Newaygo (1-3, 1-4) at Grant (2-2, 2-3)
In the 71 games on record this classic rivalry game one win separates the two teams with the Lions holding a 36-35 edge.
There are rivalries and there are rivalries. My high school Caledonia had a decades long athletic feud with Middleville just 5 miles away on M-37 and yet oceans of distance between them when it came to competition. The series ran for over 6 decades before the burgeoning size of old Donie elevated their team to a conference with equally sized schools.
The Grant/Newaygo M-37 (also 5 miles apart) showdown had a sabbatical a few years back when the Lions left the Lakes 8 for the CSAA. The first year apart they met in the tourney then missed a year before Grant joined the party in the Gold Division.
But enough ancient history. Let’s focus on recent history.
The Lions are an enigmatic team. They have played well and lost a couple games they could have won with a few more breaks and a lot less turnovers. They got beat up pretty bad last week with injuries taking their toll but they have some electric receivers and a QB who is pretty adept at getting them the ball.
The Tigers offense got going in the win over Fremont but the Packer defense has been getting scored on pretty regularly. The Tigers are at home and are coming off their first win on the field. Jacobs is a player. A good player.
The Lions have more weapons on offense and a couple of defensive stalwarts in Long and Bazzette
But toss any speculation out the window, After a couple of decades of covering this game there is only one guarantee…
It’s anyone’s game.
Fremont (0-4, 0-5) at Tri County (3-1, 4-1)
The Vikings are really good and their running game can pound defenses into submission with Lovell Behrenwald and Tompkins providing a triple threat corps in the backfield. And Tompkins can toss it as well.
The Packers are having a tough year in more ways than one. Dirheimer is a bull out of the backfield but the offense could use more firepower and penalties and turnovers are killing drives.
The Vikes are at home and still have their eye on a piece of the conference crown and want to move close to that coveted playoff berth.
A lot would have to go Fremont’s way to make it a happy bus ride home
Morley Stanwood (3-0, 3-2) at Hesperia (0-2, 0-4)
COVID caused cancellation of the Panther Kent City game last week (Not a forfeit). Before that Hesperia gave up 7 TDs to a Lakeview team that totaled 2 scores in their previous 3 games.
It would be refreshing to see the Panthers knock the ‘Hawks back into a tie in the race for the crown but they likely don’t have the horses on hand to deliver the upset.
Holton (2-1, 3-2) at Kent City (1-1, 2-2)
This should be a good one. The Devils have gotten better as the season has progressed and QB Fowler has a talented corps of receivers.
This hasn’t been the season the Eagles were anticipating.
Both teams need this to keep playoff hopes and Kent City will probably need to run the table to get in...starting with this one.
The Red Devils are home and they have a ready and raucous fan base.
Let’s see who blinks first.
Lakeview (1-2, 1-4) at White Cloud (1-2, 3-2)
The Wildcats pounded Hesperia and battled a good Holton team the past 2 weeks.
The Cloud has lost a pair of tough ones in a row to good teams. They have the talent to win this one but they better find a way to minimize the damage done by Evans or he will run wild and find the endzone.
Big Rapids (3-1, 3-2) at Chippewa Hills (0-4, 0-5)
Strickler will have a field day for the Cards
Central Montcalm (3-1, 4-1) at Reed City (4-0, 4-1)
A Hornet win would scramble the conference race,