The midway point of the high school football season is here. As we turn the corner on the season, we have the previews of our games that will be live on Michigan Sports Radio this week:
ROCKFORD V HUDSONVILLE
The Rams’ undefeated season continues on Friday night, when they face the Hudsonville Eagles. After suffering two tough non-conference defeats in the opening weeks, Hudsonville has started OK Red play with a 2-0 record. These two clubs are in a four-way tie in the OK Red with a 2-0 league record. Last year, Rockford defeated Hudsonville 42-7 in the playoffs.
EAST KENTWOOD V WEST OTTAWA
This OK Red battle pits a pair of unbeaten teams this fall in Week 5. East Kentwood’s offense has struggled, scoring just 16 points in four games. Their strength of schedule has been tough, losing to Muskegon, Brother Rice, Rockford and Caledonia. West Ottawa is also 0-4, and they are looking to snap a 21-game losing streak. In 2019, East Kentwood won 63-35 in a shootout.
GRANDVILLE V JENISON
The Grandville Bulldogs are 1-3, their worst four-game record time since their 2011 winless campaign. There is certainly nothing to scoff at, with a strength of schedule that includes losses to Caledonia, Rockford, and Glenbard West. Jenison is also 1-3, with a winless OK Red record. They have suffered two heartbreaking losses in league play, missing a tying two-point conversion against Grand Haven and losing on a late Hudsonville score last Friday. In their last meeting in 2015, Grandville won 54-0.
COOPERSVILLE V ALLENDALE
The Coopersville Broncos are off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 2003. They will look to move to 5-0 with a conference victory against Allendale. The Falcons started 2-0 this fall, but they have suffered consecutive conference losses to Unity Christian and West Catholic. In 2019, Allendale won 47-7.
WEST CATHOLIC V FRUITPORT
The West Catholic Falcons have won their first four games for the first time since their 2014 campaign, one of their five-straight State Championships. This week, they will take on Fruitport, who enters at 1-3. The Trojans won their opener against Kenowa Hills, but they have lost three straight games to Cadillac, Coopersville and Spring Lake. This is the first meeting between these schools since 1977, a game West Catholic won 12-6.
GRAND RAPIDS CATHOLIC CENTRAL V OTTAWA HILLS
The Cougars and Bengals reignite a longtime City League rivalry that dates back to 1926. GRCC holds a convincing 59-23-8 lead in the series, including a 30-6 victory in their last meeting in 2015. This Cougars team is riding a 27-game winning streak, though they will have to adjust to the uncertainty at quarterback with Joey Silveri’s injury last week. John Passinault will look to direct this offense if Silveri is unable to suit up. Ottawa Hills is off to a strong start, under head coach Christian Verley. The Bengals’ two victories are their most since 2015.
SOUTH CHRISTIAN V WAYLAND
The South Christian Sailors are 2-2 after their loss to GRCC last week. This week, they will try to right the ship against Wayland. The Wildcats have struggled to start 2021, with losses in their first four games. Offensively, Wayland has scored 47 points, with 22 of those coming in an overtime defeat against Ottawa Hills last week. In their most recent meeting in 2019, South Christian blanked Wayland 42-0, their 10th victory in the past 11 seasons.
EAST GRAND RAPIDS V FOREST HILLS NORTHERN
The Pioneers are off to a 1-3 start, their worst four-game record since 1969. They will try to right the ship against the Huskies. FHN is also 1-3, with losses in their last three games. East Grand Rapids has dominated this match-up, winning 8 of their 9 meetings. The most recent battle came in 2019, a 49-13 victory.
BYRON CENTER V NORTHVIEW
This Week 5 battle between the Bulldogs and Wildcats pits two teams that have surprising records early in the year. Byron Center has surprised many, as their young team is off to a 4-0 start. Northview, meanwhile, is coming off a 1-6 record and they are already 3-1 under first-year Head Coach Ryan Oshnock. This is the 14th all-time meeting, with Northview holding a 7-6 series lead. Byron Center won the 2013 meeting, 29-14.
FREELAND V FRANKENMUTH
The TVC-Central title race may be decided on Friday night, as Freeland and Frankenmuth will battle with unbeaten records and Top 10 rankings in the AP Poll State Rankings. Both teams had their season end against GRCC last year, losing in the Regionals and Semifinals respectively. Last year, Frankenmuth rolled to a 41-3 victory against Freeland, their second straight win in the series.
SWAN VALLEY V ALMA
The Swan Valley Vikings are 1-3, though their strength of schedule is something to highlight. They have lost to Cedar Springs, Essexville Garber, and Frankenmuth, three of the better teams in our coverage area. This Friday, they will face Alma, who comes in at 2-2. Swan Valley has won four straight against Alma, including a 25-0 shutout to start last fall’s campaign.
TRI-COUNTY V NEWAYGO
The Vikings and Lions will battle in CSAA Gold action on Friday night. Tri-County is off to a 3-1 start, with their lone loss coming in a tight battle against Reed City. Newaygo is 1-3, as the Lions come off a victory against Fremont in their most recent game. Last season, Tri-County dealt Newaygo a 27-6 loss.
CENTRAL MONTCALM V CHIPPEWA HILLS
The Hornets and Warriors will enter Friday’s game with records opposite each other. Central Montcalm is 3-1, and they come off a tough 25-21 defeat against Big Rapids that saw the team plagued by their own mistakes. Chippewa Hills has continued to search for answers all year, as the 0-4 team has just two touchdowns. Despite Chippewa Hills’ struggles a year ago, it was still close, a 19-7 win for the Hornets.