Photo Credit: Lou Murray


The Week 3 slate is upon us. With games returning to their normal Friday slate, Nick and Josh break down some of the MSR featured matchups, in addition to other games of interest.


Caledonia vs West Ottawa

Caledonia continued its hot start with an absolutely dominant performance against North Farmington on Friday. The 2-0 start for the Fighting Scots is their third straight, and they will look to move to 3-0 in their OK Red opener against West Ottawa. Brody Betser, who was perfect throwing the ball last game, will look to lead a balanced offensive attack that also features Brock Townsend at the tailback position. West Ottawa enters this contest 0-2 with a narrow defeat against Grand Ledge and a humbling defeat at the hands of Portage Northern. Caledonia will be heavy favorites in this game, provided they aren’t looking ahead to next week’s showdown with Rockford. Caledonia is looking for its fifth straight win in the series, after losing in the first three matchups upon joining the OK Red in 2016.

East Kentwood vs Grandville

The OK Red slate opens up for the Falcons and Bulldogs on Friday night. Both teams come in with 1-1 records, and as losers of their last contest. East Kentwood’s offense couldn’t get rolling in their 33-16 loss to Byron Center, while Grandville could not stop Davison in a 52-21 defeat. Both teams will look to flip the script in those facets of the game and begin the league slate with a victory. The Bulldogs have had the upper hand in this series as of late, securing victories in each of the past 4 contests. Last fall, Grandville concluded its regular season campaign with a 34-21 victory.

Hudsonville vs Grand Haven

The Eagles are 2-0 on the season for the first time since 2020. This week, they will try and move to 3-0 for the first time since 2018 when they begin league play against Grand Haven. The Bucs are 1-1, with a statement win over rival Traverse City West. This was a game in which Xzavier Rodriguez showcased his dual-threat ability against a stout defense. Hudsonville has dominated this series, with 12 straight wins dating back to 2011. Last fall, it was 56-30 in favor of the Eagles.

Rockford vs Jenison

No team had troubled Rockford more than Jenison historically on the football field up till 2005. Even in the 2005 season when Rockford won the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 title, Jenison topped them in the regular season 19-14. Jenison held a 23-13 head-to-head edge at that point and was a continual thorn in the side of the Rams. But things have changed drastically from that point forward as the Rams have won the last eleven meetings to finally take a 24-23 lead in the series. Most of the games have been one-sided of recent vintage save for an overtime 16-13 Rockford win in 2020. Last year saw the Rams come out on top by the score of 42-14.


The two OK Red rivals will renew acquaintances for the 48th time at Jenison on Friday, September 8th at 7:00P.M. It will be the conference opener for both teams. Jenison will enter the fray with a record of 0-2 while Rockford sits at 2-0 on the young season. Jenison has squared off with two of the three Forest Hills football teams and has fallen to Forest Hills Central 37-9 and Forest Hills Northern 21-0. Both of the Forest Hills teams also stand perfect on the season at 2-0. Rockford will make their third consecutive road trip after traveling to Muskegon the last two weeks and topping Muskegon 27-7 and Muskegon Mona Shores 31-8.


The Wildcats are coached by Rob Zeitman in his sixth year at the helm. Zeitman has a lengthy history in coaching as both an assistant and head coach. He was an assistant to Tony Annese at Muskegon and followed him to Ferris State where he became part of a staff that has led the Bulldogs to national prominence. He also was the offensive line coach at an NCAA Division 1 school in Kent State University in Ohio. He was the head coach at Chippewa Hills High School in Remus as well. The Rams are led by fourth-year head man Brent Cummings who has racked up an impressive mark of 31-3 thus far in his young career.


This is the calm before the storm for the Rams as they need to focus on this contest first. The following week will see Rockford play their initial home contest as they square off with Caledonia in a contest with statewide implications.

