Welcome to West Michigan All Star, hands-down the best blog about Prep Sports in West Michigan.
I am your host, Ryan Vaughn – a former high-school basketball star (star being a very relative term; relative to, say, a bowl of
petunias) at Grand Haven High School, and perhaps best known in this setting as "the guy to the right."
During our time together I will strive to provide you with a positively delightful blend of facts, expert analysis, opinions and musings about your (and my) favorite teams and players in West Michigan.
This blog will be updated pretty much daily, so check back frequently for new info.
Grand Haven 8-1 vs West Ottawa 7-2
It’s that time – playoff time. And what better way to kick off the playoffs than with a huge rematch between O-K Red foes, as Grand Haven takes on West Ottawa in the first round of the Division-1 playoffs. Grand Haven enters the playoffs coming off a huge win over rival Muskegon, and in the same season that they finally downed Rockford for the first time in 11 years. But the Buccaneers’ lone loss came to West Ottawa in week-3, when they were thoroughly outplayed by the Panthers, 29-15. West Ottawa meanwhile lost to both Rockford and Muskegon, but quarterback/linebacker Desmond Morgan did not play against Rockford, which makes a big difference. West Michigan’s title hopes in Division-1 may rest on the winner of this game. If they can get past Rockford next week, that is.
Fearless playoff prediction: Grand Haven 34, West Ottawa 30
Lowell (7-2) @ Grand Ledge (9-0)
Greenville delivered Lowell their first regular season loss against a team not named East Grand Rapids since 2007. In both of Lowell’s losses against East and Greenville, Red Arrow quarterback Gabe Dean rushed an average of 38 times. Compare that to the 16 rushes per game in their seven wins. Greenville and East forced Dean to react quickly and took away big time receiver Matt Houston from the game. That’s why Grand Ledge is such a threat to knock Lowell out of the playoffs early. The Comets have allowed just 101 points this season, which interestingly enough, is exactly the same allowed by Lowell. They’ll come out strong against the Red Arrows, and that means bringing the house on Dean.
Grand Rapids Christian (6-3) vs Hastings (7-2):
The OK White was a wild ride especially for the Grand Rapids Christian Eagles who qualified for their fourth playoff appearance in five seasons. Andre Davis and Matt Grasmeyer sparked the Eagles to their highest point total (333) in history. Remove the Lowell game and the season’s defensive numbers look even better. On the defensive front, the Eagles rely heavily on speed over size. Defensive ends Wes Johnson and Bryan Mellema stand about 6’3” 200 pounds and their job against Hastings is much simpler on paper than it is on the field: Do not get turned inside. Hasting’s running back Alex Randall is one of the smartest players on the field, and he’ll torch you in the open field. Only Catholic Central could slow the senior running back, but he still picked up 97 yards. Randall should add several scores to his 13 TDs on the season, but Grand Rapids Christian’s Andre “The Giant” Davis is a bulldozer with surprising quickness. He presents a weighty 245-pound challenge.
Fearless playoff prediction: Grand Rapids Christian 35, Hastings 27
Greenville (8-1) vsKenowa Hills (6-3)
Kenowa Hills has been playing for their playoff lives for a couple weeks now, and has been making it happen. The Knights barely eked out a win over Forest Hills Central last week, but did what they had to do to advance into the playoffs. Now they take on a Greenville team fresh off an impressive win over Lowell, and they’ll need to be firing on all cylinders to keep up. Greenville enters the playoffs at the high point of their season so far, after beating Lowell for the first time since 1994. They hang their hat on the defensive side of the football, and after forcing three turnovers against Lowell they will be primed to take the ball away from Kenowa as well, if the Knights don’t hang on. This is a game between two similarly structured teams, so we could see a relatively low-scoring affair.
