Week-by-week games to watch

Week-by-week games to watch


Week-by-week games to watch


WEEK 1 (AUG. 28-30)

GO HERE: ST. JOHNS at EAST LANSING — This is a different opener for the Trojans than its recent traditional start-up with Haslett, but the Redwings are also a great non-league test. The last time these two played, it was an entertaining 49-42 East Lansing victory in a Division 3 district opener. The winner will get an early leg up toward a possible playoff bid. The loser will have to negotiate a difficult league slate to get the wins necessary.

If you’re looking for a rivalry game: PORTLAND at OVID-ELSIE — These two have played every year in the opening week since 1965, and Portland played both Ovid and Elsie High Schools in the Central Michigan Conference prior to that. The Raiders have won four straight in this series, the last two both coming by 25 points. But with 17 starters back for the Marauders in a home game, O-E looks to have a better shot this time around.

WEEK 2 (Sept. 5-6)

GO HERE: EATON RAPIDS at MASON — The Greyhounds are likely looking for another shot at the Bulldogs after Mason won convincingly 36-0 last season. It stemmed Eaton Rapids’ momentum for only a week though, as the Greyhounds went on to the playoffs and won a district title. An energized Eaton Rapids program might make this series more competitive, as Mason has won 20 straight in the series.

If you’re looking for a good CMAC opener: BATH at FULTON — This contest could be an early pecking-order game between two teams that made the playoffs a season ago. The Bees begin a three-week stretch that includes road games at Fulton and Laingsburg, with a home game against Pewamo-Westphalia sandwiched in between. Both of these teams have a bevy of solid running backs.

WEEK 3 (Sept. 12-13)

GO HERE: SEXTON at GRAND LEDGE — Sexton announced itself in the CAAC Blue in this game last year with a resounding 35-0 victory. The Big Reds would go on to win every league game by least 14 points. Grand Ledge began slowly last season at 0-3 and will need a better start if it is to go back to the playoffs, a position the Comets had been in for five consecutive seasons until last year.

If you’re looking for another good CAAC Blue matchup: OKEMOS at EVERETT — Call this The Game of Potential while we’re still early in the CAAC Blue schedule. Okemos returns nine starters on offense and eight on defense, while Everett brings back eight on offense and seven on defense. You can expect both to take a leap forward this year, and the winner of this game may become the darkhorse in the league.

WEEK 4 (Sept. 19-20)

GO HERE: EVERETT at HOLT — Everett has put together some solid seasons in recent years, with four winning records from 2007 until last year, but the Vikings’ one obstacle has been Holt. The Rams have won eight of the past nine meetings, with the lone loss coming in 2012 when Everett went through the regular season undefeated.

If you’re looking for a challenger to Pewamo-Westphalia in the CMAC: FULTON at FOWLER — If Fulton can navigate Bath and Fowler, it will go into its game against P-W the following week (Sept. 26) with some momentum. But it’ll l be tough winning at Fowler, which has beaten Fulton in five of their past six meetings.

WEEK 5 (Sept. 26-27)

GO HERE: HASLETT at DEWITT — With eight returning starters on offense and defense, Haslett is looking for big things after a 6-4 2013 campaign. Two of those losses came against DeWitt, including a hard-fought 14-6 defeat in a Division 3 district opener. That game was the Panthers’ second-narrowest margin of victory of their season to that point. The powerful DeWitt offense against the Haslett defense will be the matchup to watch in this one.

If you’re looking for a ton of offense: LANSING CATHOLIC at IONIA — CAAC realignment brings us this nteresting matchup. The Bulldogs set a school record for points in a season last year, averaging 32 points per contest, and return all-area quarterback Austin Gregory and all-area running back Kyle Parks. The Cougars can always light up the scoreboard with quarterback Tony Poljan and have averaged more than 30 points per game in each of the past four seasons.

WEEK 6 (Oct. 3-4)

GO HERE: HOLT at SEXTON — Holt looked to have steadied the ship last year after non-conference losses to Hudsonville and Rockford with three CAAC Blue wins in a row. But that was halted with a dominating 48-7 Sexton win on the Rams’ home turf. Holt will hope to return the favor this year, but the Big Reds have won three of the past four meetings and could be the area’s best team.

If you’re looking for a conference rivalry: DEWITT at ST. JOHNS — This is, arguably, the hardest-fought rivalry game in the area, especially since it became a league game at the start of the 2011 season. DeWitt will have already played contenders Mason and Haslett, so the Panthers could be looking to lock up the Red title when they face the Redwings. DeWitt has scored at least 29 points in each of the past six meetings, but it will have to deal with a dangerous St. Johns running game.

WEEK 7 (Oct. 10-11)

GO HERE: MASON at HASLETT — This will be the first meeting between these programs since 1979, the last year Haslett was in the Capital Circuit. Both made the playoffs last season and both will be looking at this late-season game with an eye on automatic qualification. This week is also the final week of conference play for the CAAC Red schools.

If you’re looking to see a team in the middle of a gauntlet: SEXTON at EAST LANSING — East Lansing’s CAAC Blue schedule is backloaded with Holt, Everett, Sexton, Grand Ledge and Okemos in its final five games. The game against the Big Reds kicks off two straight games at home, but Sexton has won two of three in the series since coming into the Blue and six of the past eight.

WEEK 8 (Oct. 17-18)

GO HERE: EVERETT at SEXTON — Everett was Sexton’s closest challenger in conference play last season, losing 34-20 in a game that wrapped up the league title for the Big Reds. These two teams have split their past eight matchups dating back to 2006 and continued to play even while in different CAAC divisions. There will be athletes all over the field, punctuated by the receiver duel between Everett’s Leondre Terry and Sexton’s Rayshawn Wilborn.

If you’re looking for a classic CMAC tilt: PEWAMO-WESTPHALIA at FOWLER — The Pirates went 7-0 in the league last season and beat Fowler 25-0. That was the only conference loss for the Eagles. It was a role reversal in 2012 with Fowler going 7-0 and P-W finishing 6-1. These two have finished 1-2 in conference play three of the past four seasons. Interesting note: The loser of this game has scored in single digits all but once since 1998.

WEEK 9 (Oct. 24-25)

GO HERE: EATON RAPIDS at CHARLOTTE — Despite separating due to league realignment, Eaton Rapids and Charlotte continue their rivalry. The two were CAAC Gold mates until this year as Eaton Rapids moved to the CAAC White and Charlotte went to the newly formed Interstate Eight. The Greyhounds finally got back into this rivalry last year, beating Charlotte twice with the second win coming in districts. Eaton Rapids had not previously beaten Charlotte since 1992.

If you’re looking for an 8-man game: PORTLAND ST. PATRICK at MORRICE — Eight-man football continues to grow in mid-Michigan as Morrice joins Portland St. Patrick and Webberville to form the Central Michigan 8-man Football Conference. The Shamrocks have been successful in this format, making the playoffs both years. Since 1986, these programs have met just twice, with both games coming in 2008.

— Denny Schwarze


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