Coopersville vs West Catholic

The Coopersville Broncos have put together a pair of strong performances to begin the 2023 season. They are currently outscoring opponents 98-20, but they will face their toughest challenge of the year in Week 3. West Catholic, the defending Division 6 State Champions, bring their 9-game win streak into this showdown. It has been an impressive start to the year for West Catholic, as Landon Grove’s bunch has held a 119-33 edge over Edwardsburg and Union. Coopersville hopes that this year they can finally get over the hump in this series, snapping a 3-year skid, and trying to flip the script on a matchup that has been dominated by West Catholic since the pair have been in the same league in 2014 (8-1 WC). Last fall, the Falcons blanked the Broncos, 37-0.

Grand Rapids Catholic Central v Wayland

The Cougars suffered a season-opening defeat at the hands of Loyola Wilmette Academy (IL), but they rebounded with a dominant performance against River Rouge last weekend. A 38-6 win was a stunner, taking many in the state by surprise. This week, GRCC opens league play against the Wayland Wildcats. With wins over Hopkins and Holland Christian, the Wildcats are 2-0 for the second straight season. This year, they hope for a better finish to secure the program’s first winning season since 2013. Last fall, GRCC secured a 35-0 shutout, its tenth straight win in the series.

South Christian vs Kenowa Hills

The Sailors suffered an absolutely heartbreaking defeat last week, falling to East Grand Rapids on the final play of the game. This week, they will try to right the ship in a conference clash with Kenowa Hills. The Knights enter with a 1-1 mark on the season. Although the record may be as expected, the results are likely inverse to most people’s expectations. Kenowa Hills started the year with a nice win over Fruitport before falling in a stunning upset last week against Greenville. The 37-7 South Christian victory last fall was their 13th straight against the Knights. This streak dates back to 1994, when these teams originally were members of the OK Gold.


Comstock Park vs Wyoming Kelloggsville 

The Comstock Park Panthers were able to bounce back in a big way in their week two win over Holland, 40-26. Offensively, the Panthers had everything clicking again last week much like their opener. The defense is still going through some growing pains but it’s an offense that can put up points in a hurry. An attack led by Donavan Cummings, and Easton Hood, the Comstock Park offense can go toe to toe with anyone. They’ll look to see if the defense can get on par with the offense this week when they take on a Wyoming Kelloggsville team that has struggled on both sides of the ball. 

Two weeks into the season, the Wyoming Kelloggsville Rockets are looking to find themselves a bit. Last week would be another tough one for the navy and orange as they fell to Laingsburg, 7-35. Kelloggsville feel behind early against a solid Wolfpack team and it would be too much to overcome. The Rockets will have a chance to test the Panthers in hopes of grabbing some momentum early in the season. The two will square off at Comstock Park High School this Friday night as both teams look to begin making names for themselves. 


Zeeland East @ Grand Rapids Union 

The Zeeland East Chix couldn’t have asked for a better start to this season. Expectations were high heading in and the Chix have rolled to a 2-0 start by outscoring their opponents by a combined 84-51. The defense still continues to settle in but the offense couldn’t look any better. That helped East cruise to a 49-23 win over Flushing in week two. They’ll look to see if they can continue that when they take on Grand Rapids Union this week, a team coming off a tough loss last week and who is looking to change that fate in week three.

Things took a turn in the wrong direction last week for Grand Rapids Union. After a big opening week win over Ottawa Hills, the Red Hawks took one on the chin against mighty West Catholic, 21-63. The Union offense was able to generate some things but the defense was just overmatched all night. West Catholic cruised out to an early 35-7 lead and that was all they would need. Union will look to see if they can get back on track in what will be another tough matchup for them this week.  The Chix will look to get off and running early, if that happens the Red Hawks could be in trouble right away this week. East heads to Houseman Field for a 7:00 showdown with Union this Friday night.


Zeeland West vs Wyoming 

Zeeland West has come into the new season with a sense of urgency and a will to show what they are made of in 2023. Those are the expectations and they couldn’t be any higher for a group that is rolling just two weeks into the season. Parker Holman, Rolando Robelin, and quarterback Trenton Bolhouse have been the catalysts early on but other weapons have emerged for West. That was on display last week in their 36-7 win over Cedar Springs. The Dux will look to continue that against a Wyoming team that is reeling a bit.