Fearless playoff prediction: Greenville 21, Kenowa 6
Zeeland East (9-0) vs Fruitport (7-2)
After ending their previous two seasons 5-4, and out of the playoffs, Zeeland East is in unfamiliar territory this week against Fruitport. Good thing they’re immensely talented, and among the most balanced teams in the state. The Chix have been rolling their competition all season until last week, where they had to come from behind to edge Byron Center 29-25. That game was an unfortunate lapse in focus that almost cost Zeeland East, but it could also serve as a wake-up call going into the playoffs. Fruitport is also coming off a game in which their focus was a bit off, but their lapse cost them a 1-loss season, as they allowed Ogemaw Heights to rally for the win. The Trojans will be up against it this week facing Zeeland East, but if experience counts then the Trojans could surprise some people.Fearless playoff prediction: Zeeland East 49, Fruitport 14
1. Grand Haven (7-1) at Muskegon (6-2): What a perfect way to end the regular season in the OK Red. Grand Haven and Muskegon face off for the OK Red Conference championship in old U. of M. at Ohio State style. In six of their last seven games, the Big Reds have given up two touchdowns or less. Muskegon gave up the majority of its points at Fifth-Third Ballpark against Rockford. While Grand Haven has also gone on a long stretch of defensive perfection, they’ve faced the bottom of the OK Red for four straight weeks. They clamped down on Rockford’s rushing attack allowing the Ram’s leading rusher just 23 yards. On the other hand, the ‘Buc’s Dalton Stenberg cruised for 135 yards and three scores in that game. But, it’s how both teams played against West Ottawa that will explain this game. Grand Haven quarterback Adam Poel felt the heat all night against West Ottawa’s quick, powerful linebackers. Muskegon creates a lot of chaos on defense. Key’Marious McMillan’s interception against West Ottawa set up another score for the Big Reds.
Muskegon holds a commanding 26-8 lead in the series all-time.
Prediction: Muskegon 28, Grand Haven 14
2. Allendale (5-3) at Hopkins (6-2):Who thought Allendale would be facing off against Hopkins in the season finale for the OK Silver conference championship. Each team has dominated in conference play going 5-0 against OK Silver teams. In those five games, Hopkins allowed a mere 16 points whereas Allendale allowed just 26 point, half of which came last week against Kelloggsville. After losing its first two games to playoff bound Hudsonville Unity and West Catholic, Allendale went on a tear behind their dominating defense. In their next three games, four defensive players recorded touchdown scores. Dawlton Westerhuis, Kevin Austin, Cam Borst, and John Longo all returned turnovers for a score. But Allendale is facing a rush heavy Hopkins team so count out the interceptions.
Allendale leads the series 15-12.
Prediction: Hopkins 17, Allendale 14
3. Kenowa Hills (5-3) at Forest Hills Central (6-2):Maybe only Zeeland East had a bigger season turnaround than Forest Hills Central. The Rangers clinched at least part of the OK Black Conference championship with their 30-6 win over Holland. Not since 1999 has Forest Hills Central made the playoffs. A lot of that thanks goes to new head coach Greg Ganfield. His team adopted a more pass-oriented offense, which worked perfectly with tall receivers like Marques Mondy and Mick VanVossen. Quarterback Jack Shull adopted the offense perfectly leading his team to their most points scored since 1995. Central can win the OK Black outright with a win over Kenowa Hills. A loss to Holland three weeks ago is all that seperates these two teams. As usual, Kenowa Hills will turn to running backs Tito Wingfield and Kitwana Clark. But the Rangers have allowed the least amount of points in conference.
Forest Hills Central leads the series 11-6.
Prediction: Forest Hills Central 28, Kenowa Hills 21.
4. Zeeland East (8-0) at Byron Center (6-2): Only one more team has a shot at finding East’s weakness. So far, Zeeland East hasn’t showed an inability to do anything. But Byron Center brings one player to the table that Zeeland East has yet to play against. Derek Sievers, who stands at an imposing 6’2” 225 pounds, is a big powerful runner. He completely dominated Hudsonville Unity in week eight with six easy rushing scores. Every offense Zeeland East has faced depends on an array of quick, shifty runners. That’s not Sievers. Yes, Zeeland East does have arguably the biggest and best defensive line, but if Byron Center counters the hard-nosed Sievers with slash backs Zac Cross, Garrett Cross and Austin Haight, they might find a weakness in the Chix’ defense.
