With the second week behind us, we will now turn to a thrilling second week of MHSAA football. Still curious about last week? Check out our Recaps, Power Poll, Standings, and Core Power Performance Players of the Week.
Now onto Week 3, where we have fifteen games LIVE this Friday night. A brief preview of these games:
Caledonia (1-1) at Jenison (1-1): A key battle in the OK Red, but more importantly in the Division 2 District 9 playoff seeding takes place at Jenison this Friday. The Fighting Scots and Wildcats are currently tied with the same record and playoff point total, so this will have a huge impact in a few weeks. Caledonia is looking to bounce back from a tough loss against Rockford, and they need star tailback Carson VanderHoff to get going again. Jenison, who like Caledonia lost to Rockford and beat West Ottawa will turn to quarterback Jadon Vandalsen to lead the charge once again on Friday night. These two former OK White foes have played eight times, with Caledonia winning six contests, including 47-7 back in 2015.
Rockford (2-0) at West Ottawa (0-2): Two teams who have started their seasons on opposite feet square off in Week 3 in Holland. The Rams are riding high after a dominant victory against Caledonia. Zak Ahern has played stellar at the quarterback position, as he is a two-time Core Power Player of the Week this fall. West Ottawa has their own star in Blake Bosma, who already has 26 catches for 334 yards on the season, and he will be a tall task for the Rockford defensive backs. Last year’s 48-6 Rockford victory was a springboard to an OK Red title for the Rams, while the Panthers proceeded to lose the remainder of their contests.
Grandville (2-0) at Hudsonville (2-0): One of the biggest games in the area is broadcast LIVE on Michigan Sports Radio this Friday. The Eagles and Bulldogs both have arrived at this contest with victories over East Kentwood and Grand Haven. The Bulldogs scored more points in those games, but the Eagles had a significantly fewer amount of points allowed in their two victories. Offensive weapons are galore on both sides, but you first must look to the two-headed rushing attack of Cam Terry and Marcel Love. Hudsonville totes quarterback Brennan Hayes passing the ball, and Dylan Ham has made some great plays out of the backfield. Last year, Hudsonville topped the Bulldogs 44-21.
East Kentwood (0-2) at Grand Haven (0-2): Two teams that are looking for their first win of 2020 will square off near the Lakeshore on Friday night. East Kentwood looks like the best 0-2 team in the area, and perhaps one of the best in the state as they battled both opponents to narrow defeats thus far. Branden Miller has been a strong player at quarterback so far for the Falcons, and he will look to lead this offense yet again on Friday. Grand Haven in contrast, has not been in either game thus far. Their offense has struggled to get going, but they have the weapons to turn it around. Owen Worthington is a valuable piece of this offense as he calls the shots under center, and he can even kick if necessary.
Zeeland East (2-0) vs Zeeland West (2-0): The best rivalry of schools within the same parking lot kicks off in Zeeland on Friday as the Chix and Dux kick off their seasons. Both schools are 2-0 after dismantling Union and Wyoming in their first two games. Ethan Houghtailing has been lights out from the quarterback position for Zeeland East, as they have racked up 97 points in those wins. On the other side, Zeeland West coach John Shillito is looking for career win number 300 in this contest. The Dux have scored 128 points in these two wins, topping the 60-point mark in both contests. Last year, the Dux swept the season series, winning in the regular season and the playoffs.
Northview (1-1) at East Grand Rapids (1-1): A pair of 1-1 teams in the OK White square off with a chance to take an early lead in District 18 playoff seeding. These schools both lost to Lowell but handily defeated Northview. East Grand Rapids has a great weapon in Nathan Milanowski, who has been a reliable option for quarterback Patrick Burns. Northview features quarterback Carter Pell, who looked strong against Greenville, and they have a great kicker in Eric Mendez. These two schools were in the same conference from 1972-2011, but they have not played since. EGR won that last matchup 21-14.
Ottawa Hills (0-2) at South Christian (2-0): The South Christian Sailors have gotten off to a blistering start, taking down Forest Hills Eastern and Kenowa Hills on their way to a 2-0 record. They will look to move to 3-0 for the first time since 2017 with a victory against Ottawa Hills. South Christian is led by quarterback Ty Rynbrandt, who has thrown for multiple touchdowns in both victories. Scharai Horton has quarterbacked the Bengals this fall, and he can provide some spark on the offensive end, and Keveon Beal has been a strong target. These two teams have not met since 2015, when South Christian won 28-13. They were members of the OK Gold for eight seasons prior to this fall.