The 2023 season hasn’t been kind to the Wyoming Wolves through the first two weeks of the season. Falling big in week one, the Wolves were able to generate a little more offense last week but the defense is still looking to get in a groove. Wyoming would find themselves in a 6-23 hole at halftime and they would never climb out. The offense was much more consistent in the second half and they will look to build on that this week. A program that hasn’t had much success over the last few years, the Wolves will do everything they can to change the narrative in week three. Wyoming will need to be near perfect to pull this one out as the Dux have everything clicking at the moment. West will welcome in the Wolves in to Zeeland Stadium on Friday night.


Central Montcalm vs Big Rapids 

One week after things couldn’t get any better for the Central Montcalm Hornets, came to a big stop in the road in week two. After cruising in their opener, the Hornets took a step back last week when they fell to the Kent City Eagles, 14-32. It was a big time learning experience as Montcalm went on to turn the ball over five times in the game. The Eagles were able to wear on the Hornets for much of the night and that showed in the fourth quarter. Montcalm will look to clean things up this week when they take on a very solid Big Rapids team.

Big Rapids was able to get off and running early against Newaygo last week. The Cardinals were able to jump out to an early lead in the first half and just never looked back. They were able to pile up 320 rushing yards in the win. Big Rapids was able to really spread the field and set the tone on the edges for most of the night. They’ll be a team that comes in with a lot of confidence and looking to keep up their momentum. They’ll face off when the Hornets welcome in the Cardinals to Central Montcalm High School this Friday night.

Tri-County v Grant

For the Tri-County Vikings, you couldn’t have asked for a better start to the 2023 football season. The Vikings found themselves in a dog fight last week against a very good Reed City program, a team they hadn’t beat in 19 years. Much changed last week as the moral for Tri-County couldn’t be any higher right now. They would come out of that dog fight with a 28-20 over the Coyotes. The Vikings looked the part of both sides of the ball. It’s still early, but Tri-County appears to clicking on nearly every cylinder at the moment.

The Grant Tigers wouldn’t have that same feeling last week as they fell to Chippewa Hills, 13-43. Led by their offense in the first half, the Tigers would do enough to keep things close until the half. The Grant defense would settle in a bit until late before a much-improved Chippewa Hills team was able to deliver the final blow from a couple of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. They will look to grab some momentum back to their season, it won’t be easy by taking on a Vikings team that is riding high. These two will square off when Tri-County welcomes in the Tigers this Friday night.


Newaygo vs Morley Stanwood

The Newaygo Lions took a bit of a step back last week in their week two matchup with the Big Rapids Cardinals. Big Rapids was able to jump on the Lions early by using their speed to spread the field. Newaygo would settle in a bit and limit the Cardinals the rest of the way but it just wasn’t enough to make things interesting. Outside of just a few big plays on offense and special teams, the Lions could just never gain any footing in the game. They will have a great opportunity to bounce back this week when they face a Morley Stanwood team in what should be a great matchup.

It was an improving week for the Morley Stanwood Mohawks. After taking a tough season opening loss, the Mohawks settled in a bit more this week and had a chance to take one throughout most of the game. They would fall to Kalkaska, 14-24, but there were signs of a team that should continue to progress throughout the year. This looks to be a game where it should be competitive until late. Both teams will look to grab their first wins of the season when they square off in Newaygo this Friday night.


Freeland vs Essexville Garber

It has been an interesting start to the 2023 season for the Freeland Falcons. The Falcons have been met with a couple early season tests that they have come unscathed out of. In week two, Freeland had a feisty Swan Valley team on their hands in the first half. Luckily the Falcons were able to limit the Vikings the rest of the way that led to them controlling much of the game. Freeland was able to find some things that could only boaster their moral early in the season. For a team with high expectations on the season, any team needs that early on. The sky is the limit for the Falcons bunch, the scary part is, they might be just getting started.