Zeeland East leads the series 4-1.
Prediction: Zeeland East 28, Byron Center 14
5. Forest Hills Eastern (5-3) at Caledonia (3-5): The Hawks flip flopped how the 2009 and 2010 played out. After starting out 1-2, Forest Hills Eastern jumped on the back of all-around quarterback-running back-kicker-punter-cornerback-and kick returner Spencer Elliott to go 4-1 down the stretch. Elliott accounted for all 37 points last week in their 37-13 win over Catholic Central. With one more win, the Hawks are assured a playoff berth. They’ll finish their season at Caledonia, who is playing purely for pride. Caledonia will miss the playoffs for the first time in six years, but can still finish with a winning record in the OK Gold. For two consecutive weeks, the Fighting Scots face a mobile quarterback. Middleville’s quarterback scored twice in the final eight minutes, but had Caledonia not lost a fumble on Middleville’s 14-yard line or toss an interception with five minutes to go, the score would’ve been even. If they can overcome their mistakes, Caledonia can beat the Hawks.
The series is tied, 1-1.Prediction: Forest Hills Eastern 26, Caledonia 20
1. West Ottawa (6-1) @ Muskegon (5-2):The Panthers added at least one game to their schedule after beating the Hudsonville Eagles 38-20. With West Ottawa, Grand Haven, and Rockford already headed to the playoffs, the Muskegon Big Reds hope to be the fourth power. Muskegon had an early scare last week against Jenison, who without a doubt is the strongest 2-5 team in the league. Jenison forced two turnovers to go up 14-0, but Muskegon bounced back after defensive tackle Najee Brown-Duren housed a 62-yard fumble recovery. It was his second fumble returned for a touchdown this season. Brown-Duren and Damon Knoxmight be the perfect combination to stop West Ottawa’s rushing attack. At 6’5” 255 lbs. with a 4.94 40-time, Knox has the combination of size and speed to disrupt the Panther’s rushing game. He’s weighing offers from Ball State, Illinois, Michigan, and Michigan State, but West Ottawa quarterback Desmond Morganis also weighing offers from Bowling Green, Akron, and Buffalo. He’s a smart, pounding rusher. Defense should be the difference maker with the Panther’s linebacker corps playing fast and furious.
Muskegon is a perfect 5-0 against West Ottawa.
Prediction: West Ottawa 13, Muskegon 10
2. Grand Rapids Christian (5-2) @ Greenville (6-1):Greenville won the games they needed early to make the post season, but weeks eight and nine will make sevens wins difficult. Grand Rapids Christian rebounded convincingly against Northview after going against powerhouses East Grand Rapids and Lowell. This OK White match-up comes down to size. Eagle’s running back Andre Davis is a hoss. Against Northview he rushed 11 times for 216 yards. At a confirmed 245 pounds, he outweighs Greenville’s entire team. In their six wins this year, Greenville has dominated the trenches with an athletic front led by Colton Boehm and JoelMaddux. They frustrated East Grand Rapids in week six by forcing several turnovers, but stalled in the second half. Greenville can handle the rushing game, but when teams go aerial they have some difficulty adjusting. Underneath, the Yellow Jackets blanket the field. It’s the deep ball that makes Christian the favorite. That’s Matt Grasmeyer’s specialty. He’s tossed 17 touchdowns so far this season with many of them from 50-yard+ passes.
Grand Rapids Christian is 3-0 against Greenville.
Prediction: Grand Rapids Christian 34, Greenville 21
Zeeland West (6-1) @ Hudsonville Unity (5-2): Hudsonville Unity played their hearts out at Zeeland, but we’re simply outnumbered and outsized against the Zeeland East Chix. Zeeland West is a completely different team though. With the Dux relying more on speed and trickery in the power-t, Hudsonville Unity is in a much better position to match up. Last week against the Chix, the Crusaders went with an odd three man defensive front, but they’ll most likely play more conventionally against a comparably sized team. Zeeland West junior JoeGaiser is finishing his last year of high school football in style. He’s rushed for more than 130 yards in each of their six victories.
