 2018 meeting between these two teams, East Grand Rapids was able to win 40-29, their fifth win in fifth tries against the Hawks.
Forest Hills Central (2-1, 0-0) at Forest Hills Northern (1-2, 1-0)
The Rangers will try to bounce back after they suffered their first defeat of the season last week against Grandville. Their first OK White action will pit them against Forest Hills Northern, who enters this game at 1-2. The Huskies struggled in their first two games, but they were able to get their first victory last week against Ottawa Hills, 34-12. The all-time series between these two schools is tied at 11-11, but the Rangers have won the last five in this series. Last year, FHC won 49-21.
Hudsonville (2-1, 1-0) at Caledonia (1-2, 0-1)
The Eagles pitched a shutout last week, dominating Grand Haven from the opening kickoff. They will look to add another OK Red win when they travel to Caledonia to take on the Fighting Scots. Caledonia was unable to beat East Kentwood last week, but they were able to control the clock in their Week 2 victory over Cedar Springs. Hudsonville’s stout defense will pose a tall challenge for the Scots on Friday night. Last year, Hudsonville won 31-17 for their fourth straight win the series dating back to 1993.
East Kentwood (2-1, 1-0) vs West Ottawa (0-3, 0-1)
The Falcons are playing their best football, winners of two straight games. They put on an offensive clinic against Grand Ledge, before using defense to defeat Caledonia. They will take on West Ottawa, who has struggled out of the gate this season. The Panthers’ defense has given up at least 30 points in all three games, and more than 40 in two of them. Unfortunately for them, this may be their toughest test to date. Last year, Kentwood blew West Ottawa out of the water with a 56-7 victory.
Zeeland West (3-0) at Lowell (2-1)
The Dux are undefeated on the season, and they have dominated their opponents in each of the past two weeks, including a 64-6 victory over Holland. Their opponent this week are the Lowell Red Arrows, who have already surpassed their 2018 win total after their 40-0 win over Greenville. These two teams have met just twice, and the Dux have won both. Last season, Zeeland West won rather convincing, dominating from beginning to end in a 46-7 game.
Rockford (3-0) at Mona Shores (3-0)
The Rams have one of the best defenses in West Michigan, yielding just 27 points in three games. They also have been able to score the ball as well, with a season high 48 last week against West Ottawa. Their elite unit will have their toughest test of the entire season in Week 4 against Mona Shores. The Sailors have averaged 34.7 points per game this season, and have a plethora of explosive athletes to make plays in space. This battle of strengths will be one of the area’s best games. Last season, Mona Shores won 33-14 for their second straight victory in this series.
Northview (2-1, 0-1) vs Ottawa Hills (1-2, 0-1)
The Northview Wildcats suffered their first defeat of the season last week against Cedar Springs. In the two weeks prior, they had scored a very impressive 38 points per game, so they will look to show that their offense is potent once more against OK White foe Ottawa Hills. The Bengals held Union to just two points in their season opening win, and they have scored more points in their first three games than any season since 2014. Northview has won all five games in this series, but this one has the makings to be the best one yet.
West Catholic (1-2) vs GR Christian (1-2)
The Falcons finally got back on the winning track last Friday against Comstock Park. They will take a step out of OK Blue play to take on City League foe Grand Rapids Christian. The Eagles also got their first win of the season last week, when they handily defeated Wyoming. These two teams played last season for the first time since leaving the City League. Grand Rapids Christian won 30-14, for their ninth win in 36 games in this series that dates back to 1973.
Coopersville (0-3, 0-1) vs Spring Lake (1-2, 0-1)
The Broncos will take on the Lakers this week looking for their first victory in 2019. These two teams meet for the tenth straight season, and the series could not be any closer. Spring Lake has won five of the nine previous contests, including 38-8 a season ago. The Lakers have a win over Fruitport on their record this year, but they struggled in their conference opener against Sparta a week ago.
Greenville (0-3, 0-1) vs Cedar Springs (2-1, 1-0)
The Yellowjackets are looking for their first win of the season this week when they take on Cedar Springs. They have been shutout in two games this season, so their offense will need to pick up its consistency to get the victory against a tough Redhawks team. Cedar Springs’ defense impressed many when they held an explosive Northview team to 15 points last week. Don’t forget about their offense though, as Cedar Springs is averaging 32 points per game. Cedar Springs has won six straight in this series, including 44-8 last year.
Tri County (2-1, 1-1) at Reed City (1-2, 1-1)
The Vikings lost their first game of 2019 last week against Chippewa Hills. They will look to bounce back in Week 4 against Reed City. With two losses on the year, the Coyotes are off to their worst start since 2009. They have struggled to score in their two defeats, scoring a total of six points in those contests. Last year, this game was a blowout from kickoff as Reed City came away with a 57-6 win over Tri-County.
Newaygo (1-2, 1-1) at Big Rapids (1-2, 1-1)
Two teams with identical records will meet up in CSAA-Gold action on Friday night. The Lions have lost two games by one score, including last week against Central Montcalm. Big Rapids was able to get in the win column last week for the first time when they scored 39 in a win over Fremont. Newaygo has won two straight in this series, including last year’s 21-14 affair.
Freeland (3-0, 2-0) vs Frankenmuth (3-0, 2-0)
The Freeland Falcons are back in first place in the TVC-Central after two convincing league victories, including 33-6 last week over Standish-Sterling. This week, they will take on Frankenmuth, who are playing in the TVC-Central for the first time after being in the East since 1989. These two teams met last year in Week 9, and Freeland was able to win 15-8 to clinch their postseason berth.
Saginaw Swan Valley (2-1, 2-0) vs Alma (1-2, 1-1)
The Vikings have scored 49 points in consecutive league victories to put them in a tie atop the TVC-Central. This week, they take on the Alma Panthers, who need the big win to put themselves back on track to make their fifth straight trip to the playoffs. Last year, Swan Valley won this matchup 34-6, their second straight in this series.