Albeit a new season, the Garber Dukes have had just as much success as anyone over the years. The Dukes have a history of being impress in the first two weeks of the season, this year, they may have not looked any better. Garber has outscored their opponents, 72-20, over the first two weeks of the season. For a team with a lot of solid experience, the Dukes look to be a force the rest of the way in 2023. However, they’ll have the biggest test of quite possibly their entire season in week three. In what should be an extremely competitive matchup, the Falcons head on the road again this week when Garber welcomes them in for a Friday night tilt in the anticipated TVC matchup.


Gladwin @ Shepherd 

It’s another season and the defending Division 5 State Champions are making it clear that they’re ready to roll again. The Flying G’s got themselves into a battle in week one before defeating a very solid Ogemaw Heights team. Last week, it would be Harrison who Gladwin would dispose of by cruising over the Hornets, 48-6. They would actually hold a 27-6 lead at the half and kept that momentum into the second half. The Gladwin offense racked up 307 yards on the ground and held the Harrison offense to just 175 yards of total offense. Donald Corlew and Jhace Massey did much of the damage by combining for over 200 yards rushing and totaling 5 rushing touchdowns on the night. Corlew added 4 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown in the pass game. They’ll look to see if they can keep things rolling when they face Shepherd who is coming off a solid win over Meridian.

Shepherd didn’t let their one-point opening week loss effect them in week two. The Bluejays disposed of a Meridian team that was looking to bounce back after a tough opening week loss to Bullock Creek. It’s a Shepherd team that has some experience and after a successful season in 2022, the Bluejays have all the confidence in looking to upset Gladwin who hasn’t lost now in 16-straight games.  Gladwin set the tone early and often in last seasons meeting, they’ll look to do the same here. Shepherd will need to get off to a quick start and keep things interesting until late. The Flying G’s head on the road for the first time this year when they head over to Shepherd for a Friday night showdown with the Bluejays.


Clare @ Beaverton 

The Clare Pioneers found themselves jumping right into 2023 in week one with a tough matchup with the Freeland Falcons. Clare would go on to fall in that battle, but it wouldn’t deter them heading into week two. A hungry Pioneer team was off and running in a big way last week against Pinconning. Clare held a four touchdown lead after just one quarter of play and would build that into a 50-0 lead at the half. The Pioneers would take their foot off the gas in the second but we’re still able to limit the Spartans offensively. Westyn Bryant had himself a night as he went for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 4 carries. Ryan Louch added 3 catches for 55 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also picked up a rushing touchdown on the night. Clare will look to see if they can stay smooth again in this weeks matchup with Beaverton.

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag for the Beaverton Beavers early on this season. The Beavers picked up a big win in week one over Evart. They fell last week in a tough battle with Fremont falling to the Packers, 12-15. Beaverton would actually hold a 12-0 lead after one half of play before the Packers put together a solid second half. The Beavers should be a team that continues to improve each week as they are a fairly veteran team. Grabbing a win over Clare would get that started very quickly. Clare heads on the road to Beaverton where the Beavers will play their third home game in three weeks. The Pioneers and Beavers square off on Friday night with a 7:00 start time.


Frankenmuth vs Bay City John Glenn 

The Frankenmuth Eagles lost a tough battle in a week one matchup with Goodrich. Both teams battling in Michigan Stadium, it was a defensive battle throughout as the Martians held on to take a 14-8 win over the Eagles. Frankenmuth would bounce back in week two as they took down an Alma team coming off a thrilling win. The Eagles had everything going in their 48-13 win over the Panthers. Frankenmuth jumped out to a 21-7 lead at the half but a 27-point third quarter would put an end to it. It’s an Eagles roster that replaces a lot but returns players that have already had big impacts. Expect this team to continue to gel as the season goes before looking to make another deep playoff run.

Bay City John Glenn starts their season in a bit of a hole. The Bobcats start off at 0-2 on the season and have been outscored by a total of 18-81 in two weeks. Last week they would fall to a Garber team that wouldn’t let them get anything going on either side of the ball. With a mix of youth and experience it might take some time for the Bobcats to get things going. A good showing against the Eagles this week could only speed up that process. Frankenmuth will play at home for the first time this season. They’ll welcome in John Glenn this Friday night at 7:00.