Zeeland West is 4-2 against Hudsonville Unity.
Prediction: Zeeland West 21, Hudsonville Unity 14
Byron Center (5-2) @ Holland Christian (3-4): Holland Christian was down but not out after losing quarterback Luke Brower earlier this season. They delivered Hamilton their second straight loss by just one point. Brower led the Maroons down the field in the final 10 minutes of the game and scored a two-yard run and a 12-yard pass to KevinEdewaard. The Maroons went for two after scoring the first touchdown to win 15-14. Hamilton threatened late, but JeffVroon stepped up and stripped a ball from a Hamilton receiver at their 10-yard line. Both teams combined for just under 100 yards rushing. But Hamilton isn’t Byron Center when it comes to running the ball. They’re lethal on the outside with GarretCross and ZacCross and powerful up the middle with DerekSievers. Sievers should be the difference maker against Holland Christian. He’s 6’2” 225 lbs. of hurt. Holland Christian has had a problem against bigger, physical backs. They’re better suited for more balanced quick teams. Sievers could easily rack up 10 yards per carry. Byron Center needs a win Friday night to make the playoffs. Next week they’re facing the dynamite Zeeland East Chix.
Byron Center leads the series all time 3-1.
Prediction: Byron Center 26, Holland Christian 14
Catholic Central (6-1) @ Forest Hills Eastern (4-3): Catholic Central made the OK Gold picture a little clearer with their 38-21 win over Caledonia, but Forest Hills Eastern is fighting at home for a playoff bid. They played the longest game of the season in their double overtime loss to Middleville, but that came on the road where Catholic Central also lost at the last second of the game. Middleville’s elusive quarterback springboard the Trojans past both teams. Catholic Central could not contain the quick, dual threat quarterback and being on the road against speedy quarterback Spencer Elliottis like déjà vu. On the other hand, Catholic Central brings one of the most balanced offenses in the league. Miles Morrissey tossed five touchdowns last week, three of which went to JohnHaley. Haley surpassed the Catholic Central receiving touchdown record with 23. The Cougars can break open again game with playmakers Morrissey, Haley, and running back BronsonHill.
Catholic Central is a perfect 3-0 against Forest Hills Eastern.Prediction: Catholic Central 30, Forest Hill Eastern 20
1. East Grand Rapids (6-0) at Lowell (6-0): Here it is. Only the Muskegon at Rockford game could compare in the hype department. Lowell has played absolutely phenomenal all season. Gabe Dean was as perfect as possible against Grand Rapids Christian last week. The junior quarterback completed 7-of-9 passes for 121 yards AND carried 31 times for 257 yards and seven touchdowns. Dean scored more touchdowns than any other player in Michigan high school history since Flint Central’s Cecil Hardy scored 11 times in 1914. With each team ranked #1 in their respective divisions once again, picking a winner is a difficult task. But take into consideration that the home team has won the last nine match-ups in the series. The last time the away team won was in 2001 when the Pioneers won 25-8.
While the Dean vs. Stuursma era is virtually even, East holds a commanding 32-9 series advantage since 1950.
Prediction: Lowell 28, East Grand Rapids 17
2. Shelby (5-1) at Montague (5-1): The West-Michigan Conference championship race will be much clearer after Friday night’s game between the Tigers and Wildcats. Ravenna snapped Montague’s 25-game winning streak last week that dated back to October 10, 2008, but that streak could reboot when the Tigers come to town. Shelby started off slow last week against Mason County Central, but picked up some steam after quarterback Brian Schroeder heated up. The senior quarterback went 11-of-16 passing for 203 yards and two touchdowns. Being protected by a wall of experienced senior linemen helps, too. Montague hopes to continue their strong football tradition and playing at home could get them back on track.
Montague leads the annual series 41-19-1.
