Scouting reports for all the key prep football games in the Battle Creek Enquirer readership area for Week 1:
BC Central (0-0) at Stevensville-Lakeshore (0-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: Battle Creek Central played well in its division last year, gaining a share of the SMAC East title at 4-1, but struggled outside of it as the Bearcats went 4-5 overall. BCC faces non-division foe Stevensville-Lakeshore, which had a playoff campaign a year ago and went 6-4 overall, including a 34-26 win in its opener over the Bearcats.
Great Gridder: Austin McKinney is one of the top defensive backs in the area. He will be key to BCC’s efforts to shut down the S-L passing game.
Gull Lake (0-0) at Harper Creek (0-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: In a battle of two programs looking to climb in the Interstate 8, Harper Creek is coming off a 3-6 season as Gull Lake was 2-7 last year. A former member of the SMAC, Harper Creek used to see Gull Lake each season and beat the Blue Devils 25-0 in the most recent matchup in 2013. Gull Lake added Harper Creek to its schedule after Benton Harbor left the SMAC.
Great Gridder: Ethan Kopp has moved from guard to center for the Beavers and will be a key to the Harper Creek running game.
Lakeview (0-0) at Portage Northern (0-0), 7 p.m. Thursday
Scouting Report: Lakeview and Portage Northern have split their previous two games with the Spartans winning a close contest in last season’s opener, 12-6. After making the playoffs three straight seasons, Portage Northern slipped to 4-5 last season. The Spartans, who went 6-4 last year, are trying to advance to the postseason for the fifth time in a row, a first for the program.
Great Gridder: Jay’Vion Settles is the top returning rusher for Lakeview and will be the key ball carrier in the Spartans’ veer-option offense.
Parchment (0-0) at Pennfield (0-0), 7 p.m. Thursday
Scouting Report: Parchment is a familiar foe for the Panthers from when Pennfield used to dominate the KVA. Pennfield started the season strong last year with a 38-14 win over Parchment, as the Panthers finished 3-6 overall. Parchment, playing smaller schools, went 5-4 on the year.
Great Gridder: Dillon Striplin will bring senior leadership to a young Pennfield team as a two-way starter for the Panthers.
St. Philip (0-0) at Kingston (0-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Scouting Report: St. Philip dominated in 8-man football last year, advancing to the state finals, but lost much of its offensive production to graduation. Kingston went 5-4 in 8-man football a year ago and failed to make the playoffs, going only once in the last three seasons. The Tigers beat Kingston 47-14 in 2014.
Great Gridder: Noah Ellinger will anchor both sides of the line for St. Philip as the Tigers hope to control the trenches.