GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — And just like that, the high school regular season has one week remaining. Teams are still aiming to win conference championships while building momentum for the postseason.
Here is a closer look at the three key games we will be spotlighting this week to conclude the regular season.
PAW PAW RED WOLVES (8-0) AT NILES VIKINGS (7-1)
The Red Wolves can complete an undefeated regular season for the first time since 2012 with a win Friday night — and in the process win a Wolverine Conference championship.
Paw Paw has enjoyed one of the biggest turnarounds in the state after going 4-6 last season.
The Red Wolves allowed 331 points last season, but the defense has vastly improved by giving up only 72 points in eight games.
No team has scored more than 17 points against them.
Niles also is unbeaten in conference play and can win its first conference title.
The Vikings’ defense has been even stingier and has recorded three consecutive shutouts against Vicksburg, Edwardsburg and Plainwell.
Niles outscored those teams 169-0 and eclipsed 400 points for the season in last week’s win, establishing a new school record.
The Vikings’ offense is averaging an astounding 50 points per game, and its currently won total is the most in a season since 2003.
TRI COUNTY VIKINGS (7-1) AT BELDING BLACK KNIGHTS (7-1)
The Black Knights wrapped up an OK Silver conference championship two weeks ago, but they hope to end the regular season on a high note against a quality non-conference opponent.
Belding went 8-1 during the regular season and can duplicate that feat with a home win.
The Black Knights are currently on a six-game winning streak, with each victory coming by 19 points or more.
Tri County is having another outstanding season and bounced back last week from its first loss of the season.
The Vikings suffered a 36-6 loss to conference foe Big Rapids, but they defeated Chippewa Hills 22-6 to end the conference season one game back.
STEVENSVILLE LAKESHORE LANCERS (5-3) AT PORTAGE CENTRAL MUSTANGS (7-1)
The Mustangs can win an outright Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference title with a home win Friday night.
Portage Central, which is one game ahead of rival Portage Northern in the conference standings, has won six games in a row since a Week 2 loss to Forest Hills Central.
The Mustangs went 4-5 last season and missed the playoffs, but they have been rejuvenated by an offense that is averaging more than 35 points the last six games
The Lancers can play the spoiler role as they look to make the state playoffs after failing to do so last year with a 3-6 record.
Lakeshore opened with a loss to Zeeland West but then reeled off five straight wins before back-to-back losses against St. Joseph and Portage Northern.