Prediction: Montague 35, Shelby 21
3. Grand Rapids Catholic Central (5-1) at Caledonia (3-3): Rarely is Caledonia on the outside looking in. After five consecutive years of winning their respective conference, the Fighting Scots are fighting to stay alive. There’s no room for error in their next three games. Lose one and there’s no post season. Their next three opponents are all part of a five-way tie for first place in the OK-Gold. Kyle Madden rushed 22 times for 176 yards and three touchdowns last week to make our top performers of week six list. Perhaps they’ve finally found an identity and back-to-back games against lighter competition might have cleared that up. However, Catholic Central quarterback Miles Morrissey and receiver John Haley have been in a grove. Bronson Hill also gets the job done to balance the Cougar’s offense. Caledonia cannot make mistakes and needs its line to step up so their array of running backs can settle in.
The series is split 2-2 all-time.
Prediction: Catholic Central 35, Caledonia 22
4. Hudsonville Unity Christian (5-1) at Zeeland East (6-0): Surprisingly, this is just the unbeaten Chix’ second home game this season. But when taken into account that their first home contest was against Zeeland West, Friday truly is the Chix’ homecoming. Unity Christian is the real underdog in this contest, but they’re the only team that could realistically derail Zeeland East’s perfect season. An upset Friday and a home win the next week against West would give the Crusaders tied-claim to the conference championship. The Crusader’s need to eat their Wheaties to drag down big quarterback T.J. VanDyken and running back Brad Horling, but when your quarterback Lance Deemter can win with a broken arm, anything is possible. If the Crusaders can milk the clock on offense and play spectacularly on special teams, they could have a shot.
The Crusaders lead the series 4-1 over the Chix.
Prediction: Zeeland East 44, Hudsonville Unity Christian 21
5. Comstock Park (4-2) at White Pigeon (3-3): The Panthers travel two hours directly south on US 131 to play a late season nonconference game against the Chiefs. Comstock Park hasn’t won more than seven games since 1983, but that’s plenty enough to get the OK Blue team into the playoffs for the first time since 2005. Kevin McCarthy was stellar for the Panthers against Cedar Springs and played like a young Gale Sayers as he cutback with ease in that game. A lot of credit goes to his offensive line that played with a lot of intensity all night. The Chiefs come off a tough loss to Mendon who had four players rush for over 20 yards. With just four teams in the St. Joseph Valley League, the White Pigeons could really use another big game by running back Chris Shirk to keep their playoff hopes alive. Three more Comstock Park wins and a West Catholic loss would give the Panthers a share of the OK Blue title.
These teams have never played each other.Prediction: Comstock Park 28, White Pigeon 13
1. Muskegon (4-1) at Rockford (4-1)
Are you ready for some… baseball? Rockford looks to cement at least part of the OK Red title with a win over the “visiting” Big Reds. They might have some help playing at the Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps. Muskegon comes into the game as the winningest high school football team in Michigan after bouncing on East Kentwood last week 59-14. Ka’Vonte Keyes led the offensive attack with 12 carries for 144 yards and three touchdowns. Keyes leads a quick, explosive offense perfectly suited for Rockford’s Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium. However, him and Juwan Lewis could find the minor league stadium field surface a little slow. Last year, Coopersville beat Forest Hills Northern on a sloppy Fifth Third Ballpark. Each week Rockford has given up substantial rushing yards (between 160 and 294 yards.) Conversely, the Rams have switched their offensive attack to take advantage of strong-arm junior quarterback Mark LaPrairie.
This young rivalry is tied at 3-3 all-time.