Unity Christian (2-0) at Coopersville (0-2): Two teams that have started 2020 with opposing momentum will square off in Coopersville on Friday. The Crusaders are undefeated after taking down Spring Lake and West Catholic, while the Broncos have lost to those same opponents. Malekhi Obande has been a force offensively for Unity, and he looks to be a difference maker on Friday night. Coopersville will need a big game from the combination of Colton Bosch and Jason Emelander, who have scored a pair of touchdowns this fall. Ben McDonald has also gotten off to a good start for the Broncos, and he will need to be on his best game on Friday evening. This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.
West Catholic (1-1) at Spring Lake (1-1): A pair of 1-1 clubs will square off near the Lakeshore, and the Lakers and Falcons are looking for a big victory. Both teams defeated Coopersville, but they also both lost to Unity Christian. The Falcons have seen strong play from running back Tim Kloska, and he will lead this offense again on Friday. Spring Lake meanwhile, will look to Core Power Performance Player of the Week Zach Mitchell, who led the Lakers on the ground while also completing 75% of his passes. This is a close series historically, with West Catholic holding a 3-2 advantage, though Spring Lake won last fall in a 42-0 rout.
Grant (1-0) at Newaygo (1-1): CANCELED CANCELED CANCELED CANCELED The Battle of M37 Trophy is on the line in the CSAA-Gold as Grant and Newaygo square off. The Grant Tigers were off last week after a COVID scare, so they will look to get rolling after some time off the gridiron. Newaygo is also on the rebound after they were taken down by Tri-County a week ago. Brenden Brechting is the best offensive weapon for Newaygo, and he is going to need his best effort against a strong Grant defense. The Tigers have only one touchdown on the season, and it was scored by quarterback Brendan Keelan. Last fall, the Tigers beat Newaygo 27-7.
Reed City (2-0) at Central Montcalm (2-0): A battle of unbeatens will take place in Stanton between one of the CSAA Gold’s annual powers and a program that is looking to join those ranks. Central Montcalm is unbeaten after allowing just fourteen points in two games. Their defense has already forced seven turnovers on the year, including two last week by Trey Chapin. Reed City’s offense will be a tough task for the Hornets, as they are averaging 38 points per game on the young season, and they haven’t scored less than 30 points in their last nine games. Last fall, Central Montcalm was dealt their first loss in a 34-6 game.
Tri-County (1-1) at Fremont (0-2): The Tri-County Vikings are 1-1 after a defeat in an offensive struggle against Grant before they finally scored with some ease against Newaygo. The Vikings will look to Cam Friend and Nate Lovell to provide some big offensive plays against the Packers. Fremont has struggled defensively, yielding 83 points in two losses. They are currently on a sixteen-game losing skid that includes a 48-6 Tri-County win in 2019.
Freeland (1-1) at Birch Run (1-1): The Freeland Falcons and Birch Run Panthers square off on Friday night, and they both have 1-1 records. Freeland bounced back from a tough opener against Frankenmuth with an impressive victory over Alma. Garret Pistro spearheaded that offensive attack with a pair of rushing touchdowns. Birch Run lost to Essexville Garber before taking down Bay City John Glenn last week. Freeland defeated the Panthers last season 28-14.
Bay City John Glenn (2-0) at Swan Valley (1-1): Bay City John Glenn will take its undefeated record on the road to face off against Swan Valley. The Vikings were defeated last week against Frankenmuth. Avery Goldensoph returns at quarterback for Swan Valley, and last year he led the team to great success. This is the first meeting of these schools since 2015, when the Vikings won 28-21.
Livonia Churchill (2-0) at Livonia Franklin (1-1): Zac Olesuk and the Patriots host their archrival on Friday night in a big KLAA-East battle. The Churchill Chargers are 2-0, and they are looking for more. Last season, Franklin pulled off a 49-48 triple overtime thriller. This game has all the makings of yet another highly competitive contest.