Prediction: Rockford 26, Muskegon 20
2. Middleville (5-0) at Hastings (4-1)
Even at 5-0, Middleville is still catching some flak. There will always be naysayers against the Cinderella stories of the world, and after Forest Hills Eastern’s unfortunate flap last year (attributed to a flu breakout), it’s rightly so. Any team can be beat under certain circumstances and there’s no better team than Hastings to make that happen. The Saxons come off a 42-22 loss to Catholic Central in which leading rusher Alex Randall was held to only 97 yards rushing (4.0 YAC). Middleville beat Catholic Central the week prior on a last-second field goal by Nate Iveson. For Middleville to continue on its chase for perfection and the OK Gold title, they’ll have to duplicate the Cougar’s ground success from last week. Hastings has one of the better coverage defenses in the OK Conferences, but quarterback Coley McKeough’s offensive line has played superbly thus far and gives the dual threat QB some options.
Hastings has a slight all-time advantage over Middleville, 4-3.
Prediction: Middleville 28, Hastings 22
3. Hamilton (3-2) at Hudsonville Unity Christian (4-1)
A lot of OK Green teams could qualify for the playoffs in 2010. But obviously the question is, which teams? Week six may answer that. With Zeeland East and West (virtually) playoff bound, it’s a race between Hamilton (3-2), Unity Christian, and Byron Center to get six wins. Unity Christian needs a win over Hamilton with the Zeeland powers looming ahead in weeks seven and eight. A win over Byron Center last week would’ve put the Crusaders in great position, but their 3-7 loss to the Bulldogs was the lowest scoring game in the OK Conferences this season. They’ve played consistently all season especially on the ground behind Evan Westrate. A loss Friday means either team has to beat Zeeland West to enter the playoffs. Though they’re young, Hamilton has experience against the power T after years of running the wing T.
This is just the third meeting between the two teams, and it’s the tiebreaker.
Prediction: Hamilton 14, Unity Christian 10
4. Cedar Springs (4-1) at Comstock Park (3-2)
Both teams could make it out of the OK Blue without looking black and blue. Well, that’s until after Friday’s contest. One year ago, Cedar Springs squeaked past Comstock Park 21-20 in a thriller, but this year it’s in the Panther’s den. The Panthers haven’t defeated the Red Hawks since 2005 with another thriller, 28-27. If the Red Hawk’s defensive front can continue its dominance (they’ve only given up more than a touchdown in a game twice this year), Cedar Springs could chalk one up easily and mark their calendars for October 15 against West Catholic. But if Jake Brown and Zach Crittendon can find each other with ease like they did last week for three touchdowns, we’ve got a different ball game.
Cedar Springs leads the series 13-11.
Prediction: Cedar Springs 35, Comstock Park 21
5. Calvin Christian (3-2) at Kelloggsville (3-2)
What happened last week at Hopkins definitely came as a surprise to a lot of people. Kelloggsville’s lopsided loss made it clear to everyone that the OK Silver is still fair game. Four teams sit at 3-2, including both the Calvin Christian Squires and Kelloggsville Rockets. The Squires come off the other side of a lopsided week five game with strong performances by both Jordan Bylsma and Jason Opperwall. Someone besides DeMari Brown needs to step in as Carl Roscoe’s number one receiver if Kelloggsville wants to repeat some of the success they had in 2009 going 9-0. So far, John Evans might be that guy, but Roscoe and Evans connected just three times last week for 31 yards. Roscoe is a very smart and skillful quarterback that could use a few more weapons around him.
Calvin Christian owns the series 11-5 so far.Prediction: Calvin Christian 20, Kelloggsville 14
1. East Grand Rapids @ Grand Rapids Christian
Two of the top four teams in the dominant O-K White conference go head to head in the Taco Bell Big Five Game of the Week this week, as undefeated East Grand Rapids drives a couple miles down the road to visit undefeated Grand Rapids Christian. It’s business as usual for the Pioneers this season, beating their opponents by a combined score of 180-49. Linebacker Trent Voss and safety Sam Nystrom lead a defense that has been stifling against the run. Still, they haven’t seen a running back like Christian’s Andre Davis. If you’re looking for the difference between last year’s 4-5 team and this year’s 4-0 team, look no further than Davis. A bruiser with breakaway speed, Davis has averaged over 100-yards per game and 8.7 yards per carry this season. If the Pioneers can contain Davis, they will still have to contend with quarterback Matt Grasmeyer, who has thrown for 10-touchdowns in the Eagles four victories.
East Grand Rapids is a perfect 4-0.
Prediction: East Grand Rapids 44, Grand Rapids Christian 37
2. Rockford @ West Ottawa
Rockford didn’t play like the best team in the state last week in their first loss to Grand Haven in 11-years. And things don’t get any easier this week, as the Rams face a Panthers team who almost doubled-up the Bucs in week-3. Historically known for hard-nosed defense, Rockford showed vulnerability to the run against Grand Haven. The running game just so happens to be West Ottawa’s strength, lead by small but ferocious tailback Zac Boersema and dual threat quarterback Desmond Morgan. The duo have combined for 602-yards and 12-touchdowns this season to lead the Panthers to their first 4-0 start in eight years. Rockford will rely heavily on junior quarterback Mark LaPrairie, who was the Rams bright spot against the Bucs, throwing for 252-yards and two touchdowns. Rockford’s LaPrairie is a matchup problem for West Ottawa. The Panthers run successfully against the Rams, but can’t keep up with LaPrairie’s arm as Rockford takes down West Ottawa, 24-14.
Rockford is 28-9-1 against West Ottawa. They tied in 1977.
Prediction: Rockford 24, West Ottawa 14
3. Northview @ Greenville
We’re talking serious playoff implications for Greenville and Northview in week five. Neither team will probably take down powerhouses East Grand Rapids, Lowell, or Grand Rapids Christian, but a win here inches them closer to playing in late-October. Greenville can realistically go 6-3 with wins over Northview and Creston, thus sending four OK-White teams to the playoffs. Northview, on the other hand, would need some help with a 5-4 finish, but it’s not impossible. Key for Greenville is their slight size advantage and speed on defense. The Yellow Jackets usually can’t say that, but head coach Dave Moore is playing with the biggest team he’s ever had. And he’s been blitzing more than ever before. Northview switched quarterbacks mid-way through the season and Robby Meadows has found a groove with 6’3” receiver Kevin Rich. They’ve connected for three scores in the last two games.
Greenville is 5-2 against Northview all-time.
Prediction: Greenville 34, Northview 21
4. Hastings @ Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Grand Rapids Catholic Central looks to bounce back after their emotional loss to Middleville last week. Hastings has no plans of letting that happen. Alex Randall leads the state in rushing yards with 869. Last week against Caledonia, the senior running back rushed for 306 yards on 27 carries for three touchdowns. He has tremendous vision and can bounce outside for long scores with ease. He’s accounted for nearly 90 percent of the Saxon’s offense and averages nearly 10 yards per carry. Each week, his number has been called more and more. Defensively, Hastings has some concerns at linebacker, but the defensive backs have showed speed and zeal for ruining quarterback ratings. Sean McKeough grabbed two interceptions last week. Catholic Central really needs to be more selective when passing or Sean McKeough like Coley McKeough in week four could play a pivotal role.
Grand Rapid Catholic Central is 2-1 against Hastings.
Prediction: Grand Rapids Catholic Central 28, Hastings 22
Muskegon Catholic Central @ West Catholic
Muskegon Catholic Central defeated last year’s division eight state champion Beal City with strong performances by Jacob Budde and quarterback Bryant Westra. Budde rushed for three touchdowns last week while Westra tossed two more to give the Crusaders a 41-27 win. Beal City is the only class D team Catholic Central has played all season. They’re playing up two classes again against West Catholic. The West Catholic Falcons have come a long way since their season opener against Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s. West Catholic rolled to a 24-12 victory against Comstock Park behind their strong offensive line. Jalin Faison rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown in that game. Comstock Park didn’t fair so well on the ground against the Falcons. They only rushed for 25 yards against the Falcon’s strong defensive front. They did have some success in the air, and Catholic Central should expand on that success.
Muskegon Catholic Central has a slight advantage all-time against West Catholic, 17-16.
Prediction: West Catholic 21, Muskegon Catholic Central 14